When it comes to cosmetic issues like a chipped or discoloured tooth, porcelain or composite resin veneers are sometimes a good option. Even if you’ve had other restorative dental work done, like fillings, this isn’t usually a reason you can’t get veneers.
That said, you must take care of your teeth after you get veneers. Certain things like tooth and gum health can affect how long a veneer lasts and may even prevent you from being a candidate for them in the first place.
What are Veneers?
An easy way to describe a veneer is that they are thin ceramic shells designed to improve the appearance of a tooth. In most cases, this is a permanent solution, which must be cared for as if it was your natural tooth.
Only some people are candidates for veneers. For example, if you have tooth decay or signs of gum disease, these likely need to be dealt with before you can get a veneer. Even grinding your teeth a lot could be a reason for not getting them.
A relatively undamaged tooth is typically necessary too. Your dentist can assess whether you’re a candidate during a dental exam. On one hand, veneers are designed to cover up minor imperfections like chips, discoloration, or even a slightly crooked tooth. But if there is too much damage to the tooth, it’s unlikely the veneer will adhere properly.
Types of Veneers
There are 2 materials commonly used in manufacturing a veneer: porcelain and resin composite. Your dentist can advise you on the best veneer material based on your budget and what you want from the procedure.
Typically porcelain is the more desirable material because it resists stains better, has a more natural look, and is generally more durable. The composite resin veneers are still good options that give your mouth a natural look.
What are Fillings
When tooth decay sets in, it needs to be removed. If left untreated, this decay will continue spreading throughout your teeth and eventually could spread into your blood or jawbone. These complications could lead to needing a root canal and crown instead of a simple filling.
Fortunately, fillings are a usually relatively simple procedure:
- Usually the dentist starts by numbing the area with a local anesthetic.
- Then they remove the decaying tooth material.
- Once the tooth decay is cleaned out, the filling (typically made from gold, silver, porcelain, or composite resin) is put in your tooth.
- A special light is used to harden the layers of filling as they go in.
Can You Put Veneers Over Fillings?
Fillings are not uncommon; almost 90% of adults between 20 and 64 have had cavities that required fillings at some point in their lives. Does this mean over 90% of people aren’t eligible for veneers?
It’s not the filling that prevents you from being a candidate for veneers. The shape of your teeth and the overall health of your mouth determine that.
Taking Care of Your Veneers
Veneers are designed to be permanent additions to your mouth. But they are still susceptible to damage and need to be cared for just like natural teeth. This includes brushing at least twice daily, flossing at least once, and visiting your dentist 2 times a year.
A few other things to consider for the long-term health of your veneers include:
Avoid Grinding Your Teeth
Bruxism is the medical term used to describe someone who grinds their teeth. If this is a conscious thing, it’s in your veneer’s best interest to avoid it. If you’re dealing with symptoms like a sore jaw or teeth, you may be grinding your teeth at night. In situations like this, your dentist can provide you with a special guard you can wear while you sleep.
Not Immune to Stains
You may have got veneers because of stained teeth in the first place. While porcelain veneers are certainly stain-resistant, they are not immune to stains. So, the same rules apply to avoid stains: rinse your mouth often, avoid staining food and drink, and brush your teeth often.
Choose Food Carefully
When it comes to protecting our teeth, we should always choose what we eat carefully. Like the natural teeth in your mouth, the veneer can still be damaged. So crunchy foods, ice cubes, or other hard things should be avoided if possible.
Talk to Your Dentist About Your Smile
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best. Veneers and teeth whitening procedures are two things that can help with this. Sometimes a slight improvement to your smile can go a long way to boosting self-confidence. If you have discoloured or slightly damaged teeth that prevent you from smiling, call us at Riverwalk Dental. Our professional team is happy to discuss your situation and book you in to see one of our dentists.