Dental veneers are a common cosmetic treatment for discolored, chipped, worn down, or fractured teeth. They are color-matched to the current shade of your other teeth to create a uniform look. But unlike natural teeth, porcelain veneers cannot be stained, discolored, or bleached to change their color. So over time, your natural teeth will discolor, making the white veneers more dominant. To prevent this, your dentist may recommend whitening before the veneer process so your porcelain veneers are matched to your whitened teeth. Afterward, you will need a regular whitening schedule to maintain a uniform smile.
Here are a few other things you may not know about dental veneers:
- Dental veneers are non-living, but the tooth underneath and the surrounding gum tissues are living, and prone to change over time. For instance, shrinkage of the gum line may expose the root surfaces, affecting the position of the veneer relative to the rest of the tooth. Porcelain veneers are very tough and durable, and cannot be repaired. However, they can be replaced if they crack, break, or sustain any other kind of damage or require some kind of change.
- Composite veneers, which are installed in one appointment, have a shorter life span compared to porcelain veneers. They tend to chip and stain if not looked after. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, are stain free and tend to last longer. Although durability depends on how well you care for your veneers, both types should last 10 to 20 years.
Veneers may not be right for you
There are several instances when your cosmetic dentist may determine that veneers are not the best treatment for you, including:
- If you have untreated tooth decay. It is not advisable to simply cover up the infection with veneers, as the situation will keep getting worse, increasing the risk of tooth loss.
- If you have been diagnosed with bruxism. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaws at night, then you might damage your veneers reducing their durability. If you proceed with the treatment, your dentist may offer custom night guards to reduce the stress on your teeth and veneers.
- If you have a case of malocclusion or a bad bite. Poorly aligned teeth may cause uneven stress on your teeth, such as those fitted with veneers, ruining the restoration.
Make sure to discuss your options with your dentist, as well as what to expect after treatment to ensure that the final result is what you’re looking for.