Porcelain veneers provide an ideal way for your cosmetic dentist to correct a number of cosmetic smile flaws, like severe stains, chipped teeth, gapped teeth, or oddly shaped teeth, and help you achieve the kind of beautiful smile you’ve always felt lacking. Unfortunately, patients with certain oral health problems do not make good candidates for this procedure. Become a more informed dental patient with this guide to three common obstacles that interfere with qualifying for porcelain veneers.
Hurdle 1: Tooth Decay
Whether a tooth has the earliest form of tooth decay, called demineralization, or it has a full blown cavity, your dentist will not place a veneer over damaged or compromised enamel. In fact, doing so would be like nailing a poster up over a patch of dry-rotted wall: it might look better, but the unsound underlying structure will only worsen as time goes on.
Prior to placing veneers (or performing any cosmetic dental procedure), your dentist will want to treat your tooth decay and help you improve your at-home dental care habits.
Hurdle 2: Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the clinical name for the earliest stage of gum disease. This condition is characterized by irritated gums that have receded from the surface of the teeth and bleed easily after brushing or flossing. Placing veneers on a patient with gingivitis could go wrong in a couple of ways. First, swollen, bleeding gums can interfere with the accuracy of the impressions your dentist takes, resulting in veneers that fit poorly. Second, if the gingivitis is left untreated, the gums will recede further, revealing the margin (or edge) of the veneer.
If you have gingivitis, your dentist will probably recommend improving your brushing and flossing at home, using a prescription-strength chlorhexadine mouthwash, or undergoing more aggressive treatment like a deep cleaning.
Hurdle 3: Teeth Grinding
Chronic teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, usually affects people who experience extended periods of anxiety or stress, or who have malocclusion (the top and bottom teeth come together poorly). People with bruxism develop severely work teeth and this grinding action can create chips and fractures in the veneer, greatly reducing the life of the veneers.