Veneers look great and can restore a broken smile, but they don’t provide comprehensive protection for your teeth.

If you have veneers or are thinking about getting them, you may be wondering:

  • Can you get cavities with veneers?
  • Can veneers get cavities?
  • Do veneers stop tooth decay?

These are important questions to consider before and after getting veneers.

In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the top concerns regarding veneers and cavities and answering nine of the most common veneer- and cavity-related questions.

What Are Cavities?

Tooth enamel is the hard, outer layer of your teeth. When enamel decays, cavities form. Tooth enamel decay occurs as a result of plaque and bacteria in your mouth. 

Plaque is continually forming on your teeth. Bacteria get stuck in plaque and produce acids that can slowly break down enamel. If you don’t regularly clean your teeth and see your dentist, these bacteria will remain stuck on the plaque, and their acids will produce holes (cavities) in your teeth.

There’s nothing you can do to stop plaque from forming on your teeth. However, good oral hygiene can help remove plaque and keep bacteria from breaking down your enamel. Good oral hygiene involves:

Without good oral hygiene, your teeth will continue to build up plaque and bacteria, leading to an increased risk of cavities.

What Are Veneers?

A Veneer is a thin piece of porcelain or composite material placed over the front of a tooth that looks and feels like a natural tooth.

People most commonly get veneers to:

  • Close small gaps and spaces between teeth
  • Change tooth shape
  • Cover tooth stains
  • Fix broken, chipped, or cracked teeth

Veneers are an aesthetic procedure that can make your smile whiter or fuller, restoring the natural color and look of your teeth. They don’t offer your teeth extra strength or protection from common oral diseases like gum disease and cavities. The only protection from cavities is good oral hygiene.

The Top 9 Questions About Veneers and Cavities 

Now that we know more about veneers and cavities individually, let’s dive into the top nine questions about the veneer-cavity relationship.

1. Can veneers decay?

Veneers themselves cannot decay like regular teeth. They’re an artificial structure composed of porcelain or composite materials.

However, veneers will wear down over time and need replacing. Porcelain veneers can last 15+ years, while composite veneers can last 5+ years. Veneer longevity is a product of the material used and your oral hygiene. 

Like natural teeth, veneers are also liable to chip or crack. But veneers can’t decay or get cavities like natural teeth.

2. Can you get cavities with veneers?

Yes, you can get cavities with veneers. 

Veneers will cover the front of your teeth, but plaque can still build up on the back of your teeth. Plaque and bacteria on the back of teeth can lead to enamel decay and cavities.

Veneers don’t cover your gums, either. Bacteria can grow along your gum line and lead to gum disease

Practicing good oral health is still necessary with veneers.

3. Do veneers stop tooth decay?

No, veneers don’t stop or prevent tooth decay. 

Veneers are a cosmetic or restorative procedure that simply affects the look of teeth. Only good oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings can prevent tooth decay.

4. Do veneers damage teeth?

Veneers don’t cause harm to teeth once a dentist places them. However, a veneer will permanently alter your teeth.

Before placing veneers on your teeth, the dentist will gently shave down some enamel from the front of the veneer-receiving teeth. Removing enamel helps properly shape the tooth for the veneer fitting. Once a dentist removes enamel, you can’t replace it or restore your tooth’s former shape.

The veneer process only affects your tooth shape, size, and enamel. Your gums and deeper tooth layers are untouched.

5. What happens to your teeth under the veneers?

As mentioned under number four, a dentist will make slight alterations to the veneer-receiving tooth. The rest of the tooth will remain in its original state.

The part of the tooth directly under the veneer is protected, but your gums and back of your teeth are vulnerable to decay. You’ll need to keep brushing and flossing regularly to keep your teeth healthy.

6. Do Veneers cause tooth decay?

Veneers don’t contribute to tooth decay. The only thing that can cause tooth decay is plaque and bacteria on your teeth due to a poor oral hygiene routine. 

7. Can I get veneers with cavities?

You can’t get veneers on teeth that currently have cavities. 

Before getting veneers, your dentist will consider your current tooth and gum conditions. If you have cavities or serious gum disease, your dentist will most likely treat these conditions first. Once your teeth and gums are healthy, you can resume the veneer conversation.

8. Can veneers get cavities?

Veneers can’t get cavities, but a veneer-covered tooth can. 

If a tooth with a veneer develops a cavity, your dentist will need to treat the cavity. Prolonged tooth decay can lead to the veneer failing or the whole tooth needing to be pulled. Sometimes, it may be necessary for your dentist to remove the veneer to treat tooth decay.

9. Do veneers prevent cavities?

Veneers can provide the front of your teeth with slight protection, but the back of your teeth will still be vulnerable to cavities. Veneers are also ineffective at preventing gum disease, which can be just as serious as a cavity.

You may be tired of hearing this, but it’s vitally important: good oral hygiene is the only solution to preventing cavities and tooth decay.

The Best Place to Get Veneers in Richmond, VA

There you have it, answers to the most asked questions about veneers and cavities. 

The bottom line is this: veneers are a great option if you want to restore your smile, whiten your teeth, or fix chipped teeth. However, veneers do not protect your teeth against cavities and aren’t a substitute for good oral hygiene. With veneers, you still need to brush, floss, and visit your dentist regularly.

Do you have other questions about veneers, or are you in need of expert veneer advice?

Northside Dental Co. is a Richmond dental facility with a welcoming environment and highly-trained staff. We’ve helped hundreds of people in their journey to a new smile. Our dentist is ready to consult with you and perform the cosmetic or restorative procedure that’s right for you. Whether you already have veneers, want to start the veneer conversation, or have other dental concerns, we’re here for you.

Book an appointment online or give us a call at 804-767-3410. We’re ready to welcome you in and walk with you through the dental process.