Your dentist may recommend dental veneers to improve the appearance of discolored teeth. Different factors including lifestyle choice like smoking, diet options like coffee and wine, excessive fluoride intake, and childhood medications such as antibiotics can cause your teeth to stain or discolor, ruining your perfect smile. Veneers can be used to cover up these defects, giving you the perfect smile.
Other instances where veneers can be used include to:
- Repair chipped teeth or severely worn teeth due to grinding
- Alter the shape of teeth to produce an even smile
- Fill gaps between your teeth that make you uncomfortable
- Replace old restorations
- Improve tooth alignment
When to seek treatment
It’s only through a consultation that you can determine whether you’re a good candidate for dental veneers.
Some of the requirements for veneers include:
- Healthy teeth that are free of decay or active gum disease
- Sufficient tooth enamel to allow for tooth preparation, though no-prep or minimal preparation composite veneers can be used
- Not suffering from bruxism. Patients who grind their teeth or clench their jaws are not good candidates for veneers, because the excessive forces may cause the thin veneers to chip, peel, or break
- No bad habits, such as chewing on ice and other hard objects or biting your fingernails
If the dentist determines that you don’t have enough tooth left, perhaps due to excessive tooth wear or existing large restorations, and veneers are not suitable for your case, then a ceramic crown may be placed instead. Crowns or tooth caps wrap around the weakened tooth, protecting it while restoring its shape, size, and aesthetic. Veneers require less removal of tooth enamel compared to crowns, though the preparation process in both cases is not reversible.
Keep in mind that any type of dental work needs to be followed by good oral hygiene practices to get the most out of it. If you don’t take good care of your teeth and mouth, then your veneers or any other restoration will not last as long as it should, and neither will the underlying teeth.