Do you have stained, chipped, crooked, or yellowing teeth? Porcelain veneers can cover these types of imperfections and give you the bright white smile of your dreams. But what about cavities? If you have veneers, take a look at what you need to know about dental decay and oral health care.
What Are Dental Veneers?
Before you can understand how decay can develop with dental veneers, you need to learn the basics. If you're new to veneers, these cosmetic products:
Cover your teeth. Unlike whitening, that changes the color of your tooth, veneers hide stains and other imperfections with a shell-like covering. The dentist will bond a tooth-colored porcelain layer to your existing tooth to change the look and feel of your smile.
Are a one-sided option. Veneers cover your teeth, but not completely. The dentist will apply the porcelain layer to the part of your tooth that faces out. The top, back, and sides of your teeth are left as they are.
Are permanent. Even though it's possible to lose a veneer, this is considered a permanent procedure. The dentist will need to remove a thin layer of enamel from your existing tooth to apply the veneer. This means you can't remove the veneer without a replacement.
Can change the shape of your teeth. Veneers do more than whiten-they can change the shape of your teeth or fill in gaps.
Are long-lasting. While maintenance plays a role in the durability of veneers, these products can last for up to a decade.
Now that you know what veneers are, you can better understand oral care issues. Read on for more information on dental veneers and decay.
Can You Get Cavities with Veneers?
Simply stated, yes. Even though dental veneers cover your teeth, they don't wrap the entire surface space in a protective shell. While the veneer will protect the surface it covers (the front of your tooth), it leaves the rest of the area exposed.
How and why do cavities develop if you have porcelain veneers? The most common reasons for dental decay with this cosmetic option include:
Poor oral care. Failure to brush every surface of your teeth and floss can lead to dental decay.
Failure to visit the dentist. Again, dental decay can form on the surfaces of your teeth the veneers don't cover. Regular check-ups can prevent the progression of decay and provide you with a deep cleaning.
Improper installation. The veneer should cover the entire front surface of your tooth. If the dentist removes enamel, but doesn't cover it correctly, this leaves your tooth open to decay.
Dry mouth. Some chronic conditions and medications can lead to dry mouth. Without enough saliva to wash away debris and bacteria, you're at risk for dental decay on the surfaces the veneers don't cover.
Even though you're still at risk for dental decay with veneers, you can take steps to prevent it with the right oral healthcare routine.
How Can Patients with Veneers Prevent Dental Decay?
You've spent time and money to get straight, bright white teeth. Even though veneers will keep the visible areas free from decay, cavities on the tops, backs, or sides of your teeth can cause pain, serious infection, and (in extreme cases) tooth loss.
To reduce the risks of dental decay:
Brush regularly. Don't allow the whiteness of your new veneers to lull you into dental laziness. While your teeth may look pristine, you still need to brush for two minutes twice a day and pay plenty of attention to the areas the veneers don't cover.
Visit the dentist. Preventative check-ups can stop the progression of decay before it becomes serious.
Floss regularly. Maintain the spaces in between your teeth (where cavities can form) and floss twice a day.
Even though you need to pay special attention to the non-veneer areas, don't exclude the new porcelain layer from your dental care routine. While the cavity risk is low, veneers can still stain over time.
Do you want to change your smile with veneers? Contact us at Affordable Dental for more information.