Dental veneers are a great option for people with worn, crooked, cracked, chipped, or badly stained teeth. They restore the smile and grant the patient a beautiful, even appearance. However, there are a few things to consider before getting any type of dental veneer. Dr. Zadeh, Beverly Hills Dentist, will sit down with you during your initial consultation for veneers and run through your options to help you make an informed decision.
Are Dental Veneers Right For Me?
With any questions dealing with cosmetic dentistry, it is entirely up to you whether you want to get veneers placed or not. Most younger individuals with healthy, fairly straight teeth that might be stained or a bit crowded, usually a bleaching treatment or short-term aligner will be enough to fix their appearance. However, if you have small, oddly shaped, or damaged teeth on top of staining and crowding, then porcelain veneers are a great option for improving your smile.
Let’s first consider the advantages of various treatments that use veneers:
- Dental Veneers vs. Whitening – Techniques such as in-office bleaching and Zoom! Whitening can lighten teeth rapidly and effectively; however, patients with tetracycline staining or permanently, deeply stained teeth, veneers are needed to get them to a shade of white that they are satisfied with.
- Veneers vs. Braces – Braces, whether the traditional variety, or more modern clear aligners such as Six Month Smiles or Invisalign still take a good deal of time to perfectly straighten your teeth. Usually this process takes 6-24 months to complete depending on the severity of crowding, crookedness, and other issues such as malocclusion and gaps. In just a few visits, especially in the case of minor crowding or oddly shaped teeth, porcelain veneers can fix your smile in a process that is called “instant orthodontics“. This is a process greatly preferred by patients who may only have one or two crooked teeth or minor crowding and the use of braces or aligners would be too cumbersome for such a minor case.
- Veneers vs. Bonding – Bonding is great for fixing cracked, chipped, or slightly damaged teeth. However, bondings are one of the least permanent cosmetic dental procedures and should be replaced once every few years. Dental veneers can last up to 20 years if properly taken care of.
- Veneers vs. Crowns – Rarely are crowns used for cosmetic purposes except when a tooth is badly damaged or after a root canal. Some people are concerned that if they damage a large tooth or crack a tooth more severely than a chip, then they will either need a crown or have the tooth extracted. This is not the case. If the tooth is otherwise healthy and can be salvaged, all you may need is a veneer, particularly if only a single surface of the tooth is damaged. Veneers can be used restoratively as well as cosmetically if the damage is minor enough, but too much for bonding.
Now, there are other considerations to think about with dental veneers. In almost all cases but Lumineers, there will be permanent modifications to your teeth and you will likely have to replace them at least once in your lifetime. To find our more about placement of veneers and the cost, we have included two articles on this website that may be helpful in helping you make an informed decision.
Who Shouldn’t Get Veneers?
Most young people do not require veneers unless they have a badly damaged tooth or teeth. It is Dr. Zadeh’s opinion that veneers are often pushed too hard by many of his competitors, especially on young people in their 20s and 30s, who otherwise have healthy teeth with only minor cosmetic issues. This results in a lifetime of maintenance and expensive upkeep treatments. This can put young people in a crippling spiral of debt and financing that could be otherwise avoided.
If you have a visit to a cosmetic dentist who aggressively pushes a large number of veneers, it is highly recommended you say no and seek a second opinion. Don’t fall into an expensive trap because someone played on your insecurities! Many times, ‘yellowing’ or ‘staining’ can be resolved with a few in-office whitening treatments and take home kits.
Some dentists may also try to mask more serious problems with veneers and do not address the underlying problems of why teeth may be stained or damaged. This is fortunately rare, but there are cases of it. Veneers can be used restoratively, but they should only be used if the rest of the mouth is healthy and free of advanced periodontal disease or extensive tooth decay. Veneers are also inappropriate for people who grind and clench frequently, and the underlying causes of this need to be addressed before veneers can be applied. Just like your regular teeth, veneers can be broken by bruxism.
If you have any questions about veneers or want a second opinion, do not hesitate to call Dr. Zadeh at (310) 273-2020 or email our appointment coordinator to set up a no-obligation consultation.