Many of us consider getting dental veneers for a variety of reasons. It could be because our teeth are permanently stained or have an odd shape, or are cracked to the point where they cannot be repaired with teeth bonding. Sometimes part of a tooth is exposed due to trauma. In these situations, a porcelain veneer may be placed over the tooth to help protect it as the enamel once did. This is a time when applying dental veneers may be the best solution for you and your cosmetic appearance. Many patients routinely ask if dental veneers cause any risk to their teeth.
As with any dental procedure – the answer is ultimately yes. However, it is important to understand why and to what degree. Before veneers are placed on your teeth, the dentist needs to essentially shape the enamel on your tooth in order to place the veneer over the tooth. This is done to allow some room for the veneer. The dental veneer that is placed over the tooth is typically very thin, so the amount of enamel that needs to be shaped to place the veneer is minimal.
After the teeth shaping process the teeth might become slightly sensitive to hot and cold food. This is usually temporary and can last a few days to a few weeks. In rare cases the sensitivity can last for months and the patient may request the dentist to treat the tooth with a root canal to get rid of the sensitivity.
Whenever you shape part of the enamel of a tooth, you are affecting the integrity of the tooth’s strength. But it is important to understand that with dental veneers, the shaping of the tooth’s enamel to make room for the porcelain veneer is minimal. In fact the veneer itself may help strengthen and protect the tooth from further damage, stains, or cracks. This is because porcelain is one of the few materials that can actually bond to teeth.
When it comes to risking the integrity of your tooth, a dental veneer may cause minimal structural damage to the tooth. But when you consider the added protection and beautiful smile you will have – the benefits far outweigh the risks.