While veneers have a reputation as being a high-maintenance cosmetic procedure, veneers can actually be an extremely useful and valuable dental service. There are several common teeth problems that veneers can be used to correct. Although veneers may not be the first line of defense against dental issues, many people have found them to be extremely valuable additions to their smiles.
What Are Veneers?
Veneers are similar to dental implants in that they are placed in the mouth to improve your smile’s appearance or function. They differ from implants, however, in size and scope.
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite resin. These resin or porcelain veneers are then placed over the tooth enamel to correct any perceived flaws and restore functionality to chipped teeth or teeth that are in some way too small, misshapen, or damaged.
Typically, when discussing dental veneers, there are two distinctions made between veneer types: cosmetic and corrective.
Cosmetic dental veneers are dental veneers used to correct cosmetic issues. A cosmetic dentist might bond veneers to teeth to reduce the appearance of crooked teeth, discolored teeth, or even teeth that are too small or distantly spaced.
Corrective veneers are used to essentially “shore up” natural teeth experiencing dental issues. These veneers may be used when your teeth have become worn or cracked from grinding your teeth or when your teeth have sustained damage to the enamel as a result of untreated tooth decay. Corrective veneers may strengthen teeth that have become in some way compromised.
The Teeth Problems Veneers Correct
Veneers can fix a host of issues with the teeth, ranging from the simple (teeth whitening) to the more complex (strengthening the surface of teeth). Despite their reputation, veneers are capable of making structural and aesthetic improvements to teeth.
What are the most common teeth problems veneers are used to correct?
Wear and Tear
Wear and tear happens for a number of reasons but is most commonly a result of inadequate oral hygiene, teeth grinding, and weak enamel. Veneers can act as a strengthening agent, fortifying natural teeth to prevent additional dental problems related to worn or damaged teeth.
Although teeth whitening is typically the preferred route for discoloration in teeth, some cases necessitate a more involved and dramatic approach. Teeth that are dark or discolored due to disease, genetics, and prolonged smoking may not respond to standard teeth whitening treatments. Veneers may be used to create an even, white grin for individuals with stubborn staining or gray or brown discoloration.
Although there is nothing clinically problematic about gapped teeth or teeth with large spaces between them, many people are dissatisfied with the appearance of large spaces between teeth. Veneers can be used to “bridge the gap” between teeth to improve the appearance of teeth and create a more even, uniform smile.
Teeth may be unevenly shaped as a result of numerous issues. Genetic factors, tooth damage and decay, and even illness can lead to misshapen teeth. Teeth can be shaved down, reshaped, and covered with veneers to reduce the appearance of misshapen teeth and create an even grin.
Breaks and Chips
Teeth can break and chip in response to dental trauma, such as a sports injury, unhealthy eating practices, such as chewing ice, and even biting down too forcefully into an apple. In some cases, chips and breaks may be fixed with a crown or a drill and composite, but in others, veneers are the ideal treatment option. Veneers can help fortify common teeth problems while having a dramatic impact on the appearance of teeth.
Veneers are usually made up of one of two materials. Porcelain veneers are usually seen as the more luxurious of the two, while composite resin is typically used for its affordability and durability. A review of each will more thoroughly reveal what type of veneer is ideal for your individual needs, including whether or not you are interested in undergoing enamel removal.
Porcelain veneers are considered extremely strong and durable. They offer a bright sheen, making them ideal for cosmetic dentistry, and they can last for 10-20 years without issue. In addition to their appearance, porcelain veneers are acclaimed for their strength. Many people and dental professionals prefer porcelain veneers over other veneer materials.
Resin veneers are strong and durable, as well, but may break down more quickly than their porcelain counterparts. Resin veneers are easier to replace and repair and do not require as much intervention prior to application. The price and ease of composite resin veneers make them an attractive option for people who are looking for more affordable veneers, or for those who are concerned about the ease of veneer repair or replacement.
Are Veneers Right for You?
While veneers have a reputation of being a purely cosmetic procedure, they can actually be helpful in supporting oral health and encouraging a strong jaw and oral hygiene habits. Veneers can last for 10-15 years before they need to be replaced, provided that no gum disease is present and untreated or that effective hygiene practices are in place. Veneers may be an easy and affordable option for someone in search of a smile makeover without removing teeth, using traditional braces, or undergoing whitening treatments.