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Are Veneers Right for You?

Are Veneers Right for You?

A tooth veneer is designed to cover damaged teeth and improve their overall appearance. However, not everyone is a good candidate for the procedure. Read on to learn more about whether or not you might benefit from them.

mask in hand representing veneers

Who Needs Veneers?

A veneer is a thin covering attached to a tooth. Most often they are made of ceramic, porcelain or composite materials, and they are designed to look like a natural tooth. Many people choose to get these special teeth coverings for cosmetic reasons.

Most often, people get a veneer or a set of them for the following reasons:

  • To close gaps between teeth
  • Straighten slightly misaligned teeth
  • To cover chipped teeth
  • Make teeth visibly whiter
  • To create an overall straight and even smile
  • To cover discolored teeth

The covering placed over your tooth can change the color, shape and even the size of the tooth. Therefore, getting a covering attached to the front of teeth is a popular cosmetic dentistry procedure.

Who is a Good Candidate?

Most people with healthy gums and sturdy teeth are eligible to get a veneer. If a patient has cavities, then those must be treated before a covering can be placed over a tooth.

People with gum disease are often not good candidates. Gum disease can make teeth lose, which makes it difficult to affix the veneer covering to the tooth.

Teeth that are badly decayed or lacking enamel may make the attachment procedure difficult. Consult with a dentist to see if you qualify for the procedure. Oftentimes, dental problems can be treated or corrected, which makes the patient eligible to receive a tooth covering.

Bruxism is the dental term used for teeth grinding. A patient who grinds his or her teeth is generally not the best candidate to receive a veneer. Though the material used to make veneer teeth is sturdy, a veneer can chip when a person grinds teeth together.

If you keep getting a veneer replaced, then perhaps you have a tooth or jaw problem that prevents it from bonding tightly to your tooth.

The Veneer Procedure

The procedure for getting a veneer placed is a simple one. The dentist will remove a small part of your tooth’s surface. The veneer slips over the natural tooth. In order to fit your natural tooth, the dentist will make a mold of your teeth to customize the size of the veneer. In some cases, the process might take longer. This depends on how healthy your natural teeth are. If your teeth are significantly damaged, they will need to be treated before you can get a veneer.

Things to Consider Before You Get a Veneer

Though a veneer can improve your appearance, some patients are unaware of the following facts:

  • A veneer is considered a permanent fixture. They are generally not detachable.
  • Veneers typically don´t stain, though your other teeth will stain over time. If you want your teeth whitened, get them whitened before getting a veneer placed in your mouth. This prevents your neighboring teeth from having a darker or lighter shade than your veneer.
  • A tooth with a veneer on it can still become decayed. If this happens, your veneer may need to be replaced with a crown to cover and protect your whole tooth.
  • Getting a porcelain veneer placed is more expensive than bonding. It may not be covered by your insurance. Check with your insurance company for pricing.

Durability and Sustainability

A veneer should be maintained in the same way in which regular teeth are. Brushing and flossing daily are essential. If cared for properly, a veneer can last many years. However, after about 7-15 years, it usually needs to be replaced.

Other than proper dental hygiene, there are a few other things you can do to maintain your veneers. For starters, don’t bite your nails. Doing so could damage your teeth. Also, do not chew or bite on hard or sharp objects, such as pencils.

Damaged or Lost Veneers

Sometimes a veneer can become damaged. They can chip or crack. If this happens and the veneer is rounded and still has symmetry, the dentist may be able to re-attach it. However, in many such cases, a chipped or cracked veneer must be replaced altogether.

Be careful of any broken edges of the veneer that are still in your mouth. Broken pieces may cut your tongue, cheek or other parts of your mouth. If a piece of the veneer breaks off, some of it may still be attached to your natural tooth. That can irritate or cut the inside of your mouth.

If sharp edges left from a veneer are bothering you, go to your local pharmacy and request dental wax. Waxing any sharp crevices left by a veneer can smooth the sharp bits. This will make it easier to endure while you wait for a dental appointment.

Overall, veneer teeth can improve your looks. This can lead to improved self-esteem and confidence in a dental patient. Though the procedure can be costly, many patients consider it to be a good investment for a perfect smile. Consult with a dentist in Scottsdale to see if you are a good candidate.