Dental veneers are widely considered the best cosmetic means of achieving flawless teeth. That’s because dental veneers cover up all the cosmetic flaws in your teeth, including the gaps between the teeth, crooked teeth, stained teeth, discolored teeth, chipped teeth, etc. The porcelain veneers are attached to the front face of your teeth, transforming their external appearance. Dental veneers don’t treat the underlying issues, but they cover up the cosmetic concerns. As such, it looks like you have flawless teeth—perfectly-shaped, proportional, and symmetrical.
Patients often wonder what happens to their actual teeth when they get veneers. This article answers that question—we discuss what happens to the teeth underneath the veneers in the short- and long-term.
Your teeth have to be prepared to receive traditional dental veneers.
Traditional porcelain veneers can only be attached after preparing your existing teeth. That means the dentist must shave off approximately 0.2mm to 0.5mm of the enamel from your teeth to accommodate the veneers. Depending on the type of veneers and your existing dental condition, you can expect to lose 3% to 30% of the natural enamel.
After trimming down the enamel, the dentist takes impressions of your teeth to prepare the final veneers. You’ll have to wait for approximately one to two weeks for the dental veneers. Once they’re prepared, they’re bonded to the front face of your teeth. Trimming the enamel is necessary because your teeth would otherwise look bulky and unnatural.
Lumineers don’t involve any preparation.
Lumineers are a special variation of traditional dental veneers made of carinate porcelain. Lumineers are truly unique because they’re approximately 0.2mm thick, making them incredibly thin and discrete. As such, they can be bonded over your existing teeth without additional modification. The dentist doesn’t need to file down your existing enamel to attach the Lumineers.
The Lumineers procedure is also reversible—the Lumineers can later be removed to restore your original teeth. However, Lumineers are only suitable for some cosmetic concerns—they’re not as good as traditional veneers at covering misalignment issues or severe discoloration. Your dentist will carefully examine your teeth to determine if you’re a viable candidate for Lumineers.
You can still get cavities after dental veneers.
Patients often assume that their underlying teeth are completely safe from dental decay and cavities after dental veneers. But that’s not true. Dental veneers are entirely cosmetic — they don’t affect your ability to get cavities. You can still suffer from bacterial decay and cavities from the sides, back, and sometimes even the front of your teeth.
Dental veneers generally have a lifespan of around 10 years, following which they loosen or wear off, necessitating replacement. However, your dental veneers may need to be replaced sooner if you have gum disease or dental cavities. As such, you must maintain optimal oral health and go for regular dental cleanings to protect your veneers and increase their longevity. Schedule a consultation today!