The Hype of Dental Veneers

Who wouldn’t want perfectly aligned, pearly-white teeth? With the improvement of dental materials nowadays, anything is possible. There are different kinds of dental procedures that would improve the teeth’s aesthetics, but none is more conservative than dental veneer. It combines the power of orthodontics and crowns without the pain and inconvenience of wearing dental braces (in orthodontic treatment) and having to suffer too much tooth alteration (in crowns).

Do You Really Need One?

Despite its popularity, unfortunately not everyone needs this type of dental procedure. The following offers a brief list of conditions that are indicated for a dental veneer:

  1. Unaesthetic tooth surface due to:
    1. Staining – tetracycline stains (presence of linear brown to purplish streaks on teeth), fluorosis (presence of brown spots on the teeth)
    2. Darkened tooth – tooth becomes darkened usually a few years after root canal treatment
    3. Enamel hypocalcification (mottled brown spots on teeth surface)
  2. Diastema
  3. Peg-shaped laterals
  4. Minimal loss of tooth structure (ex. Chipping)
  5. Lingually positioned tooth
  6. Minor crowding that is not indicated for orthodontics.

Contraindications

There are numerous dental conditions that are indicated for a certain kind of treatment. Having the following conditions would mean dental veneer are not recommended for you, and that a more non-conservative approach is needed:

  1. Crowding indicated for orthodontic treatment.
  2. Parafunctional habits (bruxism, clenching)
  3. Poor oral hygiene
  4. Excessive interdental spacing indicated for fixed bridge or RPD
  5. Insufficient enamel for bonding

The Bottom Line

Dental veneer is a simple, fast and conservative solution to most minor dental aesthetic problems, and this procedure is definitely at the top of the list where perfection and tooth preservation is of utmost importance. Most patients nowadays aim to strive for perfection – achieving a perfect smile, the perfect curve of the lips, the perfect tooth shade among others. But the danger is when these patients become vulnerable to further damage to the dentition due to ignorance in treatment planning and decision making, and in the execution of the treatment plan. Extra care should be taken into consideration when doing veneers since this is a minimally invasive and very conservative procedure that aims to preserve tooth structure while at the same time enhances aesthetics. Ultimately, the success of a veneer will lie in the ability of the dentist to inform, guide and educate the patient about the best treatment options, what options best suit the patient’s needs, proper and informed decision making, and finally proper execution of the treatment.

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