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.