The porcelain veneer procedure is gentle, convenient, and requires very little tooth alteration. However, most people don't get veneers just for fun. Whether your teeth are gapped, misshapen, short, long, stained, or just plain ugly, you choose porcelain veneers for a good reason, and you want to keep your smile dazzling for a long time. What do you need to know?
Porcelain is much more durable than you might expect. It is virtually impossible to wear out a veneer, because porcelain is extremely hard and resistant to abrasion. It is also stain resistant, so you won't have to worry about things like coffee, tea, or red wine darkening your smile.
The most common cause of failure in properly placed veneers is tooth decay. Porcelain veneers are low-maintenance, requiring no more attention that untreated teeth. However, brushing and flossing are vital. Porcelain cannot get cavities, but the tooth underneath the veneer can. Naturally, if the tooth erodes out from under the veneer, it can fall off.
If you take care of your teeth and see your dentist regularly, veneers should last a very, very long time. You do need to understand that veneers are tough, but not invincible. Yes, porcelain is very strong, but so is tooth enamel and people break teeth every day. You will want to take a few extra precautions, if you want to keep your new veneers (and your old teeth) intact:
- Don't eat ice – Biting down on anything extremely hard, like popcorn kernels, risks fracturing a tooth or veneer. Ice is especially problematic, because most things are more brittle when cold.
- Don't put non-food objects in your mouth – Yes, your mother was right when she said, "Don't put that in your mouth!" Maybe you've outgrown the temptation to bite furniture, toy cars, or the family dog, but remember that chewing on pens, opening bottles, and cutting thread are not tooth-friendly activities.
- Wear a nightguard – A small, comfortable, customized appliance can protect your teeth and dental work from damage caused by bruxism (clenching or grinding teeth).
- Wear a mouthguard – Adults or children playing contact sports should wear appropriate protective gear, including a mouthguard.
If you have any questions, or you want to schedule an appointment, call Big Smile Dental at .