If a patient just has discolored teeth, he or she may opt for cosmetic whitening. But if someone has tooth discoloration, chips, gaps, and other deviations, veneers may be a better option.
There are two major types of veneers: porcelain and resin. Both types can give you spectacular results if you want to fix imperfections. Porcelain tends to last longer, but resin ones tend to be more cost effective.
Here are some answers to concerns you may have:
Can anyone get veneers?
There are no age restrictions, and there aren't many contraindications either. But if you have poor oral health (cavities, gum disease, etc.), it's important to take care of those issues first before proceeding with veneers.
Some people think that they can cover major issues — like large gaps of missing teeth. However, veneers need natural teeth to adhere to, so you may be better off looking at implants or orthodontics if you have major issues. A dentist like Aaron G Birch, DDS PC can direct you on the right path.
How much enamel must be removed to place veneers?
Since veneers are placed over your existing teeth, it's necessary to shave a little enamel so the veneers aren't bulky. Many patients are concerned that this action will damage the integrity of their teeth. The good news is that less than a millimeter of enamel is shaved off. In fact, so little enamel is removed that you will not require local numbing.
If your enamel is already thin, you may not want even a little shaved off. Thankfully, you can resort to a special kind of veneer shell that is extremely thin. The only downside is that these thinner veneers may not mask teeth that are extremely discolored.
How long will the veneers last?
The answer to this question depends on so many factors. For instance, resin veneers may last as little as four years, while high-quality porcelain could last as long as twenty. Eight to fifteen years seems to be the median range between both types.
Your veneers will last long with good care. This means you need to stay on top of brushing and flossing. Besides good hygiene, your veneers will last longer with the right foods. Drinks like coffee, tea, and fruit juice can cause staining.
You should not use your front teeth to bite down into ice, hard candy, or chicken bones. If you have any bad habits, like biting your nails, this can also damage the veneers. These hard foods not only damage porcelain or resin, they can loosen the adhesive and pop the prosthetic off your tooth!
For more information about veneers, contact a dentist in your local area.