Dental Patient with Dental Veneers

Addressing Cosmetic Concerns with Veneers and Determining if They’re Right For You

What are veneers? If you want to change the appearance of your teeth dramatically, veneers are often the best option. Veneers are placed over your existing teeth to change their shape and color, frequently to improve appearance and function following decay or damage.

Sometimes, though, they’re purely cosmetic!

Often made from porcelain, veneers are affixed to your existing teeth after your teeth have been shaped. Veneers are a great way to restore form and function to your teeth, but that doesn’t mean they’re always going to be the right option for your situation.

Let’s take a closer look at all the amazing benefits veneers have to offer, the situations they’re perfect for, and alternatives you might want to consider for those times when they’re not the ideal solution.

How Veneers Help You

Veneers are almost unmatched in radically altering your tooth’s appearance. A veneer basically replaces the front of your teeth with a beautiful, perfect-looking surface, providing a wealth of benefits for your smile:

Whiten Your Smile

While most methods of teeth whitening can only lift teeth colour by a few shades, dental veneers can completely change the colour of teeth. If you have darker teeth and want brilliant white enamel, a dental veneer may be the solution if other methods can’t get you the results you want.

Fix Cosmetic Issues

Veneers present a great opportunity to address cosmetic issues for your teeth, altering how they look with a carefully-fitted and placed new surface. Chipped or damaged teeth can be addressed with veneers, as can minor misalignments. They can’t solve all cosmetic or general dentistry issues, though!

Replace Damaged Enamel

Damaged enamel can lead to extreme tooth sensitivity. The loss of enamel can be addressed with a veneer; the porcelain of the veneer acts as a replacement for your tooth’s enamel, providing some measure of protection.

Drawbacks and Disadvantages

As we mentioned earlier, veneers aren’t always the best option for many patients. In some cases, other treatments might be a better solution to get the best results.

For instance, veneers are permanent—mostly. They’re attached to the front of your teeth, which will have been gently shaped to accommodate the veneer, removing a layer of enamel and some dental material. Still, even with the careful placement process, it’s possible for veneers to be knocked or pried off.

What’s more, veneers don’t directly address dental health issues; if you tooth decay below a veneer and it isn’t dealt with, the veneer will simply cover up health concerns. Thankfully, your dentist will help you determine the best course of treatment to address decay and other concerns before they make any recommendations about veneers.

Costly Cosmetic Solution

Veneers can be expensive, though the exact cost largely depends on how significant the veneer work will be. Veneers are often a completely cosmetic procedure, and depending on the materials used and the extent of the work, it could add up quickly. Teeth whitening will usually be cheaper, if the major concerns are colour.

Tooth Sensitivity

Since veneers do require that some enamel be removed, it’s possible for teeth to be sensitive after the veneers have been placed. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it is a complication that can occur—and it’s why people with healthy teeth may not want to invest in the veneer process.

Some special types of veneer do not damage your teeth, but likewise they can’t produce as dramatic results. If you do experience tooth sensitivity due to veneers, there may be limited options.

Alternative Options

There are plenty of other options for addressing dental concerns.

For whitening your teeth, there are professional teeth whitening services such as Zoom or laser whitening. It’s often not necessary to get a veneer unless you want to lighten your teeth by many shades or you want to actively change the shape of your teeth. As veneer technology becomes more advanced, though, it also becomes less likely to have harmful side effects.

If there are only a few teeth or only a single tooth that you need modified, you can also consider extracting the tooth and replacing it with an implant. While implants can be expensive, it reduces the chances of future sensitivity. A single tooth or a few teeth can be matched to your existing teeth, eliminating the need for veneers for the purpose of uniformity.

Veneers are one of the most effective ways of changing the look of your smile, but they aren’t the only option. If you’re unhappy with the size or shape of your teeth, your first step should be to consult with a professional and explore your options. Whatever results you want, there is a solution for you. Contact the experts at Affinity Dental to schedule your consultation.