A smile can make a great first impression, but, unfortunately, not all smiles are equal. Even the best at-home oral health care can be ruined by a chip from crunching down too hard on food or stains from a three-coffee-a-day habit.
If you feel sensitive about your smile, there are cosmetic dentistry options that can help to fix the damage, at least visually. One of the more common options is dental veneers. They can be used to fix a wide range of cosmetic dental issues. But they’re not for everyone.
What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are often used for cosmetic purposes to ‘fix’ small aesthetic issues that do not require orthodontic treatment.They are essentially a porcelain or plastic cap that is fitted over your tooth, covering some or all of the front of your tooth, masking any chips, stains, gaps or crookedness.
If you are considering veneers, it’s important to understand the pros and cons to find out if they’re right for you.
The pros of dental veneers
- Veneers often look more realistic than other similar tooth correction treatments, like crowns. You can even be customised to perfectly suit your teeth and your face.
- Good news for coffee addicts: veneers, particularly porcelain ones, are often more stain-resistant than natural tooth enamel, so they are less likely to acquire unsightly brown or yellow stains over time. This doesn’t mean you can throw out your toothbrush, however!
- While they won’t last forever, when properly applied and well-looked after, you can expect them to last anywhere from seven to 15 years before they will need replacing.
- They are perfect for covering up small aesthetic imperfections to teeth. From chips and smalls gaps to coffee stains, veneers can be a less invasive solution than major orthodontic treatments and a more effective solution than whitening procedures.
- Unfortunately, a cruel truth of teeth is that once enamel is damaged or lost, it doesn’t grow back. However, veneers can act as a sort of artificial tooth enamel, ensuring you have healthy and protected teeth.
The cons of dental veneers
- Like many cosmetic procedures, cosmetic dentistry isn’t cheap and dental veneers are no exception. This price goes up as well, obviously, depending on how many teeth you want veneers applied to.
- While it is possible to have veneers removed (it’s recommended you replace them every 10 to 15 years), your teeth will never be the same again. Before dental veneers are applied to your teeth, your dentist will remove some of the enamel from your tooth and may even shape your tooth to more snugly fit the veneer. This is an irreversible procedure and means that your teeth (without the veneers) may be less aesthetically pleasing than they were previously.
- Veneers can increase tooth sensitivity. Since the process involves removing some of the natural tooth enamel, some patients experience increased tooth sensitivity. While this will generally go away after a few days or by using a specially formulated toothpaste, for some patients, it may be a lifelong issue.
- Depending on your existing dental health, it may not be possible to apply dental veneers to your teeth. If you have significant decay, periodontal disease, enamel erosion, or large fillings or root canals, veneers may not be recommended as they may be affected by preexisting conditions or previous dental treatment.
To find out more about whether dental veneers are right for you, speak to your dentist today.