Dental veneers can be used for a variety of reasons, as any cosmetic dentist in Chevy Chase MD or anywhere else will tell you. While many opt to have veneers placed for cosmetic reasons, others have them placed to correct or prevent tooth damage, or to cover work done after a root canal. Veneers are generally either made from composite materials or porcelain.
Are Veneers Necessary?
Sometimes, but not always. Let’s say, for example, you need a root canal or a filling on one of your front teeth. The shape of the tooth means it’s pretty likely some of the work will change the shape of your tooth, damaging it or leaving it exposed to future damage. In these cases, veneers are necessary to not only reshape but to protect the tooth as well.
Veneers for strict cosmetic reasons aren’t generally necessary, but the definition of “necessity” seems to vary from person to person. My own dentist, years ago, used to pressure me at every visit to have veeners put on my 6 front teeth. I have a lot of discoloration that whitening won’t help – discoloration from too much fluoride and too many antibiotics taken as a child. I didn’t find the veneers to be necessary (I can lighten the discoloration slightly and it only really bothers me when an innocent young child asks me why I don’t brush my teeth). Some people use them to cover up what might otherwise be corrected with orthodontics – like a gap in the front teeth. To each his own.
Composite versus Porcelain
Composite veneers are made out of a material that is placed directly on your teeth. It’s added in layers so that it can build up on the tooth. They can also be made by a lab and attached to your teeth after creation. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, are always made in a lab. In order to have the veneer attached, no matter what it’s made of, the dentist will have to shave down some of the natural enamel on your tooth’s surface.
There are tons of cosmetic dental offices offering veneers to their patients. They don’t all have great reputations. Your best bet is to find a dental office specializing in dental veneers. This type of environment will be more careful to assess your bite, take careful molds, and ensure the veneers are really what you need (and will give you the result you’re actually looking for).
Veneers are fine, no matter what the reason you want or need them. Just be sure to take some time to do a little research and find the right doctor. Whether you need them or merely want them, you do want them to turn out right!