Porcelain veneers are a powerful cosmetic dentistry procedure that are able to give your teeth an entirely new visible surface. Teeth that are stained, crooked, or otherwise unattractive can be made to look whole and beautiful.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can neglect your natural teeth today and plan on covering them up with veneers later. Porcelain veneers give the best results when placed on healthy teeth, so even if you’re looking forward to a beautiful new smile later, take care of the smile you have today.

young adult woman smiling

Danger 1: Erosion

Erosion is one of the biggest dangers to your teeth. It occurs when your teeth are regularly exposed to an acidic environment, which wears away surface enamel–the beautiful white part of your teeth–from all sides. It can be the result of many causes, such as drinking too much soda, sports drinks, or other acidic beverages, GERD, or chronic vomiting caused by certain illnesses or bulimia. Cavities, on the other hand, occur when your teeth suffer acidic attack caused by bacteria in localized areas.

But wait, you might be saying, if porcelain veneers replace my enamel, why would it matter if it gets eroded? It matter because veneers work best if they’re bonded to your enamel and not to dentin, the layer of tooth underneath the enamel. The success rate for veneers bonded to enamel is 99%, compared to only 94% for those bonded to dentin.

Danger 2: Decay

Cavities can also threaten your ability to get porcelain veneers. If you develop significant decay in any of the teeth that are to be veneered, you might not be able to get veneers. If you get decay on the back or edge of a veneered tooth, the effects can be serious, so it’s good to take care of your teeth and ensure that the enamel is healthy and thick. You especially need to get in the habit of flossing your front teeth where veneers are going to be placed so that you can reduce the risk of cavities developing there.

If decay is already developing on a tooth or threatens to develop on a tooth you want veneered, we might recommend dental crowns instead.

Danger 3: Discoloration

The good news: no matter how dark your teeth get, porcelain veneers can be used to make them white again.

The bad news: they may not look as good if your teeth are very dark. In order to block out the darkness of the tooth underneath, porcelain veneers have to be more opaque–which means they don’t let light through. But our tooth enamel is naturally translucent, so these opaque veneers won’t look as natural as the translucent ones we prefer to use. 

People are also more likely to notice if your natural teeth are all dark in color, but the veneered ones are bright white. 

Don’t Wait for Veneers

Another strategy you can use to ensure your teeth are in good shape to get veneers is to get veneers sooner. That way, there’s less time for your natural teeth to suffer damage that might make them unsuitable for veneers.

We understand that this might be hard to fit in your budget, which is why we offer financing.

If you would like to learn more about porcelain veneers, please call (509) 532-1111 for an appointment with a Spokane cosmetic dentist at Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics.