Are veneers harmful to teeth?

From Lena Machetanz, doctor
All NetDoktor content is checked by medical journalists.

As Veneers This is the name given to wafer-thin veneers, which are usually made on a ceramic basis. The dentist attaches them to the defective tooth with a special adhesive. Due to their good aesthetic results in dentistry, veneers are mainly used for damage to the anterior tooth area. Read everything you need to know about veneers, how they work and the risks they involve.

What are veneers?

Dental veneers are Veneerswhich are mostly used in the anterior region. The dentist attaches them to the damaged tooth using the so-called adhesive technique, a special adhesive technique.

Today they are usually used to manufacture veneers Glass ceramics or feldspar ceramicswhich are quite similar in hardness to natural tooth enamel. However, there are also veneers Composite, a tooth-colored material that is also used for tooth fillings.

A distinction is made between conventional veneers and so-called non-prep veneers:

  • conventional veneers: They require grinding of the teeth before being glued on, costs as a natural tooth substance. To do this, the patient receives a local anesthetic injection.
  • Non-prep veneers: They do not require any pre-treatment (grinding) and can also be replaced or removed at any time. Since the treatment with non-prep veneers is more comfortable, they are also often used on children with tooth injuries.

Veneers: disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage of conventional veneers is the need to remove healthy tooth substance that can no longer be reproduced. This means that the tooth loses its natural appearance without a veneer, and the patient always needs a veneer afterwards if he values ​​a beautiful tooth appearance.

The non-prep veneers are significantly more expensive and, due to their complex production, require a particularly experienced dentist. Due to their thin layer, teeth with a particularly dark discoloration can shine through and interfere with the aesthetic result.

Since the provision of veneers is usually a cosmetic and medically unnecessary treatment, the patient usually bears the cost of the veneers alone. Health insurance or accident insurance may cover part of this.

When do you need veneers?

Accidents or poor oral hygiene result in visible damage to the tooth. Veneers can then help. They are particularly suitable for the treatment of defects in the front teeth in:

  • Discoloration
  • Tooth damage from tooth decay
  • Fractures of the front teeth
  • Underdevelopment or degradation of tooth enamel

What do you do with a veneer treatment?

Teeth and oral cavity are carefully examined in advance by the dentist. First, he uses special instruments to measure the sliding movements of the jaw and the force acting on the individual parts of the jaw. In order to get a detailed impression of the position of the teeth, the dentist takes an impression. To do this, the patient bites into a wax sheet, for example. The dentist uses this impression to make a plaster cast, after which the veneers are handcrafted in a dental laboratory.

Supply with conventional ceramic veneers

With conventional veneers, the dentist prepares the damaged teeth before bonding: To do this, he removes around 0.5 millimeters of the tooth surface with a special grinding tool. It also rounds off possible edges so that the oral cavity is not injured or the ceramic material breaks. For this pretreatment, the patient is given a local anesthetic injection.

To attach the individually made veneers, the dentist carefully dries the tooth surface and cleans the adhesive surface. Then he attaches the veneers to the teeth with a special bonding technique (adhesive technique).

Temporarily, i.e. until the final veneer is completed, the patient receives temporary veneers.

Provision of non-prep veneers

No local anesthesia or removal of tooth substance is necessary for treatment with non-prep veeners. The dentist attaches the wafer-thin adhesive shells to the dry tooth surface after careful cleaning.

Restoration of composite veneers

A dental technician is not required for the restoration with a composite veneer - a tooth-colored, malleable material that is also used for classic fillings: the dentist slightly roughen the tooth surface with a special solution so that the composite adheres better. The teeth are not ground. Then he applies the composite directly to the tooth surface in several layers. Each individual layer is cured with a special lamp. Finally, the dentist polishes the composite layer so that it shines like the natural tooth.

What are the risks of veneers?

In particular, the necessary grinding of the teeth with conventional veneers can lead to complications. As a result of the removal of enamel, the tooth can become particularly sensitive to heat and cold and can therefore cause sharp pain when consuming hot or cold food and drinks. With non-prep veneers (which do not require grinding), there is no risk of temperature-sensitive teeth.

In rare cases, veneers can loosen or break. Then another dental treatment and possibly the preparation of a new veneer is necessary.

In veeners that have not been carefully glued and adjusted, bacteria can settle at the contact points between the tooth and the veneer. This can lead to tooth decay and other germ-related dental diseases.

What do you have to consider with veneers?

Basically, veneers can cope with all normal everyday loads. Biting something that is too hard (e.g. cherry pit) can damage them just like a natural tooth.

Visit the dentist for check-ups every six months. This checks the position of the veneers and can detect and treat caries at an early stage.

Veneers: durability

Thanks to modern ceramics and very stable adhesive bonds, ceramic veneers are particularly durable. Many patients have been wearing veneers for over 15 years. Careful oral hygiene can further extend the shelf life of high quality veneers. Avoid biting particularly hard bites to avoid damaging your Veneers to prevent.

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