If you’re feeling self-conscious about your smile and tooth structure dental veneers may be one of the first solutions that come to mind. They’re common in individuals with sensitive teeth, worn enamel, or tooth stains. However, they do not treat tooth pain.
Everyone from Hollywood stars like Miley Cyrus, to beauty bloggers are getting veneers. While porcelain veneers are the most common type, resin and other materials can be used as well.
However, not all of your teeth need veneers in order to combat dental pain and achieve a winning smile. The best solution for you will depend on the condition of your teeth.
It’s most common for front teeth to need veneers, so if you’re looking to protect and upgrade your smile, start by asking your dentist about your ‘social six’ top and bottom front teeth. These are the ones that everyone will notice when you smile, so their appearance may matter most to you!
How Veneers Work
Dental veneers are thin covers that help reinforce your teeth and protect them from further wear and tear. Tooth-colored veneers are specially suited to your individual smile. Tooth enamel is tough and can often last decades with proper care and regular dental visits for cleanings and dental exams. However, sometimes that enamel becomes worn down, especially if acidic foods or other damaging agents that frequently come into contact with your teeth.
While it is certainly good to maintain regular brushing and flossing, sometimes that isn’t enough to achieve the smile you want. Other factors like tooth infections, gum infections, and cracks can cause tooth decay that leaves your teeth damaged.
Dental veneers must be custom fitted by a dentist and require proper tooth preparation. While some other whitening methods are temporary, veneers are an irreversible cosmetic dental solution.
First, your dentist will carefully examine your teeth to determine the extent of the damage before removing 0.3-0.7 mm of enamel from the tooth surface. Your dentist will then take an impression of your teeth so they can be fabricated at a dental lab.
Not all of your teeth will need veneers. Teeth that are healthy, well-shaped, and not very worn-down won’t benefit much from veneers, but you and your dentist can determine exactly how many of your teeth need veneers to improve your smile.
Which Teeth Usually Need Veneers
Front teeth, especially top teeth, commonly receive veneers. Your teeth farther back, such as your wisdom teeth, will likely not need veneers. This is done partly for cosmetic reasons, as your front teeth are most visible to others. Chips, cracks, and stains that are visible can easily be masked by a row of veneers.
To help make the veneers look more natural, it’s common for six or more veneers to be placed across your front teeth. You can also use this opportunity to get veneers that improve the overall shape of your smile.
Sometimes veneers are placed for more than just cosmetic reasons. Since they act as a shield, veneers can help with temperature sensitivity. This is especially effective on teeth where the enamel has become worn due to physical damage or chemical wear from acidic foods and drinks.
Veneers are the most effective whitening option for purely cosmetic options. Home remedies and in-office whitening options only offer temporary relief. Veneers are a porcelain or ceramic white shell that make your teeth appear brighter and healthier.
Veneers cost much less than teeth whitening in the long run. Since they are a permanent solution you will not have to pay for repeat visits in order to re-whiten your teeth.
How Soon Do I Need Them?
If you’ve noticed damage or discomfort in one or more of your teeth, chances are that there are a few other teeth that are dealing with long-term damage as well.
Your dentist may advise you to hold off on getting veneers if the damage isn’t that bad, or if an oral piercing or other factors may cause damage to the veneers. However, the only way to find out is to ask a dentist with significant experience in dental veneers. A professional will know how to protect your teeth for the next several decades and save them from more invasive procedures in the future.
For more information, contact Owens, Cosmetic and Family Dentistry at (248)-671-4545 to discuss your smile makeover options.