Many adults think they’ve missed the boat on nice teeth, but getting braces as a teenager isn’t the only way to change your smile.
Veneers are a popular dental procedure used to change the appearance of teeth. They can help make teeth look whiter, larger, or more rounded.
It’s easy to misunderstand the veneer process, and there are many questions surrounding veneers. Some of the questions people ask are:
- What happens to your teeth when you get veneers?
- Will veneers ruin my teeth?
- What do veneers do to your real teeth?
- Are veneers bad for your teeth?
- Do veneers weaken teeth?
If you’re an adult considering veneers and have any of these questions, you’re in the right place.
Keep reading to gain a deeper understanding of veneers, if they’re right for you, and how to start moving forward to a new smile today.
What Are Veneers?
A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain or composite material placed over the surface of a tooth, like a fake nail on a fingernail (only veneers are much stronger and longer lasting than a fake nail).
Veneers can improve tooth appearance. They can be useful in:
- Closing small gaps and spaces between teeth
- Changing the shape of teeth
- Whitening teeth by covering stains
Veneers are also effective at fixing broken, chipped, cracked, or worn-down teeth.
Veneers don’t last forever. The expected veneer lifetime is anywhere from 5-20 years. Porcelain veneers are more expensive and last longer (15+ years) than composite veneers (5-10 years), but it also depends on tooth hygiene. The better you clean your teeth and regularly attend dental cleanings, the longer your veneers will last.
What’s the Veneer Process?
The first step in the veneer process is scheduling a consultation with your dentist. If you decide to move forward with veneers, the dentist will ask questions about your vision and goals for your veneers, such as:
- What issues are you trying to solve?
- What color and size veneers do you want?
- How many veneers do you want?
These questions help the dentist plan and prepare for your custom veneers.
Then, the dentist makes a mold of your teeth and sends it to a lab technician who crafts your custom veneers. Veneer creation takes 1-2 weeks.
Once your veneers are ready to be placed, the dentist will numb your mouth, shave down your tooth enamel, and correctly adhere the veneers to your teeth.
The full timeline from consultation to a new smile is around three weeks.
Are Veneers Safe?
In general, veneers are safe, and there’s little cause for concern before, during, or after the procedure. Choosing an experienced dentist, asking questions, and truthfully answering health screening questions increases the process’s safety and success.
Any dental procedure comes with possible risks and complications. Some potential complications with veneers are:
- Allergic reaction to the local anesthetic
- Breaking, cracking, or loss of veneers
- Increase in tooth sensitivity
If any of these issues arise after your procedure, you should contact your dentist.
However, veneer complications are uncommon when performed by a trained dental professional.
Can You Take Veneers Off?
You can remove veneers, but you shouldn’t do so unless your dentist approves. A veneers’ intended purpose is to stay in place permanently.
There are situations where veneer removal is necessary, but only a dental professional should handle the removal process.
Two of the most common cases of veneer removal are:
- Refreshing the structure (i.e., changing the color or shape)
- Repairing a damaged veneer (i.e., a chipped veneer)
It’s best to consider veneers as permanent outside of these two cases until their lifespan ends and your dentist replaces them.
Are Teeth Ground Down for Veneers?
During a veneer procedure, the dentist will grind down a small portion of the tooth enamel (the hard, outer part of the tooth). Grinding down enamel creates the necessary surface and shape of the tooth for veneer placement. The rest of the tooth will stay untouched.
This grinding down of the enamel is what makes the dental veneer process irreversible. Enamel doesn’t contain living cells, so it can’t repair itself. Once you remove enamel, it’s gone forever.
However, the process of grinding down enamel is safe and doesn’t harm any other portion of the tooth.
Will Veneers Ruin My Teeth?
Veneers won’t damage teeth, but they will permanently alter the teeth receiving a veneer. Once the dentist grinds down enamel and places the veneer, you can’t go back to the original tooth.
Losing enamel is a small price to pay for a new smile, though. Yes, you’ll lose a little bit of your tooth enamel, but you’ll gain a new look that will make you proud.
If your enamel is already damaged, however, veneers can help your teeth. Veneers can act as an artificial enamel layer, providing protection and making your tooth stronger.
Whether you’re looking for a new smile or need an enamel replacement, veneers can be an excellent long-term solution for you.
Where to Get Veneers in Richmond, VA
Veneers are powerful cosmetic and restorative tools for adult teeth. They can make your smile whiter, change tooth shape, or close small gaps. Veneers can also add strength to weakened enamel or fix chipped teeth.
But getting veneers is a decision that permanently alters your teeth. It’s a decision best made in the presence of an experienced dental professional. They can answer all your questions like, “Will veneers ruin my teeth?” to help put your mind at ease and create a custom plan specifically for your smile.
At Northside Dental Co., we’re experts in cosmetic and restorative dental procedures. Our staff is welcoming, highly trained, and ready to help with your dental needs. Our in-house dentist is experienced and will walk with you through the veneer process from start to finish.
Are you ready to start the veneer conversation and move closer to the smile you’ve always wanted?
Book your consultation, or give us a call to discuss cosmetic options and get any other questions answered. We’d love to help you start the process towards a new smile today.