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Sometimes patients ask us, “who is a good candidate for veneers?” They may have seen amazing before and after pictures from a smile makeover on Instagram. Or maybe a friend just got veneers that transformed their smile.
It’s wise to ask whether you are a good candidate since, like every elective treatment, veneers are not for everyone. We always have to weigh the pros and cons to determine whether the benefit you would get outweighs the risks. Veneers can transform a smile, or they can cause oral health issues. One size doesn’t fit all, and the only way to know is by consulting with a dentist who also examines your teeth.
As cosmetic dentists, we appreciate what can be done with good veneers. Sometimes it is the least invasive, least expensive option. We also have a range of other techniques to draw from.
What are Veneers?
Veneers are thin custom-made, tooth-colored shells that fit over a tooth. More specifically, a veneer is attached to the front of the tooth. They can cosmetically mask multiple flaws, including tooth fractures, chips, severe staining, a slightly crooked tooth, and disproportionately sized teeth.
Sometimes people ask about the difference between a veneer and a crown. A dental crown is like a cap that covers the whole tooth. Crowns have aesthetic and therapeutic uses since they are often used to protect a vulnerable or damaged tooth.
There are two main categories of veneers – porcelain and composite resin. The composite resin veneers are crafted from tooth-colored resin and can be used to mask minor imperfections and fill in cracks. The custom-made porcelain veneers often involve at least two trips to your dentist to prep and place the veneer. Each is a little different, so they have slightly different criteria for who is considered a good candidate.
Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers
While this article isn’t intended to be a pros and cons list, seeing them spelled out may help you understand whether you are likely to be a good candidate. However, please see a skilled cosmetic dentist for a consultation since there are so many variations.
- Veneers can improve the appearance of one or more teeth
- You brush and floss generally without extra chores
- Lifespan varies depending on the type of veneer but most last at least ten years
- Many feel more confident when they can smile without feeling self-conscious
- It’s less expensive than crowns and some other dental options
- The surface of many veneers is stain resistant.
Cons or risks:
- It varies by the type, but you lose a little of your tooth enamel from the prep work
- Veneers may fall off or break, making your tooth more vulnerable since it has a less protective enamel
- Most insurance plans don’t cover veneers since they are considered cosmetic
- You can’t whiten veneers or bleach them, so if you whiten your teeth, they may not match as well
- Veneers are not removed; once placed, you will always need a veneer
- While veneers are long-lasting, they probably won’t last a lifetime, and you will need to get them replaced eventually
Now that you know a few of the risks and rewards (or pros and cons), you have an idea of whether you might be a good candidate.
Are You a Good Candidate for Veneers?
Before delving into the topic of who is a good candidate, let’s consider who may not be. If you have the following conditions, veneers may not suit you. Please talk with your dentist since it depends on how the risks and benefits balance. They include:
- You should get the decay and cavities treated first for unresolved tooth decay.
- Not enough tooth enamel; often, veneers require the removal of a little enamel to fix them in place. It may be too risky if you already suffer enamel loss from trauma, tooth grinding, acidic foods, or any other reason. A protective crown might be better.
- Not enough of the tooth left, a veneer is affixed to the front of the tooth which requires enough surface to stabilize the veneer.
- Unresolved tooth grinding, if you grind your teeth, the veneers will likely get damaged and not last long enough. Get in the habit of wearing a mouth guard and managing your tooth-grinding habit first.
On the flip side, if you generally have healthy teeth with healthy enamel, you may be a good candidate for veneers. We also urge you to consider whether you consistently maintain your oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily. In addition, are you able to keep up with your preventative dental care visits and cleanings? This ensures you have the best chance of maintaining your results for a decade or possibly longer.
Porcelain veneers may require more of the enamel to be removed than composite veneers. Since composite veneers are often used to fill in cracks or chips, they can be a better option depending on the degree of enamel loss.
Your dentist can recommend the best options to meet the aesthetic goals that are safe for you. It is always worth taking the time for a consultation to explore your options rather than live with regret.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you want to transform your smile, booking a consultation with a cosmetic dentist is the first step. If you live in the Charlotte area, the team at Southview Dentistry is here to help. We feel both privileged and proud that people trust their smiles on us.
We even specialize in smile makeovers that combine two or more cosmetic dentistry procedures to make over a smile. For example, one person may need tooth whitening and Invisalign, while another person may get the smile they want through a veneer and some bonding.
If you want to explore whether veneers are right for you, contact us today to schedule your appointment.