Porcelain veneers are one of the most dramatic dental treatments—an intricate (and expensive!) operation in which natural tooth material is taken from the front of the tooth and replaced with a thin porcelain sheath that is tightly and permanently bonded to the front of the tooth.
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Except for the hefty price, this sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Consider the benefits:
Veneers can repair many of the natural flaws in teeth that would take months to correct with conventional procedures such as braces. Short and stubby teeth, wavy surfaces, gaps between teeth, and unequal lengths can all be eliminated with a well-applied set of veneers. Veneers are a man-made material that will never fade. So, unlike genuine teeth, veneers may not only instantaneously generate teeth in any chosen shade of whiteness, but the veneer material will never stain, darken, or be damaged by dental decay.
Many television celebrities, performers, and actors have achieved their flawless smiles with the assistance of porcelain veneers done by the industry’s most talented cosmetic dentists, reinforcing the widespread caricature of the “Hollywood smile.”
However, before you invest your entire life savings in a new set of brilliant new veneers, consider the following:
Are veneers a long-term solution?
In a nutshell, no. Long-lasting, yes, but even with the most sophisticated materials and techniques, the average life of a veneer is around ten years. Worryingly, depending on lifestyle and habits, veneers might chip, shatter, or fall totally away from the tooth at various (and inconvenient) times, necessitating pricey follow-up treatments at various intervals for the remainder of your life.
Since their introduction as a cosmetic restoration treatment in the 1980s, processes and materials for putting porcelain veneers have greatly improved. Many factors, including the effectiveness of the bond to the tooth, the patient’s bite, and inappropriate use of one’s teeth, might affect the longevity of veneers (such as to bite package labels or hard materials).
If skillfully and carefully put and properly protected, a set of veneers could survive far longer than the original 10-year projection. And, when newer and better adhesives become available, who knows how long today’s new veneers will last?
However, if you plan to buy veneers, you should also plan for future care and replacement of even the best set of veneers.
What if I don’t like the way my veneers look?
Although it is feasible to modify or replace veneers that do not suit you, it cannot be stressed enough that you should thoroughly investigate the outcomes, reputation, and even warranty of the cosmetic practitioner you choose.
When a client is dissatisfied, one of their concerns may be a sense of “thickness,” which can occur if a dentist did not shrink the tooth enough to enable room for the porcelain layer or if the dental facility that built the veneers produced them excessively thick. Along with verifying references, inquire if your potential dentist can provide you with a diagnostic “wax-up” that will allow you to see and feel what the finished product will look like before you start.
Can I have my veneers redone if I’m not satisfied?
Yes, dentists can remove and replace veneers that are too old or aren’t to a client’s liking—but one should consider the difficulties (and cost) of doing so. Aside from the difficulty of installing a veneer in the first place, the most difficult situations any cosmetic dentist will confront are those involving the removal of a newly-applied veneer to remedy someone else’s faults. The removal of old veneers can be exceedingly costly and time-consuming, and if a dentist removes too much dental structure, the natural tooth’s durability and health may suffer as a result. This is yet another reason to be certain of your decision to acquire veneers and to be extremely cautious while evaluating the images and results of previous veneers performed by your potential dentist.
Is it common for me to have veneers that have fallen off?
No. If your teeth have been properly prepared and your veneers have been properly bonded, they should not fall off as long as there are no difficulties with your bite. It is frequently a failure of faulty bonding. Porcelain bonding to teeth is a technically demanding technique. A bond failure will occur if the surfaces are not properly cleansed and free of impurities such as oil, water, or saliva.
I have yellowing at the edges of my veneers where they contact the tooth, and I can see my natural tooth colour between my teeth. Is there anything I can do to help?
It appears like the veneers were not properly glued. Either you have stained resin cement or there is a gap and stains are getting into the margin. The fact that you can see the colour of your original tooth indicates that it was not appropriately reduced so that the porcelain could cover that section of the tooth.
What are the most common dental veneers complaints?
Incomplete tooth coverage can occur if a veneer does not completely cover the edges of the teeth, leaving the areas between the teeth vulnerable to darkening or decay. Furthermore, if gum shrinkage occurs in the years after the application of the veneers, there will be additional tooth revealed that isn’t covered by the original veneer, which may result in an unnatural “two-toned” appearance at the top of the smile.
However, the most common complaints revolve on too white, too thick, or poorly applied veneers, which can result in an artificial “denture-like” appearance that, ironically, does not enhance a person’s appearance—in fact, it may serve to make the individual appear older (not unlike the stark appearance of a jet-black hair dye or wig on a middle aged individual-yes, the grey hair is eliminated, but a software hair tone would be more forgiving of the skin tone and “laugh lines” that naturally become more apparent with age). Before making a pricey decision that may be difficult or impossible to adjust or reverse, it is critical to assess the overall impact and even “try on” a colour or style of dental treatment for size.
It is also vital to understand that nail biting is one of the most harmful behaviours to any type of dental veneer. If you are a nail biter, you must be confident in your ability to overcome the behaviour before investing in veneers.
Are there any other disadvantages to dental veneers?
The most significant disadvantage of porcelain veneers is their high cost. A single porcelain veneer might cost more than $1,500. (plus eventual replacement and maintenance). Veneers made of “composite” materials may be less expensive, but with an investment as permanent and conspicuous as veneers, you will want to save your money for the best product you can afford.
Due to the high expense, it is common for clients to acquire veneers for only the front 6 or 8 teeth that are visible when they smile, and clients commonly purchase veneers for only the front teeth. In this instance, it is vital that clients whiten their bottom and visible teeth as often as necessary to avoid an unsightly mismatch with the veneers. It is also critical to keep the crevices between teeth clean to prevent them from darkening with time and use, producing an even more obvious contrast with the bright white veneers on the front of their teeth.
If nothing else has persuaded you, the most crucial thing to remember when considering veneers is that they are nearly permanent. Many people consider porcelain veneers to be the best investment they’ve ever made—but, perhaps more than any other cosmetic surgery, it’s critical to approach the decision to get veneers with careful research and meticulous care.