Crooked teeth aren't the only thing that can ruin a teen's confidence in their smile. Discoloration or teeth of varying sizes and shapes can also affect their smile, and lead to esteem issues when it comes to their appearance. Fortunately, your dentist can address these concerns with the use of porcelain veneers. This guide will answer a few of your questions on the procedure.
When are veneers necessary?
Deep stains on the teeth may not be removable with traditional chemical whitening treatments. These stains can be caused by medications, health conditions, over exposure to fluoride, or simple genetics. Veneers are the only solution since these stains penetrate deeply into the tooth enamel. Your dentist will inspect the stain and determine whether it is a candidate for removal or if it is a deep stain that requires a veneer.
Are veneers an option with braces?
Veneers should only be considered after any orthodontic work is completed. Braces will damage veneers, so it is a waste of effort and money to have them placed first. Braces can also cause some discoloration to teeth, which will require treatment after they are removed. There is one exception to the orthodontics before veneers rule: Your teen can get veneers on their front teeth if they are having a retainer fitted for only the back teeth.
What kind of veneers are best for a teen?
There are two types of veneers – traditional and prepless. Traditional veneers may require some changes to the tooth structure, such as grinding down the teeth to make them more even in size or to ensure proper fit for the veneers. This means that the veneers are a lifelong commitment. Prepless veneers are bonded to the teeth as they are. These are primarily used for covering discoloration, not for remedying major differences in tooth size.
Since teens are still growing and their teeth may still shift and change, prepless veneers are the best option. This doesn't require any permanent changes to the tooth, so it won't impact any future dental work they may require once they stop growing. Once your child has reached adult size, usually around 18, although it may be earlier for girls and later for boys, you can have traditional veneers fitted.
Are veneers permanent?
Generally, yes, veneers are a permanent addition to the teeth. Prepless veneers can be removed if necessary, though, since no alteration to the tooth structure or enamel was removed during their installation. Even though veneers are permanent, occasionally they may crack or the bond may loosen. This is similar to a crown coming loose or a filling falling out – rare but it does happen. In this case, your teen will have a new veneer fitted and bonded to the tooth.