Are veneers good for you?
The first thing that you have to realize is that DENTISTRY IS A SERVICE, NOT A PRODUCT. If you are looking for an iPad, for example, it’s good to look at all different stores for the lowest price because in the end, that product was made by just one company. With customized services, on the other hand, your experience can be awesome or a nightmare depending on the person(s) you chose to provide the service. Invest in someone that knows what they are doing.
So back to the burning question: Are veneers good for you? Well, that really depends on the risk versus reward proposition.
So what are the risks?
Simply put, your teeth in general is living tissue. When you cement something fake onto that living tissue, you can irritate or kill it. The great thing about this tissue is that there are layers to it. The outside layer is pretty much like super dense bone. It is called enamel. It has no nerve endings, so if something was cemented here, there would be no irritation at all. However, if the second layer of the tooth (called dentin) were to be exposed, then this irritation can exist. Most of the time, the irritation is reversible, but a small (less than 2%) percentage of the the time, the tooth can be pushed over the edge and die. If this worst case scenario happens, you wont lose your tooth or affect the veneer in any way, you just need to remove the dying tissue within the tooth. Once that is done, it will be like nothing happened at all.
The other risk you take is if the veneers change your bite somehow by hitting first when you close your teeth. This might lead to jaw pain, a broken veneer, or just a bruised up tooth. In general, when a veneer or a set of veneers is placed, the bite should feel normal. You should not really notice a difference when you eat or bite down. You should almost never have to get “used” to your bite. If that is the case, then something needs to be adjusted.
The biggest risk that you may have is that the look of the veneers may not be pleasing to you. It can be bulky, have the wrong shape, the wrong color, or have a wrong alignment.
What are the rewards?
In our case, the reward is a great smile. If you don’t smile because you are self conscious of how your teeth look, that alone can affect the quality of your life. Psychologically, a great smile communicates confidence, professionalism, openness, flexibility, intelligence, personal happiness. All of these traits can open doors in your life you never realized. If any of these is an issue for you, then a set of nice, straight, white teeth can make you smile more might be worth the risks.
So can the risks be mitigated?
Yes! Most dentists are just too busy or really hate doing lab work themselves. This is why they depend on dental labs to design and make veneers. As far as design goes, this should be the responsibility of the dentist. The dentist should have a roadmap before he/she starts. Before any veneers are done, a physical 3D design should be already made (sometimes this is called a mockup or a prototype). By far, this is the most important step. Why? Think about it this way, if you have a map, getting from point A to point B is very simple. If you don’t, then you have to start guessing. The problem is that when you guess in dentistry, it can be very detrimental because teeth are so small to begin with. A roadmap with show you where exactly to remove tooth structure and where no removal is needed. When too much tooth structure is reduced, there is an increased chance that the tooth can get more sensitive. Taking too much structure off is irreversible, what you can be left with are thin little nubs. So what happens when not enough tooth structure is removed? You get really ugly looking veneers. You know, the ones that look like big Chiclets.
Can veneers break?
Everything can break, even your own teeth. In the last few years, the materials available for veneers have gotten much much stronger. Breaking is no longer seen often as long as a good material was used. In today’s dentistry, materials known as E.max and Zirconia are strongest. Make sure your veneers will be made from this material.
So, are veneers good?
If you like the general shape of your teeth, and it either needs to be straightened or whitened for a great smile, then veneers are bad for you. If your teeth are really broken down and you have tried whitening and braces (or you just don’t have the patience for it), then veneers are good for you as long as they are properly planned.
Learn more here!