Dental veneers are a trusted technique many patients use to correct their smiles. With the capability to handle a host of oral issues, dentists have used veneers successfully for over sixty years. It is preferred not only because of its high success rate but also because it can achieve such natural-looking, long-term results whitening, straightening, and repairing teeth. Even so, there are some potential problems and drawbacks to the procedure that every patient should be made aware of. Here are some common problems with veneers and how our patients can handle them.
At Allred Dental, we take pride in the efficacy of our treatments. Our staff provides patients with all they need to know to make informed decisions about their dental health. If you have questions about your current veneers or think they are an option, call our San Marcos dental office today. We’re waiting to schedule a consultation and help you get the smile you deserve!
What Are Dental Veneers?
When it comes to repairing damaged or crooked dentition, especially in the most prominent teeth in your mouth, dental veneers literally have you covered. Essentially thin overlays that sit on your natural teeth, dental veneers provide a new exterior surface that can be shaped and colored to recreate your smile. These covers can be used to correct a variety of issues, such as:
- Chipped, broken, or cracked teeth
- Excessive, irreversible staining
- Gaps and spaces
- To correct speech
- Minor misalignments
- Other cosmetic improvements
For many patients, the dental veneer treatment is a life-changing procedure that improves both self-confidence and also their quality of life. A good candidate for veneers will be looking to solve single or multiple issues with one treatment. Teeth will need to be in good condition and not be overly decayed or broken; otherwise, crowns may be a better fit for such clients. However, there are some issues that can arise with dental veneers that patients should be made aware of.
One of the drawbacks to dental veneers involves how they are applied. In order to attach the thin coverings, your dentist needs to prepare the area by removing some of the surface enamel from a tooth. This both makes room for the veneer in your mouth and also creates a perfect surface to attach it with a strong paste or cement. When finished, the veneer should blend in with your natural dentition nicely, both in shape and color.
The downside lies in the removal of tooth enamel. Because enamel cannot be regrown, when your doctor shaves off some for veneers, there is no way to get it back. This makes the procedure irreversible and permanent, so the decision to get veneers is one that may take some thought. The loss of enamel is mitigated by the securely attached veneer, which can be just as (if not more) durable than the enamel it replaces. In some cases, restructuring the tooth is unavoidable, no matter what the treatment may be. This makes the prospect of a permanent procedure much more palatable.
Veneers May Need Replacing
While the material used in creating your veneers may be quite durable, patients still need to take care while living with their new smiles. Unlike crowns that can be made of exceedingly durable metals if the patient so chooses, veneers are designed to replicate the look and feel of your own teeth, limiting the types used. These materials can become cracked, chipped, or damaged in other ways if patients are overzealous in their daily routine.
Biting on hard materials such as frozen carrots or non-food items can cause your new veneers to break, just like your natural teeth. Fortunately for patients, caring for them mirrors what they should already be doing to maintain excellent oral health! Regular brushing, flossing, and biannual cleanings will help keep your veneers looking great for a long time. If patients watch what they chew and follow standard dental hygiene practices, they can look forward to enjoying a brighter, well-aligned smile for over 15 years!
Other issues arise with veneers when trying to decide which materials to use in creating your veneers. While many patients can’t tell the difference, there are inherent benefits and drawbacks depending what you and your dentist decide. At Allred Dental, we offer these types:
- Porcelain: Porcelain veneers are crafted off-site with special dental-grade ceramics that are both strong and natural-looking. They can be dyed to color-match your teeth in a variety of shades and may look and feel much like your original teeth. While more enamel must be removed to allow for the covering’s thickness, its extra durability more than compensates for the inconvenience.
- Composite: Using a composite resin mixture, your doctor can fashion a veneer directly onto the prepared area, allowing you to renew your smile the very same day! This treatment requires much less preparation, meaning the patient will be able to retain more of their original teeth with the added convenience of immediate results.
Depending on the extensive nature of the treatment, your doctor may suggest one material over the other. Both types of veneers can be tinted to match the rest of your mouth, allowing your new coverings to look very natural. Patients who are concerned about losing too much of their own enamel may gravitate towards composite veneers, while those looking for a more durable option should discuss porcelain veneers during their consultation.
Discoloration and Staining
Another difference between composite and porcelain materials is how they are affected by stains. The composite resin used in dental veneers can be porous, meaning that they can absorb some stain-causing substances just as normal teeth would. On the other hand, porcelain is a non-porous material and will resist stains from coffee, red wine, and other problem-causing drinks.
Staining can still be a problem with porcelain as well. The edges of the tooth that touches ceramic veneers can accumulate stain-causing substances. This can lead to an unsightly brown line on your teeth. In addition, whitening toothpaste can actually damage your veneers, causing scratches that collect even more grime. By taking care of your new veneers as normal, and with regularly-scheduled dental checkups, most patients can avoid the displeasing look that stained dentition can cause.
Your teeth enamel is what protects the soft, pulpy interior from dramatic changes in temperature. Anyone who has had a cavity and felt the sharp pain associated with hot or cold drinks can attest to the discomfort caused by lost enamel. When your dentist shaves off some enamel to prepare your teeth for their veneers, it creates areas that are more sensitive than before the procedure. Fortunately for Allred patients, this sensitivity doesn’t last very long.
Most clients report that their teeth and gums feel normal within just a few days after the treatment. The adhesives used to hold the veneer in place along with the material itself help to protect the interior pulp from harm. This includes changing temperatures from taking a nice cool drink on a hot day! If a patient continues to have problems with sensitivity for months after the initial treatment., they should discuss these problems with their dentist. It could indicate another problem with the tooth that might require immediate action.
Unfortunately, not every dentist is skilled in providing excellent dental care and crafting beautiful smiles. Some patients find the veneer treatments of other doctors to be a disappointment. There are a variety of ways inexperienced dentists show they aren’t up to the challenge, including:
- Poor color match: The veneer itself may not match the tooth it is attached to.
- Mismatch with natural teeth: Veneers are highly visible because they don’t compliment the tone of other teeth
- Misaligned or slanted smile: Teeth appear higher/larger on one side of the jaw
- Rough/overhanging edges: Jagged edges collect plaque and make hygiene difficult
- Excessively thick veneers: Improperly prepared teeth can have extra thick/unsightly looks
- Problems with speech: Overly long or large veneers can inhibit normal speech
Many of these problems can be corrected with a renewed treatment plan. Our staff is experienced in crafting superior smiles and can correct some of these issues to ensure your smile looks amazing. It is important to remember that you are unique, and your dental structure may not be able to give you the same look as your favorite celebrity. What’s most important is that you love your smile and that it looks great on you!
While there are some considerations associated with dental veneers, they remain the most popular, best-looking, and effective solution for many oral health issues. At Allred Dental, we understand the trepidation a lot of customers have about undergoing any dental procedure, and we want you to be comfortable making the choices that will impact your life the most. To learn more about composite or porcelain dental veneers in the San Marcos, CA area, call us today. Our team is ready to schedule an appointment and help give you even more reasons to show off that smile!