We all would love a celebrity smile with perfectly straight, bright white teeth. A perfect smile is attractive, shows a high level of self-esteem, and presents that a person cares about their smile and oral health. Many celebrity smiles are created using dental veneers since they can create a dramatic change if there is a size or color discrepancy. While dental veneers are a wonderful option for a smile makeover, there are limitations and disadvantages that can occur if your dentist is not experienced and qualified.
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A veneer is a non-invasive process where a thin, customized shell is bonded to your tooth to help improve the appearance and aesthetics. There are several things that can go wrong if they are not done properly or if other dental conditions are not considered during the treatment planning process. These are a few complications that can arise with dental veneers and how your dentist can address them.
If you have poor oral hygiene, teeth decay, or gum disease, dental veneers may not be the best option for you. Veneers are not a cure for bad oral care. They are susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay just like your natural tooth. It is not recommended to get them if you have current oral health conditions because they are expensive and an investment into your oral health. Veneers placed on teeth that have decay can cause advanced gum disease leaving you with more long-term dental problems.
Poor oral health does not mean you cannot ever receive dental veneers. If you improve your hygiene, get tooth decay treated, and if your gum health is improving, your dentist can then recommend them to improve your smile.
Just like any dental prosthetics, dental veneer materials can impact their appearance and longevity. You should discuss the dental lab with your cosmetic dentist to ensure they use the highest quality materials like porcelain and ceramic. A poorly made veneer can look too bulky, too opaque, and will not be able to withstand the forces of chewing and biting into food. Lower quality veneers will easily fracture and chip leaving you with expensive bills to repair or redo them. This is why it is best to use the most advanced dental laboratories who put a focus on quality materials and fabrication.
A dentist with little experience in veneers may be unaware of how to properly plan and design them. This can leave you with veneers that are not harmonious with your natural teeth. It may also cause gumline asymmetry, which is when the gum heights of teeth and veneers are at different levels leaving you with a smile that is not as cosmetically appealing.
It takes training and time to develop good habits in placing veneers. Many dentists claim they can place “no prep” veneers meaning there is little to no enamel removed. While this is a great option in theory, it often leads to veneers that are not flush with your existing tooth and leaves a gap between the tooth and veneer. This gap is susceptible to food and bacteria entering and can cause bleeding and bone loss around that tooth margin.
Choose an experienced dentist who takes the time to discuss the treatment plan and performs a wax-up so you can visualize what the final outcome will look like. Many cosmetic dentists or prosthodontists will now use digital technology to help you see how your porcelain veneer will look once fabricated.
Bonding is one of the most important steps when getting veneers. If it is not bonded correctly, your tooth can change colors and will not match your adjacent teeth or veneers. This is because bacteria can leak underneath and cause discoloration and gum disease. Your dentist must properly etch the porcelain veneer to create a stable bond between your tooth and veneer. The main way to correct this issue is to remove the veneer and replace it.
Dental veneers are designed to improve your smile, but if you have any conditions like grinding or a severe malocclusion, your dentist should address this before applying them. A veneer may appear to look beautiful, but if your bite is off, it can cause excessive stress on the veneer, leaving it chipped or fractured.
To successfully design custom veneers, your cosmetic dentist should ensure your teeth and gums are healthy and that your teeth are in the correct position. Crowding or a malocclusion can cause them to look “off” and cause a chip in the veneer. You may be a candidate for veneers after a short orthodontic treatment like Invisalign to guarantee optimal, long-term results.
If you grind your teeth and a veneer is placed, it may cause you to chip or fracture the porcelain. Instead, your dentist should evaluate your bite and if you clench your teeth, you may be eligible for a nightguard to prevent damage.