Veneers; No. The tooth beneath; Could.
Veneers are not natural bones and will never get a cavity. However, the tooth it is attached to is still natural and susceptible to cavities. Luckily, Teeth with adhered veneers are not any more likely to develop cavities.
What Are Veneers?
Considered a cosmetic procedure, Veneers are prepared and adhered by a cosmetic dentist. Veneers are permanent, thin covers for the visible part of a tooth or teeth, attached with dental cement. They have a wide variety of benefits.
- correct imperfections.
- change shape.
- alter gaps and proportions.
- give an appearance of perfect teeth.
- can be made to brighten or match any shade of white.
Can Veneers be removed?
No; Veneers cannot be removed and your tooth will always need a sealant.
The process for installing veneers includes preparing the front layer of tooth enamel by acid-etching or grinding enough to create a bondable surface to adhere to. Because enamel does not regrow or replenish itself, the tooth beneath will always require an artificial sealant to protect it from decay or damage, just as amalgam fillings do.
Dangers of cavities
Most of us have had a cavity in our lifetime. But what are the dangers of leaving these cavities untreated? Unfortunately, untreated cavities can have insidious effects. Some of these include:
- Extreme tooth pain
- Possible tooth loss
- Tooth abscess- which can lead to life-threatening infections
- Chewing problems- which can lead to excessive weight loss or gain and even malnutrition
How Do I Know If I Have a Cavity?
There are many warning signs your body will produce to signal that you have a cavity. It is important to always listen to your body and pay attention to any pain or abnormalities. Some of these indicators include:
- Tooth pain
- Increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Dark stains on the teeth
- Holes in your teeth
Why Would I Get Cavities If The Tooth Is Artificial?
The veneer itself, while not indestructible, is resistant to staining, discoloration, and will not get cavities.
Cavities, also called ‘caries,’ are decayed portions of teeth that, if left alone, will contribute to additional damage. Cavities can form in any portion of a tooth. Cavities are most prevalent in hard-to-clean spaces like:
- deep grooves.
- between teeth.
- around the gums
Veneers can actually make some of these areas more difficult to clean. If a patient had a difficult time cleaning their untreated teeth (due to crowding), it should be easier to clean with the veneers. Likewise, neglected teeth which have decayed will require learning new oral hygiene skills to clean. If you have previous tooth decay, learning new methods of oral cleaning will be sufficient to keep your teeth healthy.
Veneers do not replace an entire tooth but are adhered to the forward-facing surface of a tooth. The parts of the tooth remaining are susceptible to cavities, decay, and periodontal disease are:
- the root.
- the dentin (bone) layer.
- the enamel remaining on the sides and back of the tooth.
- all the parts concealed beneath the gum.
- the gums themselves.
These parts, including the gum around the tooth, still need daily maintenance. Teeth with veneers are no more likely to develop cavities than any other tooth since the tooth is sealed by the veneer.
In some cases, a veneer is suggested because the tooth enamel or bone has been damaged and a sealant is required. In extreme cases, substantial tooth decay may have already occurred, and additional removal of decayed bone is necessary. If enough bone is removed, it may be necessary to get a crown or remove the tooth. Then, bridgework or an implant may be recommended.
What Can Be Done To Stop Cavities?
Veneers should be cared for as normal teeth: brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist, including a fluoride treatment. However, depending on the type of veneer you get, the types of fluoride treatments in the office and the type of toothpaste used for daily cleanings may change.
- Veneer materials react to chemicals differently
- Check with your dentist to learn about which whiteners and toothpaste are safe
Cavities are areas of decay formed in the layer of tooth beneath the enamel. Bacteria in your mouth create acids that eat through the enamel layer. The naturally-occurring bacteria are removed through regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing after eating or drinking.
It is easy to miss certain spots repeatedly, allowing plaque to form and trap acids. This is why semi-annual trips to a dentist are necessary. Dentists and hygienists have the right angle, training, and equipment to identify and treat any disease in your mouth.
If The Whole Tooth Is Bad What Do I Do Next?
Veneers require a healthy tooth to adhere to. Decay or periodontal disease may disqualify that tooth as viable for a veneer.
Sometimes this happens after a veneer is placed. In that case, the veneer will likely be removed and a restorative tooth treatment applied, such as a crown (cap). Crowns fit over an entire tooth and will require preparing existing teeth in order to adhere to just as with the veneer.
Without enough surface bone to adhere to, the veneer will be removed. With substantial decay the tooth itself will likely be removed, in which case an implant, partial denture, or a dental bridge may be suggested.
What Happens If A Veneer Comes Loose??
It’s not an emergency, but it does need attention.
You should not leave a dislodged veneer off. The veneer replaced the enamel layer that coats and protects your tooth. Now, it is exposed and allowing bacteria into the fragile layer beneath and can cause irreversible damage.
While Veneers are designed to be a permanent fixture, the materials used do not last forever. Veneers in ideal situations last up to fifteen years, with some lasting thirty, but industry averages show the majority need to be replaced in the 10-15 year range.
The material type also makes a difference. Less-expensive and quicker-to-install resin-based veneers will not last as long as their porcelain counterparts.
Veneers may fail prematurely if you are a tooth grinder or bite non-food items. The epoxy used is strong, but unnatural pressure can loosen the bond. Using one’s teeth as a tool for gripping or tearing materials other than food can loosen or break a veneer. Likewise, biting down on hard items not designed for your mouth may chip a veneer.
If a veneer chips, fractures, breaks, or comes off, it will need to be repaired or replaced by a dental professional. Commercially available dental glues are a temporary fix, at best, and not recommended.
Bring the veneer to your dentist for reattachment. In most cases, the tooth beneath will not be so different in appearance that others will notice the missing veneer at a glance. Porcelain veneers will likely be able to be reattached, but composite veneers will likely need to be replaced.
Should You Get Veneers?
With all this talk of cavities, you might be thinking veneers are bad. Actually veneers can be solution to previous bad hygiene routines.
Veneers are a fantastic, fast solution, like hitting the reset button on your mouth. In a short amount of time, you will have a nearly perfect smile. Maintaining an oral hygiene routine will allow you to enjoy them for years.
The answer to the question “will my veneers make me more likely to get cavities” is defintely a no, but always remember that bad habits will keep you in a state of risk. You’ll need to care for veneers as well as you do natural teeth, and even more so if poor oral hygiene led to the need for the veneers. Reach out our cosmetic dentistry experts and get the smile of your dreams!