If your teeth have cosmetic flaws that make you self-conscious, it can be uncomfortable showing off your smile. Dental veneers may be an option for you to consider, and our Calgary dentists are here to answer some FAQs.
What are dental veneers?
Veneers are thin shells made of tooth-coloured porcelain. They are made custom to fit your teeth and are fitted over your natural teeth to cover discolouration, wear, chips, misalignment, unevenness, or irregularities.
What’s the difference between veneers and crowns?
Crowns cover your teeth like a cap, while a veneer is a thin shell applied to the front of your tooth.
Will I get cavities with veneers on my teeth?
As long as they are cared for appropriately, the prevalence of tooth decay with veneers is similar to natural teeth.
Is the procedure reversible?
Since a very thin layer of tooth enamel must be removed to accommodate the thickness of the veneer, the process isn’t considered reversible.
What are the advantages of dental veneers?
As far as dental restorations go, veneers preserve the most amount of tooth structure (compared to crowns, for instance) as they require very minimal tooth structure to be removed. They may help improve the appearance of your teeth, and gum tissues respond well to dental veneers. The colour can be matched to the other teeth and these types of restorations are relatively stain-resistant.
Are there disadvantages to dental veneers?
Once you have had your tooth prepared for the veneer, the process is not reversible. If a veneer cracks, it is difficult to restore it without having to replace the entire veneer. For people with poor gum health, veneers are not a good option. It is important to avoid habits like pen-chewing or nail-biting because these can crack the veneer. In addition, people who grind or clench their teeth are at risk of chipping or cracking their veneers. Lastly, veneers are still susceptible to decay so it is important that you maintain optimal oral health and visit your dentist regularly.
How long do dental veneers last?
Correctly produced and properly placed, porcelain veneers can last over 10-15 years. They do not require any special care other than regular brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist.
How do I get my new veneers to match my other teeth?
Your dentist will address this issue during your consultation. They will make a plan that will factor in the colour matching process. Most people tend to whiten their natural teeth before beginning treatment so they can have their veneers in a whiter shade.
Do porcelain veneers stain with tea, coffee and red wine?
Porcelain veneers should never stain. However, if your teeth have a tendency to stain, you should try to avoid or minimize drinking these beverages, as you want your natural tooth colour to remain as closely matched to your veneers as possible.
Will my veneered teeth be sensitive to hot and cold?
In the days after your veneers have been placed, there will likely be some sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages due to having a thin layer of enamel removed. This feeling should disappear within a few days at most. It's a good idea to stay away from overly hot or cold foods in the first few days to allow the veneers to settle.
How strong are veneers? Are there restrictions on what I can eat?
Porcelain veneers are quite strong. Nevertheless, porcelain is a glass and so the veneers may crack if very strong forces are applied to them. It is recommended that you don't chew ice, hard nuts, candy apples, popcorn or other hard foods. Natural teeth are often damaged by these same foods, and while porcelain veneers are very resilient, they aren’t indestructible.
If I grind my teeth at night, will this damage my porcelain veneers?
Yes, this will eventually damage your veneers, just like this habit will grind down natural teeth. Your dentist can provide you with a protective night guard to reduce the stress on your teeth while you sleep.