Whether you’re on the hunt for a picture-perfect smile, or simply looking for a solution to those dental imperfections you see every time you look in the mirror, veneers have become the go-to solution. But as with any cosmetic procedure, it’s normal to wonder about the long-term effects they might have on your existing teeth. Do veneers damage your real teeth? Is that dazzling smile a trade-off for the health of your natural pearly whites? We explore these pressing questions to help you discover the truth behind that winning smile.
Can Veneers Damage Your Real Teeth?
One of the most frequently asked questions we encounter at Dental + Skin Clinic is: Can veneers damage your real teeth? To put it simply, veneers would not be offered as a form of cosmetic dentistry if they negatively impacted your existing teeth. So, no, veneers do not damage your real teeth. But let’s look into this further.
Firstly, it’s important to understand exactly what veneers are and the different types of veneers on offer. They are wafer-thin shells, typically made of porcelain or composite resin, designed to cover the front surface of your teeth. Their primary purpose is to improve the appearance of teeth by changing their colour, shape, size, or length.
The process of placing veneers involves removing a small amount of tooth enamel to ensure a proper fit. This step is important as it allows the veneer to bond securely and look natural. However, the amount of enamel removed is extremely minimal and does not cause any damage to your natural tooth structure. In fact, the veneers then act as a protective layer, safeguarding the underlying tooth from potential damage or decay. We dive into the exact process of attaching veneers to highlight the unlikelihood of them actually damaging your teeth.
How Do They Attach to Your Teeth?
At Dental + Skin Clinic, we take great pride in ensuring this procedure is seamless, comfortable, and most importantly, effective. So, how exactly do these thin shells become a permanent part of your stunning smile?
The Preparation Phase
Before the veneers can be attached, your teeth go through a preparation phase. This involves a thorough cleaning to remove any plaque or tartar, followed by the slight reshaping of the tooth surface. As mentioned earlier, a very tiny amount of enamel is removed – just enough to make room for the veneer. This step is carried out with great care to ensure it doesn’t impact your natural teeth.
The Trial Smile Phase
Once the teeth are prepared, a set of temporary veneers are applied directly to the tooth surface. These temporary veneers are designed to show you what the future porcelain veneers will look like. The temporary veneers are carefully positioned and adjusted to achieve the perfect fit and alignment for your mouth.
The Feedback Stage
After the temporary veneers have been lived in for one or more days, you then provide feeebwck about the colour, shape, size and overall appearance of the new smile.
The Permanent Porcelain Veneer Stage
After the temporary veneers are carefully removed and the permanent porcelain veneers are securely in place, a specialised light is used to activate the adhesive, causing it to harden and firmly attach the veneer to the tooth. This is known as the permanent porcelain veneer stage, and it ensures that your veneers don’t just look the part, but will also last the distance and offer an effective, long-term solution.
The procedure concludes with a final check for fit and bite alignment, followed by polishing to give your new veneers that dazzling shine.
The Aftercare Guard
The last step is handing you a customised Aftercare Guard for you to wear at night. It’s our version for a retainer. At Dental + Skin Clinic, we also schedule a follow-up appointment to ensure everything is as it should be: perfect.
Do Veneers Ruin Your Natural Teeth?
Understanding the process involved in attaching veneers to your existing teeth, helps show just how little damage veneers do. In fact, once in place, they actually help protect your natural tooth.
How Veneers Impact Your Tooth Enamel
Tooth enamel is that hard, protective outer layer of your teeth. It is often the unsung hero of your oral health, serving as the first line of defense against everything from hot and cold temperatures to bacterial decay. Once the veneers are in place, they actually serve a protective role similar to that of natural enamel. Here’s some of the different factors that contribute to the long-lasting effectiveness of your dental veneers.
Quality of Materials
The quality of the veneers themselves plays a significant role in their impact on your natural teeth. High-quality materials like porcelain are nice and durable to ensure your tooth is protected from plaque and bacteria that can build up over time. They are also resistant to staining so your pearly whites stay that way for even longer.
The skill and experience of the dental professional performing the procedure are important. A poorly fitted veneer can lead to issues like gum irritation, bite misalignment, and even an increased risk of decay around the edges of the veneer. At Dental + Skin Clinic, our team of experts employ state-of-the-art technology and techniques to ensure that your veneers are a perfect fit, minimising any potential risks to your natural teeth.
Aftercare is Key
The longevity and impact of veneers on your natural teeth are also influenced by how well you take care of them. Regular dental check-ups, good oral hygiene, and avoiding habits like grinding your teeth can go a long way in ensuring that your veneers work for you without compromising the health of your natural teeth.
Potential Complications with Veneers: What You Should Know
At Dental + Skin Clinic, we believe in transparency and ensuring our patients are well-equipped with all the information they need before diving into any procedure. Here’s some of the potential complications that come with veneers.
One of the most commonly reported side effects post-veneer placement is teeth sensitivity. This sensitivity is generally minor and settles with time. It can be described as a transient sensation to hot or cold food and drinks. While it might be a tad uncomfortable, there is nothing that you need to do other than give your body time to adjust. The time it takes for the sensitivity to settle really depends on the individual – it ranges from anywhere from weeks to months. Factors such as age, the genetic makeup of the enamel, and individual tolerance levels play a role. The key is patience – allowing your body the time it needs to heal.
Root Canal Treatment: A Rare Complication
While the risk is relatively low, there’s a possibility (1% per year) that a tooth might require a root canal treatment post-veneer placement. This means that after one year, the risk is 1%, and after two years, it’s 2%, and so on.
It’s important to understand that the risk of requiring a root canal treatment isn’t exclusive to veneers. Most dental treatments, including something as simple as a dental filling, come with this risk. However, there’s a silver lining. If a tooth with a veneer does require a root canal treatment, the veneer does not need to be removed. The treatment is performed behind the tooth, ensuring it remains invisible to the naked eye. The only way to determine whether a veneered tooth has undergone a root canal treatment is through a dental X-ray.
It’s also worth noting that a root canal treatment is a separate procedure from veneer placement and comes with its own costs. Depending on the complexity, it might be performed by a general dentist or a specialist known as an endodontist.
Book a Veneers Consult
At Dental + Skin Clinic, we believe that each smile is unique, and so should be the approach to enhancing it. Join us for a veneer consultation so our dental experts can assess the condition of your teeth, discuss your aesthetic goals, and develop a tailored treatment plan. This ensures that you receive veneers that not only look stunning but also blend with your natural teeth. Check out our before and after: dental veneers page to learn more.
So why wait? Book a veneer consultation with Dental + Skin Clinic today and take the first step towards a smile you can love. Our team of skilled professionals is excited to be a part of your journey to a more confident and beautiful you.