Cosmetic dentistry is one of the most dynamic aspects of dental medicine. New treatments and new options appear all the time, giving patients choices in their appearance and oral health like never before. Dental veneers are an increasingly popular option these days, as they are a flexible approach to a variety of dental problems. Their popularity raises questions about how to care for dental veneers once you have them. It’s an important issue to address, but in doing so we should start by discussing how veneers work and what it is they do.
How Dental Veneers Work
Dental veneers are thin porcelain or composite resin coverings that are fitted to the front of a tooth to correct for a variety of issues. Dental veneers can be used to correct misshapen teeth, adjust for mis-spaced teeth, or repair chips, cracks, or discoloration. Dental veneers offer a great many advantages over other treatments. They’re permanent prosthetics, so they’ll last a lifetime with the right treatment. They’re less prone to discoloration or staining than natural teeth, so their whitening effect won’t need to be periodically renewed. They’re an easy installation, generally resulting in minimal discomfort to the patient.
There’s one important thing to remember about dental veneers, however. The veneer and the tooth must fit together, which generally involves reshaping the enamel of the natural tooth. There are two side effects of this. One, dental veneers are permanent installations–if damaged or discolored they must be replaced to ensure the tooth can function normally. Secondly, they can make the tooth more sensitive to heat and cold, due to the enamel that’s been removed. While this isn’t a major issue for most patients, it’s something to bear in mind when caring for your veneers.
Caring for Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are meant to last a lifetime, and with the right care and treatment they’ll do just that. However, they are a bit different than natural teeth, so there are a few things to bear in mind while caring for your new veneers.
Fundamentally, dental veneers should be cared for just as you would natural teeth. Regular and effective brushing and flossing are the key to a healthy smile. Building on that, regular dentist visits for exams and cleaning are the next big step you can take to keeping both your veneers and natural teeth clean and healthy. Regular visits help detect problems before they get serious and regular cleaning can prevent issues like gingivitis.
With a veneer in place, you may want to adjust your habits to protect your new dental prosthetic. While veneers are less prone to staining or discoloration than natural teeth, avoiding tobacco use and coffee can help preserve their color among other things. Likewise, you’ll want to protect your veneers during athletic activities, particularly contact sports. Veneers aren’t’ quite as strong as natural teeth, so an athletic mouthguard can go a long way towards keeping them safe.
Hopefully we’ve helped expand your understanding of dental veneers and how to care for them. At Hampstead Dental, we strive to meet the needs of each of our patients based on their unique needs and goals, so whether you’re interested in a dental veneer or just need a routine exam and cleaning, get in touch today.