Although the dental porcelain in your veneers is immune to decay, cavities can still develop beneath them. Such cavities can compromise the health of your teeth and may reduce the longevity of your veneers. To avert these issues, it's essential to diligently care for your teeth and gums after getting porcelain veneers.
This article delves into the nature of dental veneers and their relationship with oral hygiene, specifically addressing the concern of cavity development in teeth with veneers.
Dental veneers have become a popular solution for enhancing smiles, but their interaction with dental health raises important questions. One such question is whether individuals with veneers are still susceptible to cavities.
Understanding Dental Veneers
Definition and Purpose
Dental veneers are custom-made, thin shells crafted from porcelain or composite materials, designed to cover the front surface of teeth. Primarily used for cosmetic purposes, they address a variety of dental imperfections.
Veneers can effectively close gaps, alter tooth shape, cover unsightly stains, and repair broken, chipped, or cracked teeth.
They are used for restoring the natural color and appearance of teeth, significantly enhancing one's smile.
Lifespan and Maintenance
The durability of dental veneers is a testament to their quality, with porcelain variants lasting upwards of 15 years and composite ones around 5 years.
Their longevity is not solely a product of their material quality but also hinges on the oral hygiene practices of the individual. Adherence to a stringent oral care routine is essential for preserving the structural integrity and aesthetic appeal of the veneers. This includes regular brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings.
The Veneer-Cavity Relationship
Can Veneers Decay?
Contrary to natural teeth, veneers are impervious to tooth decay. Their composition, whether porcelain or composite, does not erode or deteriorate like natural tooth enamel.
This attribute, however, does not render them entirely indestructible.
Risk of Cavities with Veneers
It's a common misconception that veneers completely safeguard against dental decay. In reality, while they protect the front surface of the tooth, the rest of the tooth, especially the area not covered by the veneer, remains vulnerable to tooth cavities. Plaque and bacteria caused by food particles can accumulate on the natural tooth surface behind the veneer, leading to enamel decay.
Additionally, since veneers do not extend to the gum line, this area remains exposed to potential gum disease and bacterial growth.
Oral Hygiene with Veneers
Maintaining impeccable oral hygiene is paramount for individuals with veneers. The regimen for veneer care mirrors that of natural teeth – thorough brushing, diligent flossing, and the use of antiseptic mouthwashes.
This routine is critical for preventing plaque buildup and safeguarding both the veneers and the underlying natural teeth against decay.
Preventing Cavities Behind Veneers
Professional Dental Care
Routine and regular dental exams and cleanings play a critical role in practising good oral health with veneers. Additionally, working with an experienced cosmetic dentist ensures proper veneer application and reduces the risk of complications, such as cavities developing under improperly fitted veneers.
You can schedule a consultation with Open and Affordable and we are ready to see you also the same day.
At-Home Oral Care
For at-home care, it’s advised to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching the veneers.
Brushing twice daily and flossing are essential, with careful attention needed around the veneer edges to prevent cavities and plaque accumulation. Here are some general tips for keeping your porcelain veneers longer:
Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice daily, to eliminate food particles, bacteria, and debris.
Floss every day to remove plaque buildup between teeth, which can cause cavities.
Choose non-abrasive toothpaste to prevent scratching your veneers' smooth surface.
Regularly use mouthwash to kill germs, prevent plaque accumulation, and avoid gingivitis.
Change your toothbrush every 3-4 months for effective teeth and gum cleaning.
Stay hydrated and eat a nutrient-rich diet to maintain dental health from within.
Reduce intake of foods and drinks that cause cavities, such as candy and soda.
Potential Issues and Solutions
Veneers and Gum Disease
An often-overlooked aspect of dental health with veneers is the risk of gum disease. Since veneers do not cover the gum line, this area remains susceptible to bacterial buildup and infection.
Regular brushing along the gum line and flossing are critical to keeping this area clean and healthy.
Caring for Teeth Under Veneers
The portion of the tooth under the veneer, though protected, is not immune to oral health issues. Poor hygiene can lead to decay at the margins of the veneer, potentially compromising both the veneer and the natural tooth.
Maintaining a meticulous cleaning routine is essential to safeguard this hidden yet vulnerable area.
When Cavities Occur
In cases where a cavity develops under a veneer, prompt and appropriate dental intervention is necessary. The treatment might involve removing the veneer to access and treat the decay.
If you are experiencing this, please get in touch with Open And Affordable Dental, we can see you the same day.
Post-treatment, a new veneer may be required. Such scenarios underscore the importance of prevention and early detection.
In summary, while veneers offer a cosmetic enhancement, they do not exempt individuals from practicing diligent oral hygiene.
The risk of cavities remains, emphasizing the need for regular dental care and personal oral hygiene practices. For those considering or already having veneers, consulting with a dentist for tailored advice and care is essential for maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile.