Veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures in the U.S., and that’s certainly true for our Salisbury dentist office, too. One question which we receive often from patients is whether or not veneers will damage their existing teeth. In today’s blog post, our Salisbury family dentist will explain how porcelain veneers are applied, and what risks are involved in the procedure, so that you can make an informed decision about your oral health.
What are Porcelain Veneers?
Traditional dental veneers are ceramic, tooth-shaped shells that are placed over the natural teeth to change their size, shape, and appearance. Since they are primarily used for cosmetic purposes, they are usually applied to the front surface of the teeth. Porcelain is traditionally used, because it will last longer, but composite resin can also be used if the patient requests it.
How are Teeth Prepared for Veneers?
To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about half a millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface. The veneer itself will also be about half a millimeter thick. Before trimming off your enamel, your dentist will take X-rays and perform a thorough examination to determine whether your teeth are suitable for veneers. If the teeth are too damaged, fragile, or sensitive, your dentist may suggest less invasive alternatives such as dental bonding, teeth contouring, teeth whitening, or orthodontic aligners.
Dental Veneers: Weighing the Pros and Cons
While this procedure is considered cosmetic, isn’t to be taken lightly. Once the enamel is removed from your teeth, it cannot be replaced. This means that the biggest risk for patients is that they will experience permanent tooth sensitivity, especially to cold or hot temperatures. Additionally, a veneer that does not fit improperly can change your bite’s alignment, which can result in jaw pain and bruxism.
Finally, although veneers can last for up to 20 years, they will eventually need to be replaced. This will require a second round of enamel removal. If you had extensive erosion prior to your first removal, there may not be enough left for a second set of veneers. Instead, you will need to consider a different restoration process, such as a dental crown or cosmetic bonding.
So…Will Veneers “Ruin” My Teeth?
Our primary goal at Salisbury Family Dentistry will always be to save your teeth—in this case, by making them stronger, more resistant to damage, easier to clean, and better shaped for your jaw alignment. The fact that veneers also make your smile aesthetically more beautiful is, to us, just a positive side-effect! As long as you seek a reputable, experienced cosmetic dentist to apply your veneers, you should enjoy a healthier smile than you started out with.
Which brings us to our next point: the vast majority of veneer horror stories happen to people who engaged in “dental tourism” in Asia or Mexico to save money on the procedure. Stay safe and stick with a dentist you know, and you’ll be able to achieve the smile or your dreams without any of the complications!
Salisbury Family Dentistry has provided exceptional dental care to the Salisbury and Charlotte areas for more than a decade. If you would like to request an appointment with our office, just fill out our easy contact form.