There is a little bit of a misconception that porcelain veneers can be used for every situation to make your smile beautiful. Some problems just aren’t suitable for dental veneers or would be better treated by other means. They are also quite an involved process and can be costly, meaning you need to think carefully about your choices.
To be a good candidate for veneers, you need:
- The right mouth (Good dental health)
A nice healthy mouth is essential if you are serious about having veneers. If you have untreated, active gum disease
, or multiple areas of decay
- these must be treated before veneers can even be considered. Having untreated disease in your mouth is not good- period, and these should be treated regardless!
Let's take gingivitis as an example. If a dentist was to place veneers in your mouth whilst you suffered from gingivitis.
The gums are likely to bleed making the impression of your teeth less accurate and bonding procedures more ineffective. The chance of your veneers lasting any good length of time is drastically reduced. If they stayed and you suddenly improved your hygiene or the gingivitis progressed to gum disease and your gums shrunk slightly, the margins of the veneers would no longer be in the right place.
The look of your smile would be compromised and the veneers may need to be replaced, causing more destruction to the natural teeth underneath and another large bill. Not a happy sequence of events and a recipe for a lawsuit!
- The right attitude (realistic expectations)
The limitations of dental veneers need to be appreciated and their risks
understood. Not only on their own, but in the context of all the other available cosmetic treatment options
You need to understand what is being done to your teeth, the procedure
, how much veneers will cost
, what happens in 10 years time- all of these things.
Porcelain veneers are a really great way of improving a smile- but it would be silly of you to have treatment on the back of a few 'before and after' pictures without any real understanding.
Do your homework, read my stuff, understand it and then get a quality dentist who you trust to talk you through how it relates to your teeth and ask any questions.
This is not a time for a rushed decision, believe me.
- The right teeth (awareness of all the options)
Majorly crooked teeth or teeth that are severely out of position generally are not suitable for veneers and more extensive treatment is likely to be required. Possibly a combination of different cosmetic treatments.
At the other end of the scale, very minor problems could be corrected just with whitening, shaping and tooth bonding- it all depends on your situation and your desired outcome.
The dentist must assess every case individually and decide on a treatment plan that suits you after going through all the possibilities.