Dental veneers are completely new territory for many people. Some may have severe staining on the teeth that no whitening treatment will dare fix, and start to wonder about the possibility of opting for veneers – with lots of follow up questions.
It’s a big decision that shouldn’t be casually approached, and we wanted to save you from jumping from website to website to find all the answers. So – we’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions about veneers for you, and answered them in the list below!
Here’s the first and most obvious question – what, exactly, are dental veneers? What are they made of?
The veneers themselves are simply thin, tooth-coloured shells that your dentist will bond to the surface of your tooth, or teeth, depending on how many you decide on. These shells are made of a very durable porcelain material. They can also consist of composite bonding, which doesn’t always repel stains as well as the porcelain ones.
Great question! If you’re considering veneers, your first step should be a phone call to a prosthodontist. They’re going to perform a consultation, identify your concerns and problem areas, and then explain in detail what veneers will be able to do for you. In many cases, they’ll need more than just a quick look. In order to ensure the best results, you’ll most likely have impressions of your natural teeth taken, or X-rays, or both.
The process of getting dental veneers is done in a series of steps, and the next one will be the preparation of the tooth, or teeth – this may sound more intimidating than it actually is. Your prosthodontist will be preparing the tooth by removing a small amount of the tooth structure so the veneer can bond properly – this is a completely normal, painless process.
The temporary veneers will come first and then removed for the permanent ones to be bonded. After that, it’s just about upkeep and maintenance on your end!
How Long Will Veneers Last?
Unfortunately, there isn’t necessarily a straight answer to this question. Your mouth is unique, and no two veneer cases will be completely identical.
However, there is an average amount of time that they last for, this amount estimated to be between 5 and 10 years. If you neglect them or don’t take care of them properly once they’re bonded, this amount could be on the lower side of 5 to 10 years. If you’re careful and give them the best care possible, they can stretch far beyond their estimated life span – even as long as 20-25 years, if given a high standard of care.
While you can do things on your own time at home to ensure that your veneers aren’t deteriorating, giving them the best care possible will involve keeping up with your professional cleanings every six months and having frequent exams to ensure your dental health remains unaffected.
How Do I Give My Veneers the Proper Care?
Your veneers will require the same standard of care as your natural teeth do. This means that you have to stick to your regular schedule of brushing at least twice a day, for at least two minutes. Daily flossing is also highly recommended to maintain your veneers, much like it is highly recommended for your regular routine. With your veneers, not much has to change!
Proper care does extend beyond keeping them clean, however. Proper care means keeping them out of harm’s way – for this reason, you should avoid highly crunchy foods so as not to damage them. They’re durable, but they aren’t indestructible, and maintaining a habit of snacking on crunchy things may eventually wear them down, crack, or chip them.
If you have a habit of grinding your teeth, this could also spell out trouble for your veneers. The material is strong, but not strong enough to withstand constant pressure from your jaw – if you know you have a habit of grinding, particularly at night, it’s best to bring this up to your prosthodontist in the consultation so they can work around this. You may need to wear a guard for your veneers while you sleep to keep them in the best shape, and take steps towards breaking that habit while you’re awake.
Last but not least, don’t use your teeth as tools. Some people like to use their teeth to open up bottles or containers, and this can be incredibly damaging to the porcelain material. If you wouldn’t do it with your natural teeth, you definitely shouldn’t do it with your veneers!
How Do I Choose a Prosthodontist to Handle My Veneers?
This is an excellent, and important question! There are some things to watch out for when selecting your prosthodontist. After all, this is an important process for you, and you need to be able to trust that you’re in the best hands and care possible!
When weighing your options, the first thing you do should be conducting thorough research on the specialists in your area. Try to read as many reviews as you can, study and look at as many cases as you can, and try to get a good idea of how many successful cases they have contributed to. If the number is low and you can’t find much completed work, it may be time to expand your search. If you find a promising record of successful cases, then they may be the right specialist for you!
This research can expand into other areas aside from just their reviews and website. Check out their social media – specialists often use social media as a platform to further promote their successful cases. These can give you even more insight as to what you can expect if you choose to go with them. You can also ask your prosthodontists questions during your consultation – they will likely be happy to answer them for you, and provide clarification!
This is always a hard question to answer for any procedure, dental or not. Everyone tolerates pain or discomfort differently, and there’s no way to say for sure that everyone will physically react to all procedures in the same way. The resounding answer, however, would be mostly no – unless you count a little soreness after the fact. This soreness can be easily taken care of with over the counter painkillers, and won’t last more than a day or two, if that.
You’re going to be numb the entire time your veneers are being bonded, eliminating any pain or discomfort that could otherwise be caused. You won’t feel a thing!
What If One of My Veneers Falls Off?
If this were to happen it would certainly be both alarming and upsetting, but try not to panic. Make sure that if you do lose a veneer, you locate it and save it. After you’ve done so, you’ll simply contact your prosthodontist for an emergency appointment, and they will do their best to fit you in as soon as they can. From here, they will be able to reattach it for you.
The absolute last thing you’ll want to do is attempt to reattach it yourself – this will never end well, nor will it be the same as having it bonded back to the tooth by a professional. You must avoid the crazy glue or any other type of DIY repair at all costs!
What are the Best Reasons to Get Dental Veneers?
There are many different things that could make someone a great candidate for dental veneers. Some of the top reasons may consist of:
- Light to severe staining of the teeth. Veneers are a great fix for dark staining, as dark brown staining often doesn’t respond to whitening treatments, professional or otherwise
- Chipped teeth
- Those that want their dream smile – or, in other words, a perfect smile – there’s no shame in using them for cosmetic reasons!
Truthfully, there’s no one definite reason to get veneers. If you want to change your smile for the better, and don’t have any severe prior oral health issues, veneers are for anyone and everyone to enjoy!