Teeth Veneers Pros and Cons

Teeth Veneers Pros And Cons
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Dreaming of a bright, evenly beautiful smile? If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your natural tooth enamel due to stains, chips, gaps or misalignments, veneers may be the cosmetic solution for you.

In this guide, we’ll examine the complete pros and cons of veneer treatment to help you decide if it’s right for your goals. We’ll look at the durability and stain-resistant benefits as well as risks like tooth sensitivity and potential for accelerated wearing. We’ll break down the different types of veneers, typical costs, and maintenance requirements so you know what to expect.

What are Dental Veneers and What Kind of Issues Do They Solve?

Dental veneers are thin shells made of tooth-colored materials that are custom-made to permanently cover the front surface of teeth. They are an effective cosmetic solution for treating a variety of aesthetic tooth imperfections and smile concerns. Veneers can be used to correct teeth that are stained, discolored, chipped, cracked, irregularly shaped, slightly misaligned or with gaps between them.

By capping the entire front surface of each tooth with the veneer material, they provide a total smile makeover by creating a more ideal color, shape, size, and alignment. Veneers essentially give you a “new” outer tooth appearance to address multiple flaws at once. They can whiten and brighten, fill in gaps and spaces, smooth out chips and cracks, and even make slightly crooked teeth appear straighter.

Related post: Aligners Vs Veneers.

Types of Veneers

Now that we have a clear understanding of what veneers are and the dental issues they can effectively treat, let’s discuss the various types of veneers available.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are considered the premier and most durable type of veneer for transforming your smile. These thin shells are made from medical-grade ceramic material that is exceptionally stain-resistant and mimics the light-reflecting properties of natural tooth enamel better than composite resin.

Porcelain veneers start by having physical impressions taken of your teeth, which are then sent to a dental laboratory. Highly skilled technicians custom-fabricate the porcelain veneers to the exact shape, size, and shade specified for your smile makeover. At a subsequent appointment, your teeth are prepped by removing a thin layer of enamel, then the customized porcelain veneers are individually bonded to the front of each tooth.

While porcelain veneers have a higher price tag ranging from $800 to $2,500 or more per tooth, their superior stain resistance and potential to last 10-15 years make them a wise investment for many patients.

Composite Veneers

While porcelain veneers are the most popular and well-known type, composite resin veneers offer a more affordable veneer alternative. Composite veneers are made from a tooth-colored resin material that can be sculpted and bonded directly to the front of the teeth. Unlike porcelain which requires an outside dental lab, composite veneers are molded and hardened onto the teeth chairside during the office visit. This makes them a quicker, single-visit procedure compared to porcelain veneer placement.

Composite veneers typically cost $250 to $1,500 per tooth – significantly less than their porcelain counterparts. They can effectively improve the appearance of stains, chips, cracks, gaps and misaligned teeth much like porcelain veneers. However, composite veneers are not as durable long-term, lasting around 5-7 years before needing replacement compared to 10-15 years for porcelain. They are also more prone to staining and chipping over time.

See our article: Cheaper Option to Veneers.

Removable Veneers

For those wanting an affordable, non-invasive way to temporarily improve their smile, snap-on veneers offer a removable cosmetic solution. Unlike traditional veneers, snap-on veneers simply fit over your existing teeth with no enamel removal or permanent bonding required.

They are thin shells made of resin plastic and come in two styles – prefabricated and custom-made. Snap-on veneers can instantly brighten, whiten, and cover stains, chips, gaps, or misalignments to give you a more attractive smile appearance. One of their biggest benefits is that the process is fully reversible since your natural teeth remain untouched underneath. Snap-on veneers are also very affordable. However, they are made from resin rather than more durable porcelain, so snap-ons may feel slightly bulkier.

Teeth Veneers Pros and Cons

Now, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons associated with veneers:

PROs of Veneers

Noninvasive Compared to Other Treatment Types

One of the major advantages of veneers is that they provide a way to dramatically improve your smile’s appearance in a minimally invasive fashion compared to other treatment options. Procedures like crowns or dental implants require significant tooth structure removal or even extractions and oral surgery. Orthodontic treatment with traditional braces is very invasive to your mouth over an extended period of 1-3 years.

Veneers, on the other hand, only require removing a thin outer layer of enamel – about 0.5mm thickness. Not only are they non-invasive, but also require little preparation and can be completed quickly with minimal discomfort, offering great results with minimum time investment.

Natural Look

Another major advantage of veneers is their ability to create a beautiful yet natural-looking smile. When applied by an experienced cosmetic dentist, well-designed veneers should blend seamlessly over your natural teeth. High-quality porcelain veneers in particular can be made incredibly lifelike, mimicking the translucent appearance and light-reflecting properties of real tooth enamel.

Easy to Maintain

Not only do veneers offer an aesthetically pleasing look, but caring for them is essentially no different than caring for natural teeth. General brushing, flossing, and regular dental appointments to check that the veneer’s adhesive is still secure should be all that is necessary to keep them looking their best.

Quick Way to Improve Your Smile

Veneers are a quick and effective method to achieve a beautiful, natural-looking smile. They allow patients to instantly brighten their look, cover permanent stains or chips on the front of the teeth, or even change the length and shape of teeth that are no longer aesthetically pleasing.

See our article: Aligners Vs Veneers.

No Special Diet Required

One of the advantages of opting for dental veneers is that they don’t necessitate any special dietary restrictions once they are installed. Veneers are crafted to be both durable and resilient, enabling you to enjoy a wide range of foods without the constant worry of damaging your dental work.

However, it’s still wise to exercise caution when biting into very hard foods, as excessive force can potentially harm the veneers.

Long-lasting Effect

A key advantage of dental veneers is their ability to provide a long-lasting smile makeover solution. While the upfront cost of veneer treatment can be higher than other cosmetic options, the results are incredibly durable when properly cared for.

Traditional porcelain veneers in particular are highly resilient, with an expected lifespan of 10-15 years or even longer. Porcelain is strong, resistant to staining and wear, and can withstand the forces of biting and chewing extremely well over time. Even composite resin veneers provide 5-7 years of a rejuvenated smile on average. Compared to procedures like teeth whitening that provide temporary results or bonding that may last just a few years, veneers offer a true long-term investment.

Worth Knowing

A study published in Open Access Maced J Med Sci. comparing dental veneers’ survival rates based on preparation designs and materials found that porcelain veneers offer superior aesthetic results and long-term reliability. Composite veneers are a good option but have slightly less durability. This information aids in selecting the most suitable veneer material and preparation design for optimal treatment outcomes.

CONs of Veneers

Can Crack or Stain

While veneers are highly durable, they are not indestructible. One downside is that the veneers themselves can eventually become cracked, chipped or stained with excessive wear or lack of proper care. Porcelain veneers are extremely resilient, but they can still fracture if exposed to excessive biting forces from habits like nail-biting or chewing on hard objects. Teeth grinding can also gradually wear down and degrade porcelain veneers over many years.

Any cracks or defects that develop in the veneer material will be visible and detract from the appearance of your smile. While maintaining good oral hygiene helps, even stain-resistant porcelain veneers may start to look duller over time as they accumulate surface stains that can be difficult to remove.

Teeth Can be More Sensitive

One of the most common downsides patients experience after getting veneers is an increase in tooth sensitivity. This happens because in order to prepare the teeth for veneers, a thin layer of enamel has to be removed from the front surface.

Many veneer patients report feeling tooth sensitivity to temperature changes after the procedure that they didn’t experience before. The teeth may also feel slightly more sensitive to sweet or acidic foods and drinks. While symptoms usually subside over time as the teeth adjust, this increased tooth sensitivity can be quite bothersome and lasts for several months for some people.

Do Not Change Teeth Color

One of the notable drawbacks of dental veneers is their inability to change color once they are applied. Unlike natural teeth, which can be subjected to various whitening treatments to adjust their color over time, the color of veneers is set and does not change. This permanence means that as natural teeth might change shade due to factors such as aging, diet, or smoking, veneers will retain their original color, potentially leading to a mismatch between the veneered teeth and the rest of the dentition.

Only For Cosmetic Issues

One significant limitation of dental veneers is that they are primarily designed for addressing cosmetic issues rather than functional or structural dental problems. Veneers are thin shells placed over the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance, effectively masking imperfections such as discoloration, minor misalignment, chips, or gaps.

However, they do not strengthen the teeth or address more severe dental conditions like tooth decay, significant structural damage, or misalignment issues that require orthodontic treatment. This means that while veneers can significantly enhance the aesthetic appeal of one’s smile, they are not a solution for patients seeking to correct functional dental problems.

Are Dental Veneers a Good Idea?

Dental veneers can be an excellent choice for people seeking to enhance their smile with minor modifications, such as changes in tooth color or size. This aesthetic improvement can significantly boost an individual’s self-confidence, as veneers create the illusion of a perfect set of teeth.

However, veneers are not a panacea for all dental issues. They are specifically designed for cosmetic improvements and are not suitable for addressing more significant dental problems that affect the structure or health of the teeth. Conditions such as cavities or gum disease require appropriate dental treatments and cannot be corrected by veneers. Therefore, while veneers can provide considerable benefits in terms of cosmetic appearance, they should not be viewed as a substitute for essential dental care needed to maintain overall oral health.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Veneer Treatment Take?

Veneer treatment usually takes two appointments, the first involves an analysis of your teeth and impressions being taken, and the second the fitting. There may be a couple of weeks between appointments.

Do Veneers Hurt?

While veneers usually require some minor alteration of the surface of teeth during the application, proper care is taken to ensure minimal pain and discomfort.

Anesthetics are typically used to numb any areas which may require reshaping, and some people also opt for conscious sedation methods for added comfort.

Depending on the specifics of each procedure, visible results and full recovery can be expected within a short period after treatment with little or no lingering pain.

Can Veneers Be Removed?

Veneers are generally a permanent dental treatment option. That being said, should you wish to remove veneers, it is possible so long as the damage is not severe.

A dental professional can help determine if the veneer can be taken off and if so, how easy or difficult this process may be. This assessment is based on the overall health of your mouth and teeth as well as the type of bonding used when initially installing the veneer.

Can Cavities Occur with Veneers?

While veneers can protect teeth from becoming damaged, cavities may still occur in neighboring teeth. This is because the veneer doesn’t seal off the entire area, just a portion of it. Beyond this, plaque and bacteria can still build up in the area between the veneer and the natural tooth, resulting in cavities or other dental problems.

Sources

Alothman, Y., Bamasoud, M. S., The Success of Dental Veneers According To Preparation Design and Material Type, Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2018 Dec 20; DOI: 10.3889/oamjms.2018.353. Available online at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6311473/

Hepdeniz, O. K., Temel, U. B., Clinical survival of No-prep indirect composite laminate veneers: a 7-year prospective case series study, BMC Oral Health. 2023; DOI: 10.1186/s12903-023-02949-5. Available online at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10158390/

Meer Rownaq Ali, A. B., Conventional Versus Minimally Invasive Veneers: A Systematic Review, Cureus. 2023. DOI: 10.7759/cureus.44638. Available online at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10548404/

Burke, F. J. T., Lucarotti,  P. S. K., Ten-year outcome of porcelain laminate veneers placed within the general dental services in England and Wales; J Dent, 2009. DOI: 10.1016/j.jdent.2008.03.016. Available online at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18538912/

Iza Wojnarowski

Content contributor

Iza is a dedicated content contributor for Toothific. Having worn braces twice and currently using Invisalign to correct a mild overbite, Iza brings a unique perspective to her writing. She spends her time staying updated on the latest dental trends and treatments, ensuring her readers have the most current information for their dental care needs.

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