A very popular question I get asked nearly every day by people- do veneers damage your teeth?
Porcelain Veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments around the world and indeed this is true at our clinic in Hornchurch, Essex.
So what is a Veneer?
A dental veneer is a ceramic tooth shaped shell that is placed over the natural tooth to improve appearance by changing the shape, size, and shade of the teeth. They are usually used on the front surface of teeth. They can also be made out of composite resin, but porcelain lasts longer.
What is a veneer used for?
Teeth that are discoloured — either because of root canal treatment; stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes; or the presence of large resin fillings that have discoloured the tooth
Teeth that are worn down due to grinding, erosion and other habits.
Teeth that are chipped or broken
Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them)
Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)
Will they damage my teeth?
No, definitely not!
Veneers will not damage your teeth if treatment is carried out by an experienced cosmetic dentist with correct experience and training. Your dentist will fully examine your teeth and take x-rays beforehand to make sure the teeth underneath are healthy and not decayed so are suitable for veneers to be placed. They will be able to tell you if you are suitable for veneers. If you are not there are alternatives such as composite veneers, bonding, orthodontic or brace treatments, teeth whitening or just teeth contouring. The most important factor is that you are told of all the options with risks and benefits so that you make the right decision.
How much tooth is drilled away?
To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about 1/2 millimetre of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anaesthetic to numb the area. Next, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which in turn constructs your veneer. It usually takes 2-3 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory.
Will I have something to protect my tooth until my veneers are made?
Yes, you will not only have something to protect your teeth, they will also look you’re your new veneers will look, which gives you time to get use to how your new teeth will be. These are called temporary veneers.
What are the benefits of Veneers?
They provide a natural appearance that looks like your tooth
They do not discolour or stain
They can be whiter than your natural teeth if you wish for a brighter smile
Do not require extensive shaping such as crowns do
You can choose the shape and size of your desired teeth
Close gaps instantly instead of having braces
What are the disadvantages of Veneers?
Not suitable for people with gum disease
Protection needed if patient is a grinder
Can still develop decay underneath with bad diet and hygiene. – Veneer would have to be removed
How long do veneers last?
Depending on how you look after your teeth, veneers can last around 10 years before they may need replacement. Veneers only need replacing if you develop a problem, otherwise they can last longer!
What are the alternatives to veneers?
There are different treatment options as an alternative to veneers, these include
Composite Bonding– Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive cosmetic dental procedure. The composite resin used in bonding can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth. Most often, bonding is used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of a discoloured or chipped tooth. It also can be used to close spaces between teeth, to make teeth look longer or to change the shape or colour of teeth. The benefit of this is that no preparation of the tooth is needed and the bonding can be removed easily at any point. Disadvantages are that these are easily stained and deteriorate much sooner than veneers.
Composite Veneers – similar to above but cover more tooth surface
Dental Crown– A crown is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth.
Cosmetic contouring – this is a technique that removes small amounts of tooth enamel (the outer covering of the tooth) in order to change the shape, length, or surface of one or more teeth.
Orthodontic treatment – fixed and removable braces can also be used to alter the appearance of the teeth without any preparation. Braces such as six month smile and smile align or Invisalign can dramatically and safely move teeth to the desired position closing any gaps and changing the position improving the appearance.
What are no prep veneers?
These are exactly as the name says: they are a type of veneer which requires little or no preparation. There is no need for you to undergo a session beforehand in which the tooth to be treated is ‘prepared’ in readiness for the veneer.
This preparation involves the slightly reshaping the tooth so that the remaining tooth is then similar in size and shape to the veneer. This means that the veneer will fit exactly over the tooth.
Advantages of non-prep veneers?
A no-prep veneer is just that: you do not need to undergo any preparation and only have to attend a single session. This saves you both time and money.
Other advantages include the fact that they last for a very long time, as much as 20 years in some cases. Plus they are highly versatile and can be worn over a crown, crown and bridge or dentures.
Disadvantages of non-prep veneers?
They are not suitable for everyone, for example, people with large sized teeth or teeth which are severely misaligned. In these cases some preparation will be required
Perfect Smile Spa based in Hornchurch Essex is a Leading Cosmetic Dentistry practice and is dedicated to PAINLESS dentistry. We carry out many orthodontic and cosmetic dentistry treatments like Porcelain and Composite Veneers.
Call us for a free consultation on 01708 442 114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org