Many people looking for a total smile makeover select veneers as their cosmetic treatment of choice. In fact, veneers are the second most commonly performed cosmetic procedure, just barely behind teeth whitening. Veneers are thin tooth-shaped shells that are cemented onto the front side of visible teeth. They can be fabricated from composite resin or porcelain, although porcelain tends to be more popular since it lasts longer and is more durable.
Veneers offer many benefits, which is why they are so popular among people looking to improve the look of their smiles. Some of these benefits include: repairing broken teeth, eliminating gaps between the teeth, correcting oddly shaped or unevenly sized teeth, and improving the color and/or alignment of the teeth. Veneers are also versatile, meaning that they can be used on a single tooth or an entire smile, as well as everything in between.
Despite their many benefits, one common concern people often have about veneers is whether or not veneers will ruin their teeth. This concern stems from the procedure used to place veneers. In order to place veneers in such a way that they appear natural and don’t affect the bite, a thin layer of enamel must be removed. The amount of enamel removed depends on the thickness of the veneer. Generally speaking, porcelain requires more enamel removal than composite. In some cases, your dentist may recommend low-prep or no-prep veneers. These are ultra-thin veneers that require little to no enamel modification.
Since a thin layer of enamel must be removed in order to properly place veneers, many people are worried that this ruins their teeth in the long term. But the truth is that the amount of enamel removed is so miniscule that it doesn’t ruin the teeth. In fact, your enamel naturally wears down over time and people with worn enamel may be ideal candidates for veneers. In some cases, veneers can alleviate tooth sensitivity in people with excessively worn enamel since they act as a shield over the front of the tooth.
With that being said, veneers are considered to be an irreversible cosmetic dental treatment. This is because once the enamel is removed, or worn away, it cannot grow back. Therefore, having your teeth prepared for veneer placement will permanently alter their structure. As a result, this means that you will need to continue wearing veneers in the future. In some cases, your dentist may recommend low-prep or no-prep veneers. These are ultra-thin veneers that require little to no enamel modification.
The average lifespan of your veneers will depend on the material that they are made out of. Most cosmetic dentists recommend using porcelain because it lasts longer, is stronger, and is resistant to stains, unlike composite resin. On average composite veneers only last about 5-7 years if properly cared for, while porcelain veneers can last 10-15 years. Once your veneers wear out, you will need to have them replaced or consider having a dental crown placed.
Finally, it is highly important to choose the right cosmetic dentist to place your veneers. While veneers don’t ruin teeth, not placing them correctly can. To prevent this from happening and to obtain the best results, be sure to find a cosmetic dentist that has experience placing veneers successfully. With veneers, having the right cosmetic dentist is key to obtaining the smile of your dreams.
Dr. Sadati possesses extensive experience in all aspects of advanced restorative dentistry, with an emphasis in cosmetic and implant dentistry. He has attained Accredited Fellow status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the most rigorous, demanding credentialing process in the world. He is the only AACD Accredited Fellow in South Florida.