Veneers can help improve the size, shape, and color of the teeth. They are thin layers of porcelain that bond to the outer edges of the teeth. Because they rely on the underlying strength of the tooth structure, veneers are not the right solution for all patients.
Veneers are not always the solution.
When a patient seeks out help for worn teeth, far too often the decision is to simply use veneers to lengthen the teeth back out. The problem with simply adding veneers onto the teeth is that it is important to find out why the teeth were shortened in the first place. Simply lengthening the teeth back to where they were may only treat the effect because it does not solve the underlying cause of why the teeth wore down in the first place. This sets the patient up to potentially wear down or break their veneers, just as they did with the teeth the first time. Often it is necessary to reposition the teeth or deal with another problem the patient may be having, such as grinding their teeth at night. If they have veneers placed, they may want to use a night guard to protect the teeth from damage as a result of grinding.
Addressing the Underlying Problem.
Before deciding to use veneers, we carefully examine the underlying problem. We determine whether the problem is skeletal, just the teeth, or the bone that supports the teeth itself in order to truly solve the problem. We also provide you with the options that are available because veneers are a big investment and they are not really reversible. So if the patient has problems with them, they just have to keep replacing them. We make sure that the patient’s gums are in the proper place and that they are not showing too much gums when they smile because their teeth have worn, erupted down and brought the gums with them. We also ensure that the gums are even to assist with a beautiful smile because putting veneers on them does not solve that problem if the gums are not addressed.
If the front teeth are tilted back and in, that is an abnormal relationship that leads to wear and if veneers are put on those type of teeth, the same wear will happen over again only now they will have to pay for the veneers over and over again.
Far too many times veneers are the answer that is given because the patient requests them or the dentist does not properly assess the entire situation. For example, sometimes veneers are put on when the answer really needed to be repositioning of the teeth prior to restoration. If the teeth are properly positioned, that makes room to ensure that the veneers are the appropriate size for the patient. If the teeth are restored in an abnormal position that has taken place because of wear the teeth, the veneers can not be the right width to length ratio for that patients smile…and may not be in the right place in that patient’s smile.
There are negative effects to getting veneers before restoring teeth. The patient may feel discomfort, such as jaw pain. In most cases, there will simply be a problem of maintenance. The patient may break off, chip, or wear down the veneers just like they did with their natural teeth.
A lasting Solution
If the teeth are restored correctly in the proper place, the patient can look forward to increased longevity, increased comfort, and a very beautiful smile as a result. Simply making teeth bigger with veneers often times does not solve the core problem and does not give the patient the best smile that is possible. Although it may offer improvement, it will not give the final result that could have been accomplished. Far too many people get veneers and feel semi-happy with them because it is an improvement over where they were, but they are so far from where they could have been for the final outcome.