What Happens to the Teeth Underneath Veneers Over Time?

May 1, 2015
Avatar for Raul GarciaRaul Garcia

What happens to veneers under teethIdeally, the teeth under your porcelain veneers will remain as strong and healthy as ever, but there’s a catch. With veneers, you must practice good dental hygiene. This includes following all post-procedure instructions after having the veneers placed and brushing at least twice a day with a non-abrasive toothpaste (ask us what brand we recommend). You also must commit to flossing at least once per day (yes, every day!) and dental check-ups and cleanings (twice a year). If you do this, porcelain veneers will help protect and support your teeth.

In order to effectively place porcelain veneers and achieve a beautiful and natural-looking smile, some of the tooth’s surface has to be reduced as part of the tooth-preparation process. Typically, only about 0.5 millimeters of the tooth’s surface is removed in order to prepare for the veneer.

After the tooth’s surface is treated, your veneer is bonded to the tooth surface with a highly adhesive material known as bonding cement, which hardens under a specific type of light. This material clings tightly to your tooth enamel, which helps to protect your natural teeth from the bacteria that can cause tooth decay. So your smile is not only beautiful, but also healthy! The bonding material does not damage the tooth or tooth structure in any way.

If you’re seeking veneers to cover damaged or weakened teeth, veneers offer an additional level of protection against tooth decay and also help to preserve your tooth structure.

Practicing good oral hygiene is always a good idea because it helps to promote good oral health and overall health, too! We also recommend that you see your dentist at least twice a year for dental checkups and regular cleanings.

By taking these steps, your porcelain veneers will protect your teeth for many years. The average lifespan of porcelain veneers is seven to 20 years with proper care.

But if you do not follow the proper care and oral hygiene practices recommended when caring for your porcelain veneers, you could be at risk for a serious compromise of your tooth enamel and tooth structure.

For example, if you do not floss regularly, bacteria that cause tooth decay can build up between the teeth. When this happens, they can attack the natural tooth enamel at the ends of the veneer. If this happens, the bacteria can begin to eat away at the tooth enamel and cause a cavity. Cavities under cosmetic dental restorations frequently go undetected, which means you may not realize you have a cavity until you feel discomfort.

Should a cavity go undetected for too long, you may face root canal treatment to preserve your tooth. Or we may be unable to restore the tooth, which will then have to be extracted to make way for a dental implant or other cosmetic dental restoration to restore your smile.

If you are considering porcelain veneers, it’s important to remember that the longevity of your results depends in large part on how well you keep up your regular oral hygiene routine.

Are you considering porcelain veneers to give your smile a makeover? Porcelain veneers are an excellent option for smile makeovers because not only can they help treat both physical and aesthetic issues with your natural teeth, but they are also strong, durable and, with proper care, can last many years.

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that are cemented to the front surfaces of your natural teeth. Veneers are a cosmetic dental restoration that can cover a wide range of tooth issues, from gaps to discoloration.

There are two types of veneers: composite veneers, which are made of resin, and porcelain veneers. Composite veneers are more opaque than porcelain veneers, which may result in a less natural-looking smile.

Porcelain is very similar to your tooth enamel, so porcelain veneers look just like teeth. Their shape, color and size are fully customizable. This allows your smile to look natural and beautiful.

Many people choose porcelain veneers because they are able to give the smile an almost instantaneous boost.

Porcelain veneers are an ideal cosmetic dental solution for tooth and oral health issues including:

  • Tooth enamel discoloration caused by tooth decay, aging, illness, genetics or use of medications
  • Chips or fractures in the teeth
  • Gaps between the teeth
  • Uneven or worn-down teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Teeth that appear longer than they should

Placing Porcelain Veneers

While removing tooth enamel may sound a little scary, don’t rule porcelain veneers out! The teeth need to be reshaped to accommodate the veneers and make sure they’re comfortable and look natural. But, if you’re hesitating on getting veneers because you’re worried that your teeth will become damaged under your veneers over time, keep reading!

Benefits of Porcelain Veneers

Here are some of the top benefits of porcelain veneers:

  • Teeth Will Be Whiter and Brighter. Did you know that your natural teeth can become discolored over time? Many contributing factors to tooth discoloration come from our diet: Drinking coffee, tea, dark sodas and wine can cause the tooth’s surface to change color. Certain behaviors, such as smoking, can also stain the tooth’s enamel. While tooth whitening can help improve the cosmetic appearance of the teeth, it is not permanent, and stains can reappear. Porcelain veneers generally repel stains.
  • Minor Cosmetic Smile Problems Will Be Corrected. Porcelain veneers can help to correct crooked teeth or gaps between the teeth. However, unlike other treatment options such as braces and other types of orthodontics, the position of the teeth does not change with veneers. Instead, veneers cover the front surfaces, making the smile appear even and helping to correct crooked or gapped teeth.
  • Damaged Tooth Enamel Can Be Covered. Although your natural tooth enamel is very strong, it can be damaged by the bacteria that cause tooth decay. It can also be damaged by highly acidic foods and drinks. Grinding your teeth can also cause damage to your enamel by wearing the surface of your teeth down and causing fractures or chips in your teeth.
  • Porcelain Veneers Are Permanent. Porcelain veneers are a popular cosmetic dental restoration because they’re permanent, meaning your new smile should last a lifetime with proper oral hygiene and regular dental care. Porcelain veneers are permanent because, during the veneer procedure, some of the structure of the teeth is changed before the veneers are applied. Typically, this involves the removal of tooth enamel.

As you can see, porcelain veneers are a great way to get the exact smile you want; they’re customizable, long lasting and can treat a range of issues. 

If you have more questions about porcelain veneers, please schedule a consultation at Miami Designer Smiles to talk to a cosmetic dentist today about veneers or other cosmetic dentistry options to restore your smile.

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