Five Things You Don’t Know About Veneers

Besides being a slam-dunk option for making your smile straight, dazzling and bright and giving your teeth that picture-perfect shape, veneers come with some surprising side advantages (and even some disadvantages). Here are five off-the-radar ones you need to know about:

They can eliminate tooth sensitivity.
According to New York cosmetic dentist Irwin Smigel, DDS, veneers not only close spaces and make teeth longer and whiter, but if your teeth have lost enamel and are sensitive, veneers can make them stronger and eliminate sensitivity.

They most likely won’t last forever.
Like most dental restoration procedures, veneers have a limited life expectancy. Generally speaking, they can last from five to 12 years on average, but in some cases, veneers have lasted as long as 20 years. “Another important fact is that whereas bonding is easily repaired, porcelain [used in veneers] is not,” says Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald Goldstein, DDS. “So, the life expectancy may be much shorter than the patient expects—especially if there is chipping or fracture.” But, as Dr. Goldstein also points out, on the flipside, a main advantage of porcelain veneers over bonding is that they will not stain if done correctly. 

They can change the shape of your face.
Perhaps the biggest pro: Veneers can do a serious makeover not only to your smile, but also to your entire face in general. “They can change your face by accentuating cheekbones and lips, widening the smile, straightening crooked teeth and making your face more symmetrical,” says Dr. Smigel.

You’ll have to be careful of what you eat—and chew!
“The main thing patients are not aware of is the necessity for them to avoid biting hard objects or food, such as raw carrots or hard apples, with their front teeth, or chewing chicken, lamb or veal chops near the bone,” Dr. Goldstein says. “The porcelain will be more susceptible to chipping or fracture, especially with torque being applied via biting with the front teeth. You’ll have to use your back teeth for biting harder foods.” 

You won’t necessarily have to file your teeth down to nothing.
Today’s veneers come with varying degrees of tooth prep, and all teeth—and what they require as far as enamel removal goes—are different. There’s also the option of no-prep veneers, which require no tooth removal. 

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13 comments | Post a comment
Georgina Walker
I have had veneers for 4 years now and they hadn't fallen off. In fact I haven't had any problem with them till date. So I guess the problem arises because of inefficient fixing of veneers.I had done mine at Toronto from Dr.Ken Wolch. And since I had used porcelain veneers I don't have to worry about their replacement for about 10 years from now.
Posted December 16, 2013 11:52 PM EST
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deb
ive been thinking of getting vaneers for a while and have been saving up since i was 14. i am 20 now and feel really unconfident still when i smile and try not to show any teeth at all. i have read many negatives tho on veneers about how quickly they can come off and how expensive new ones are to be replaced. which is so disappointing and of putting as being a student i could never afford to have a replacement.... i would like to know other reviews on this?
Posted November 04, 2013 2:41 PM EST
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D
I've had my veneers since 1994 done by a dentist in Hollywood. Still look awesome.
Posted August 31, 2013 10:12 PM EDT
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Christine Turner
I had 17 of my front top and bottom teeth drilled down and had the veneers placed on to make my smile much brighter. I was very happy with the veneers in the begining. However, I was not told that is one cracked or one came off the tooth that it would cost appx $1500 to have one tooth corrected? I was disgusted that there was no offer of an insurance covereage, and, I was not told that there was a possibility of the above or i may have chosen not to proceed. With the price of having the teeth done in the first place, than after only 4 months one veneer just came off whilst I was brushing my teeth, then two fell off at separate times and i did not find them, then just recently I fell down hard and landed with my jaw smashing onto a curb, now 3 more veneers have come off and as I am unfortunately on disability for the time being the dentist told me I had to pay up front and then file a claim. As he was charging me $1500 for one tooth that was all i could come up with, so I hurried and got the claim in thinking I would get the monies back to get the next tooth done - not true as medicare and medicaid do not cover the replacement of veneers ( although I was told they should have due to the accident of falling and landing on my jaw which caused drastic pain?). I though if a dentist put these veneers on and did not offer some sort of insurance that he should kindly replace them? I live in san clemente, ca 92673 so if anyone has any ideas of any way to get insurance coverage (as they were put on because after 2 pregnancies my teeth because so very week that I could move them in the gums and they were so painful) I would be so grateful for the information so I could proceed and get these covered as the pain whilst being in the wind etc is just unbearable. Thank you to any and all who can instruct me as how to get these put right. I appreciate you. Christine Turner
Posted March 24, 2013 6:00 PM EDT
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WHAT THE EXPERT SAYS:

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Dr. Niloufer Hamsayeh
Cosmetic Dentist - San Francisco, CA
There are many considerations as a Doctor when recommending Veneers. One very important one is the patient's Occlusion (how the bite is lined up). The patient's bite needs to be looked at carefully to make sure during normal chewing and function they do not have the potential of breaking the Veneers. If the patient has a deep bite or edge to edge bite these conditions need to be addressed in the prep and design of the Veneers;because the Veneers will either break or come off during normal chewing. Another reason why Veneers may come off is at the delivery appointment when the Veneers are being cemented proper isolation techniques (very dry field) is not observed. This will lead to a weakness in the bonding strength and again predispose the Veneer to fail. Therefore it is really important that your Cosmetic Dentist is experienced in Occlusion, placement technique and Aesthetics.
Posted January 09, 2013 4:50 PM EST
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linmax2k@aol.com
Yes, they can come off unexpectedly after a period of time. I also wore night guard faithfully every night. You have to make sure you don't bite into pizza, breads,celery sticks etc they do require being cautious when eating. If Doctors say they aren't taking off much ...to place veneer ...it is not true. Very seldom does are you left with a tooth that can be without a veneer once shaved down. That I found out unfortunately. But if you really have discolored or chipped teeth it is worth it, for a better smile and realignment.
Posted December 18, 2012 1:25 AM EST
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Prestidigitator
I had 10 upper veneers done some years ago by a Houston cosmetic dentist-to-the-stars and THREE of them came off over a 9 month period. It was NOT because I grind. They weren't properly installed. In going back piecemeal, each time each tooth was a little different and I ended up with big gaps that catch food on the posterior four teeth. Note that after the final redo, I've had them for 10 years no with NO problem. AND I've had at least FOUR friends who have gotten veneers and they ALL have had one or more come off in the initial months after install DUE TO NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN. I'd make sure you get in writing some good one-year guarantee.
Posted December 18, 2012 12:37 AM EST
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Emmie
I have my 4 front teeth done and I need to have them redone. Don't know that you're doing that they came off, I've had mine for like 22 years and they are still fine. I just would like them a bit whiter now.
Posted December 18, 2012 12:16 AM EST
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Lexy
I thought I had an excellent dentist do them, but sadly they cracked and I fear will fall off. I have only had them 6 months and DO take impeccable care of them (why wouldn't I??) I was also blamed for eating the wrong things (i.e. bagels.) I do not eat such things. I wear a night guard and have followed all of my doctors directions. Now I fear I may need something like caps because of this. I highly recommend them, but do the best research you can as to who will be doing this procedure. I did, but it still gave me poor results and cost me a fortune.
Posted December 17, 2012 11:50 PM EST
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Beatriz Harnois
Great article! Words from the experts. In our office, we offer different types of veneers. Some of our new patients that come in for consultations often have similar questions. This will help us a lot when we talk to our patients about veneers or Lumineers. Thanks for sharing!
Posted December 17, 2012 5:32 PM EST
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Darci
I have 4 veneers in front, and it is been nothing but a nightmare in my exerience. I went to a cosmetic dentist in the newport beach area and they have broken off several times. I wear a night guard to ensure i didn't grind my teeth. He told me it was my fault this keeps happening. Come to find out he prepared them wrong and now I have to crown my 4 front teeth, since he shaved too much of my tooth down. If you get them they look great, but proceede with caution.
Posted December 17, 2012 2:25 PM EST
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WHAT THE EXPERT SAYS:

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Dr. Guy M. Lewis
Cosmetic Dentist - Houston (The Woodlands), TX
Veneers should not fall off unless you are not taking proper care of your teeth. It is very important to have routine cleanings every 6 months and wear a night guard at night to protect against clinching and grinding. Veneers are very durable and should last many years if they are done properly with a qualified and an accredited dentist.
Posted December 13, 2012 9:28 AM EST
12
Jess
Can veneers fall off? When do you know when you need to have them redone?
Posted December 11, 2012 11:55 AM EST
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