What are the Risks of Porcelain Veneers?
Although the risks of Porcelain Veneers are minimal, it is important that you are fully informed before undergoing any cosmetic dentistry procedure. First and foremost, Porcelain Veneers are an irreversible procedure. Preparing your tooth for the application of a Porcelain Veneer involves grinding away a thin layer of your tooth’s natural enamel. Once lost, enamel does not ever grow back. Preparing your tooth to receive a Porcelain Veneer therefore permanently alters its shape. Without either the outermost layer of enamel or the Porcelain Veneer in place, in addition to the altered shape, your tooth would be more sensitive and more susceptible to staining and decay.
Proper aftercare is also paramount once you have Porcelain Veneers. With proper care, your veneers can last for years to come. Properly cared for Porcelain Veneers can last five, ten, even twenty years. Even with proper aftercare, however, your veneers may eventually need to be replaced due to wear, cracking, breakage, trauma to the tooth or other factors. Replacement of a Porcelain Veneer is not significantly less expensive than the initial Porcelain Veneer procedure. In fact, the procedure for replacing a Porcelain Veneer is virtually identical to the initial Porcelain Veneer procedure. Without proper aftercare, your Porcelain Veneers may need to be replaced much sooner, greatly increasing the cost of Porcelain Veneers over your lifetime.
While durable, Porcelain Veneers are not invincible. Unlike composite veneers, Porcelain Veneers cannot be repaired. Instead a chipped or cracked veneer must be completely replaced. To maximize the life of your veneers, you should avoid bad habits like biting your fingernails, chewing on pen tops, paperclips or pencils and clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. You may wish to avoid biting down into hard substances with your veneers, and take the precaution of slicing apples before eating them. These tips should help you avoid chipping or cracking your new porcelain veneers.
Particularly in the first weeks after application of Porcelain Veneers, your teeth may be sensitive to heat or cold. This sensitivity is usually temporary and should fade with time. Although your dentist will make every effort to remove as little of your tooth enamel as possible, there is the risk of trauma to the tooth which could result in a permanent increase in tooth sensitivity. Finally, you should be careful to maintain proper oral hygiene after the application of Porcelain Veneers. Porcelain Veneers do not protect your underlying teeth from decay, so it is extremely important to brush and floss regularly and to see your dentist every six months for a checkup and a thorough teeth cleaning.