22 Feb Porcelain Veneers: What You Need to Know Before Getting Them
Are you considering getting porcelain veneers to improve your smile? While these dental restorations can undoubtedly give you a beautiful smile, they also have potential problems. My previous article covered the costs of porcelain veneers. In this article, I will discuss the common issues with porcelain veneers and what you should consider before getting them.
What are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are thin porcelain shells glued to the front of your teeth. They can be used to improve the appearance of teeth that are discoloured, chipped, or misshapen. Veneers are custom-made for each patient and are designed to look natural and match the colour of your other teeth.
Potential Problems with Porcelain Veneers
One of the most common problems with porcelain veneers is sensitivity. After placing the veneers, you may experience increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. This sensitivity can be caused by removing a small amount of tooth enamel during the preparation for the veneers. This problem is virtually eliminated if the teeth are straightened beforehand.
Porcelain veneers can also increase your risk of tooth decay. The bond between the veneer and the tooth is strong but not invincible. If bacteria get between the veneer and the tooth, it can cause decay. This problem is virtually eliminated if the teeth are straightened beforehand. It would be best to visit your dentist/dental therapist every year.
Chipping and Cracking
Porcelain veneers are durable, but they can still chip or crack. This can happen if you bite down on something hard or grind your teeth. If a veneer chips or cracks, it will need to be replaced. This risk is reduced by:
- Wearing a hard bite guard at night.
- Being careful about biting into hard things and cutlery.
- Ensuring your teeth are straight before the veneers are placed.
Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant but can still become discoloured over 15-25 years. This can happen if you consume foods or drinks that stain, such as coffee or red wine. If this happens, the veneers may need to be replaced.
What You Should Consider Before Getting Porcelain Veneers
Before getting porcelain veneers, there are a few things you should consider:
Porcelain veneers are more expensive (£1000-£2500) than composite bonding (link to the article on composite bonding costs), because they are much more durable and far more stain resistant. This is because they are custom-made in a dental laboratory using porcelain instead of composite.
Getting porcelain veneers is a multi-step process that requires the preparation of your teeth and multiple appointments with your dentist. Therefore, you should be prepared for the time and effort involved in the process.
The Long-Term Maintenance
Porcelain veneers are not a permanent solution and will need to be replaced at some point. However, they are likely to last a minimum of 3 times as long as composite bonding and require much less maintenance. Therefore, you should be prepared for the long-term care and cost of replacing them.
As a specialist dentist, I have seen many patients who have had porcelain veneers. One patient, in particular, stands out to me. She came to me after experiencing sensitivity and pain with her veneers. After examining her, I found that the veneers had been placed improperly in Turkey and were causing her pain. As a result, we had to remove the veneers and start over, which was time-consuming and expensive for the patient.
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Porcelain veneers can give you a beautiful smile but also have potential problems. Before getting veneers, it’s essential to consider the cost, the procedure, and the long-term maintenance. If you decide to get veneers, maintain good oral hygiene and visit your dental hygienist/therapist every 4-6 months to prevent decay and other issues.
Frequently asked questions about porcelain veneer problems:
1. Are porcelain veneers permanent?
No, porcelain veneers are not permanent. They typically last between 10 and 15 years, after which they need to be replaced.
2. Can I still eat and drink normally with porcelain veneers?
Yes, you can eat and drink normally with porcelain veneers. However, avoiding biting down on hard objects or using your teeth as tools is essential, as this can cause the veneers to chip or crack.
3. Will getting porcelain veneers hurt?
Getting porcelain veneers typically involves removing a small amount of tooth enamel, which can cause discomfort. However, your dentist will use local anaesthesia to numb the area and make the process as painless as possible. This discomfort is reduced/eliminated if the teeth are straightened beforehand.
4. How do I care for my porcelain veneers?
It would be best if you cared for your porcelain veneers the way you care for your natural teeth – by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. You should also avoid using your teeth as tools and avoid biting down on hard objects.
5. Can I get porcelain veneers if I have gum disease?
If you have gum disease, it’s essential to treat it before getting porcelain veneers. Gum disease can cause the gums to recede, exposing the edges of the veneers and making them look unnatural. Your dentist will evaluate your oral health before recommending veneers.