Porcelain Veneers – Frequently Asked Questions
Do veneers stain?
Fortunately they do not as the ceramic surface is extremely smooth like glass. It is important to not use extremely abrasive tooth pastes such as a smoker’s paste as they can remove the shiny finish of the veneer over time. Any of the popular brands such as Crest or Colgate are totally fine.
The alternative to veneers is dental bonding. Because it is a plastic material, over time it can pick up stain depending on your diet. Smoking, coffee, tea, and red wine are a few of the foods which can accelerate staining of dental bonding.
Can Decay Happen After Veneers?
The bad news is yes it can happen as there is natural tooth structure present which can decay but the GOOD news is it rarely happens for a variety of reasons. I have found that patients feel so happy with their new smile that they take excellent care of it. The veneers are bonded to the tooth with a laser which creates an excellent seal between the tooth and veneers. Dental veneers are rarely placed under the gum like crowns which make them easier to clean and less likely to develop recurrent decay. With regular dental checkups, if any decay is beginning (again very rare) and detected early, it usually can be repaired with composite resin with the result indictable cosmetically.
Does Insurance Cover Veneers?
If the teeth have existing restorations or have had a root canal then we can usually obtain coverage up to your maximum available per year. If the tooth are being veneered because they are discolored, worn, and misaligned, with spaces or too small, in most cases the veneers will not be a covered benefit. We always try to get coverage in all cases, but these general guidelines hold for most major dental insurance carriers.
Are Veneers Recommended for Crooked Teeth?
In our Smile Gallery, you will see examples of where veneers transformed a smile with crooked teeth. With teeth out of alignment, orthodontics is always an excellent option. Some patients do not want to wait for the two plus years orthodontics may require. Or in some cases they have had orthodontics and there has been relapse. The only downside of veneers with crooked teeth is that they will require preparation and thus loss of some tooth structure. Beyond that, you can have the smile of your dreams in about three weeks and not have to worry about relapse or retainers.
Is it Normal for Veneers to not Feel Secure?
Dental veneers are bonded to the tooth structure with a laser and this process is extremely strong and predictable. In doing veneers since the late 1980’s, I have seen very few ever come off. Certainly debonds have been less than 1%. There are no eating restrictions with the veneers. You can enjoy apples and corn on the cob with confidence.
Can I Have Veneers With no Tooth Preparation (Lumineers)?
If we can provide an excellent result with no tooth preparation we always go that route. Unfortunately, only about 20% of cases can be done without tooth preparation and provide a fabulous result. When teeth are discolored, misaligned, have old restorations or are in a poor bite, preparation is required to provide the best result. We are as conservative as we can be in preparing teeth to keep as much tooth as possible while still delivering the smile you want. Many cases are combinations where part of the teeth are minimally prepared and others are left untouched.
Is it Better to get Crowns rather Than Veneers?
In our office this is more a case of semantics. We use the same high quality porcelain for both veneers and crowns. We try to conserve as much tooth structure as possible with any cosmetic restoration as they are all bonded with a laser to the remaining tooth structure. The condition of the tooth dictates whether it is a veneer, crown, or something in between.
Can Tetracycline Stained Teeth Have Veneers?
Absolutely. Visit our smile gallery to see examples. Bleaching is very difficult with tetracycline stained teeth because the color is internal with the tooth. Teeth whitening works best with surface stains and discoloration. Some conservative preparation is usually required to create adequate thickness of the veneer to prevent the dark tooth showing through.
Can Veneers Make my Teeth Look Larger?
Yes we can make teeth look larger in two ways. If you visit the smile gallery, you can see examples of the gum lift which can uncover additional tooth where teeth are too short and excess gum shows when you smile. This is done with a diode laser and heals very quickly. In addition, veneers can be placed to lengthen teeth if the bite permits or to close spaces to make them look wider, or both depending on the appropriate tooth size to be in harmony with your lips and face.