Been told you’re not the right person for dental veneers but really want to get them done?

Luckily there are ways to change your dentist’s mind.

Dental veneers can be a life-changing dental treatment, used to give you a bright, white and straight smile.

However, some people are told they are not right for the treatment. Dentists have to be choosy who they place veneers and will only do the procedures which are right for you. The last thing everyone wants is problems with the veneers and for the treatment to fail.

Sometimes this may mean you have to choose a different treatment option.

However, you’ll be glad to know we can also make tweaks to your teeth so you are more suitable for dental veneers.

Let’s look at the common reasons you may not be able to have dental veneers, and how to get the treatment you want.

You have very crowded teeth

photo shows crowded teeth unsuitable for veneers

Generally, crowded teeth pose two problems if you want dental veneers.

Firstly, your teeth are harder to clean as you can’t get a toothbrush in between the small spaces.

Adding a dental veneer to a tooth can make this even more difficult and increase the risk of gum disease and decay.

Secondly, crowded teeth give you funny biting patterns.

Veneers are under a lot of pressure when you chew. If certain teeth meet too hard the veneer will ping off into your first date’s dinner. I’m not sure you’d get a second one!

The crowded areas also mean that in order to straighten your teeth with dental veneers, some of them will be very thick on one side and thin on the other.

Your tongue won’t appreciate it and it’ll be hard to get used.

Solution:

The best course of action may be to straighten your teeth with orthodontic treatment first.

You may find after straightening you’ll be happier with your teeth and won’t even want dental veneers.

There are short term options like Invisalign or 6 month smiles available, or you could look at traditional braces.

If after teeth straightening you decide you still want veneers, it’ll make them last longer and look better.

If you have very large fillings already in the tooth

Large fillings pose a potential problem for dental veneers.

Veneers like to stick to healthy tooth surfaces and not fillings. So the larger the filling, potentially the weaker the bond between the veneer and tooth and the more likely it is to fall off.

Teeth with larger fillings are also weaker and more likely to break.

When you fill a tooth it’s like repairing a bike puncture with the little patches. They give way eventually.

If the tooth gives way the veneer will too.

Solution:

If the fillings are metal then these could be removed and replaced with composite (the white filling material).

Composite could then be extended from the filling onto a veneer to create a composite veneer, rather than porcelain.

If the tooth is weak then a crown (or cap) may be a better solution. This wraps around the whole tooth for structural support.

Crowns can be made to match perfectly to veneers either side, so there’s no worry of odd teeth.

If you have missing teeth

photo showing missing tooth which cant be replaced with dental veneers

Large spaces caused by missing teeth cannot simply be closed with dental veneers.

Veneers stick onto the front of an existing tooth and are not used to fill spaces.

Solution:

There are three broad categories of tooth replacements you can use to fill a space.

Bridges stick to the tooth next-door to a space. They have a fake tooth hanging off the neighbouring tooth to fill in the gap.

These can be made from porcelain, the same material used for veneers. This means you can match it up perfectly to veneered teeth.

Secondly, implants are another fixed solution to replace a tooth, but this time fixed from your gum rather than your tooth.

Lastly, dentures are removable teeth which slot into the space.

With modern techniques, you can fill spaces subtly and match your surrounding dental veneers and teeth.

Teeth with gum disease or decay

Gum disease causes swollen and sore gums. If you touch them you’ll notice they bleed with only light pressure.

This creates a problem for veneers as teeth need to be bone dry for them to stick. Any contamination from blood and they’ll fall off.

Because they’re swollen it also means you could have them stuck in the wrong place at your gum line. They may look fine at the time, but once your gums are healthy again and stop bleeding they won’t be in the right place.

Decay is essentially a rotting tooth. When decay starts it will keep eating away at your tooth until there is nothing left.

You can’t build a house on bad foundations.

You can’t place veneers on unhealthy teeth and gums.

Solution:

Get it sorted.

Gum disease is usually reversible with the right brushing regime, a professional clean from your hygienist and some persistence.

Once your gums have healed then you can place the dental veneers.

Tooth decay can also be fixed.

It’s best to get holes filled as soon as possible. Like I said earlier, smaller repairs means more actual tooth for veneers to stick to. Remember, veneers don’t like to stick to fillings as much.

If you grind or clench

Bruxism (grinding) and teeth veneers do not mix well.

Your jaw muscles produce an enormous amount of power when you bite down.

As durable as dental veneers are to normal chewing, the act of clenching and grinding tends to chip and break them.

Consistent grinding can lead to smaller looking teeth due to wear. This is another issue as it gives less area for the veneers to stick onto.

Solution:

If you grind during the day then stop!

Night grinders may have a little more problem doing so. But there’s another solution.

Night time bite guards can be made to prevent you from putting unnatural pressure on the veneers and prevent them from breaking.

These guards can be too alien for some people to get used to, so I’d suggest trialling one before going ahead with veneers. Once the dental veneers are placed it’ll be too late.

If the grinding has caused excessive wear then crowns or composite bonding may be a better solution to build them back up.

Final thoughts to ensure you get your dental veneers

Don’t be disheartened if your dentist says you can’t get the dental veneers that you’ve set your heart on.

In dentistry, treatment has to be done in a set way to ensure it’s successful in the long term. It may just mean a few extra things need to be completed prior to the actual veneers.

Think of placing veneers like decorating the walls of your house.  You need to paint an undercoat to make sure the gloss coat looks great on top.


AUTHOR

Dr Gareth Edwards Dentist AuthorDr Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons) MFDS RCPS (Glasg) is a dentist who qualified with honours. Based in Bournemouth and Poole, he has a keen interest in aesthetic dentistry and orthodontics, and is a certified Invisalign and Six Month Smiles provider. For more information click here.

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