Navigating the Potential Risks of Dental Veneers: Unlock Your Smile’s Potential

Navigating the Potential Risks of Dental Veneers: Unlock Your Smile’s Potential By Maylands Dental Centre | March 19, 2023

Navigating the Potential Risks of Dental Veneers: Unlock Your Smile’s Potential

The appearance of one’s smile can play a significant role in how they are perceived by others, making it an important aspect of self-expression and confidence. Individuals who feel insecure or self-conscious about their teeth may consider dental veneers as a potential solution.

Dental veneers are a cosmetic dentistry procedure that involves the placement of thin shells over the teeth, designed to fit snugly and blend in naturally with surrounding teeth. Veneers are often used to address minor dental imperfections, such as discoloration, chips, or gaps, to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing smile.

However, despite their popularity, dental veneers come with risks and potential complications. This blog post provides information on how to address potential concerns with dental veneers in order to ensure safe and satisfactory results for patients. Read on to learn more!

Maylands Dental Centre

Summary of the Article

  • Dental veneers help improve the appearance of teeth. However, they also come with potential risks and complications.
  • Short-term risks include tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, and chipping of the veneers.
  • Long-term risks include veneer failure, decay, gum recession, tooth damage and improper fit.
  • Risk factors associated with dental veneer complications include age, bite alignment issues, bruxism, poor oral hygiene, pre-existing dental conditions, the quality and choice of veneer material, and the dentist’s skill.
  • Dental veneers generally do not cause any damage to your teeth. Dental veneer complications usually arise if they are not installed or cared for properly.
  • If not properly cared for, dental veneers can fail due to poor oral hygiene, bad dental habits, incorrect fitting, teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and erosion.
  • Discuss potential risks with your dentist before undergoing the veneer procedure and closely monitor any changes after getting dental veneers.

What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are placed on the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. They are often used for:

  • Damaged teeth
  • Stained teeth
  • Chipped, worn-down, or broken teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Teeth with gaps
  • Uneven-sized teeth
  • Misshapen teeth

Dental veneers are usually made of porcelain or composite resin.

Porcelain veneers

These are the most popular choice as they are more durable and offer a more natural tooth appearance. They are fabricated in a dental laboratory and require at least two appointments for placement.

There are two main types of porcelain veneers: traditional and no-prep veneers.

  • Traditional veneers involve the removal of a thin layer of natural tooth enamel to accommodate the thickness of the veneer.
  • No-prep veneers, on the other hand, do not require enamel removal and are placed directly onto the front surface of the natural tooth.

Composite resin veneers

Composite veneers are made of tooth-coloured resin. They are not as durable as porcelain veneers and tend to have a shorter lifespan. Composite veneers come in two types: direct and indirect.

  • Direct composite veneers, as the name suggests, are applied directly to the teeth by the dentist in a single appointment. The dentist will use a composite resin material to sculpt and shape the veneer onto the tooth and then harden it with a special light. This is the most common type of composite veneer.
  • Indirect composite veneers are fabricated outside of the mouth. They may be fabricated in-clinic with a curing box or in a dental laboratory. The process involves taking impressions of the teeth and using the mould to fabricate the composite veneer outside the mouth. Once the veneers are ready, the dentist will bond them to the teeth using a special adhesive.

Other types of dental veneers are Lumineers and snap-on veneers.

Overall, dental veneers are a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of teeth. Consult with your dentist to determine which among the different types of veneer may be suited for your specific needs.

What Are the Risks of Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers can be a great option for people with broken, stained, or misaligned teeth, but like any dental procedure, there are risks involved in getting dental veneer treatment. There are short and long-term risks that a patient must be aware of.

Short-term risks may include:

  1. Tooth Sensitivity: Following the placement of veneers, patients may experience tooth sensitivity, which is commonly triggered by exposure to hot or cold temperatures. This occurs as a result of the removal of a thin layer of enamel from the tooth surface. If the veneer does not fully cover the tooth, it can leave a small portion of the tooth exposed, leading to sensitivity. While mild sensitivity is normal and usually subsides within a few days, patients who experience persistent sensitivity should consult their dentist for a thorough evaluation.
  2. Gum irritation. During dental veneer preparation, the removal of a thin layer of enamel can sometimes cause irritation to the gums, resulting in bleeding or swelling. Additionally, in some cases, the dental cement used to bond the veneer to the tooth may come into contact with the gums, leading to discomfort or inflammation. This irritation can cause the gums to feel tender or swollen for a short period of time following the procedure. However, such symptoms generally resolve on their own within a few days.
  3. Chipping or cracking of veneers. Although veneers are designed to be strong and durable, they may become damaged if exposed to excessive force or pressure. This can cause the veneer to chip, crack or even break off completely. While this is a rare occurrence, it is important to be aware of the possibility, especially for patients who engage in activities that may increase the risk of damage, such as playing contact sports or grinding their teeth.

Veneers’ long-term risks include the following:

  1. Veneer failure. Although veneers are designed to be strong and durable, they may eventually fail due to wear and tear, decay, or other factors. In such cases, a dentist may need to replace the veneer to maintain the patient’s oral health and appearance.
  2. Decay. Despite being resistant to decay, veneers don’t offer complete immunity. Damage or displacement can permit bacteria access to the underlying teeth and cause decay.
  3. Gum recession. The placement of veneers can sometimes cause gum recession, particularly if the veneer is poorly fitted or if a patient has a history of gum disease. This can lead to tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, and other oral health concerns.
  4. Tooth damage. In rare cases, the process of preparing teeth for veneers may cause damage to the underlying tooth structure, such as fractures or cracks. This can compromise the integrity of the tooth and may require additional dental treatment to restore function and aesthetics.
  5. Complications from improper fit and placement: If a veneer is too high or not properly adjusted, it can cause problems with your bite. This can lead to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) symptoms such as pain and clicking when you open and close your mouth.

To minimise these risks, it is important to work closely with a skilled dentist who can provide appropriate care and monitoring throughout the veneer treatment process.

What Are the Risk Factors Associated with Dental Veneer Complications?

Several risk factors may increase the likelihood of dental veneer complications. These include:

  • Age: Older patients may have weaker teeth or be more susceptible to gum recession, which can increase the risk of complications with veneers.
  • Bite alignment issues: Patients with a misaligned bite or jaw may experience increased pressure on their veneers, which can lead to cracking, chipping, or dislodgement.
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding): Dental patients who grind or clench their teeth may put undue pressure on the veneers, leading to damage or dislodgement.
  • Poor oral hygiene: If a patient has poor oral hygiene habits, it can increase the risk of decay and gum disease, which can compromise the underlying teeth and gum tissue surrounding the veneers.
  • Pre-existing dental conditions: Dental patients with pre-existing dental conditions such as gum disease, tooth decay, or enamel erosion may be more prone to complications with veneers.
  • Quality of materials: The quality of the materials used to create the veneers can also impact their durability and longevity. Cheap or poorly made veneers may be more prone to cracking, chipping, or dislodgement.
  • The skill of the dentist: The skill and experience of the dentist performing the procedure can also play a role in the success of the veneers. Inexperienced or poorly trained dentists may not be able to properly assess and address the individual needs of each patient, which can lead to complications.

Dental patients must discuss potential risk factors with their dentist before undergoing the veneer procedure. Identifying and addressing these factors can minimise dental veneer complications and contribute to the success and longevity of dental veneers.

Can Dental Veneers Damage My Teeth?

While dental veneers are generally safe and minimally invasive, they can potentially damage teeth if the procedure is not performed correctly or if the veneers are not properly cared for.

In some cases, excessive removal of enamel during the preparation process can weaken the underlying tooth structure and increase the risk of tooth decay or other complications. Additionally, poorly fitting veneers can cause irritation or inflammation of the gums, leading to gum disease or other oral health concerns.

To minimise the risk of damage, it is important to work with an experienced and skilled dentist who can provide appropriate care and monitoring throughout the veneer treatment process. Patients should also maintain good oral hygiene habits, including regular brushing and flossing, and visit their dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings. With proper care and management, veneers can be a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of teeth and enhance overall oral health.

Can Dental Veneers Fail?

We all want dental veneers to last. Unfortunately, though, dental veneers are not fail-proof. If not properly cared for, dental veneers can fail, just like any dental restoration.

Many factors can increase the risk of veneer failure. These include the following:

  • Poor oral hygiene, resulting in unhealthy teeth
  • Dental habits, such as using teeth as tools and chewing on ice
  • Improper fit of the veneers
  • Teeth grinding or jaw clenching
  • Decay of the underlying tooth structure due to acid or sugary foods and drinks
  • Playing contact sports without a mouthguard

It’s important to remember that even if dental veneers fail, they can be replaced. However, to avoid additional costs and inconveniences, taking special care of your veneers can help.

Are Dental Veneers Safe?

Dental veneers are safe dental procedures that have been used for many years. They have been proven effective in restoring and reshaping teeth to improve one’s look and feel.

While some potential complications are involved, dental veneers have been deemed safe when your dental professional takes appropriate precautions to minimise risks and follow recommended dental procedures.

As you consider dental veneers, consult your dental professional, who can evaluate which options are right for you. They can determine the most suitable materials and methods to minimise the risks of this procedure.

Are There Any Health Conditions That Pose an Increased Risk of Complications Associated With Dental Veneers?

While dental veneers are generally considered safe, there are some medical conditions that may increase the risk of complications associated with the procedure. These may include:

  1. Bleeding disorders: Patients with bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia or von Willebrand disease, may experience excessive bleeding or bruising following the veneer procedure.
  2. Allergies: Patients with allergies to certain materials used in veneers, such as composite resins or dental adhesives, may experience allergic reactions or other adverse effects.
  3. Autoimmune disorders: Patients with autoimmune disorders, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, may experience complications with veneers due to increased inflammation or compromised immune function.
  4. Diabetes: Patients with diabetes may be at increased risk of gum disease, which can compromise the stability and longevity of veneers.

It is important to discuss any medical conditions or concerns with an experienced dentist prior to undergoing veneer treatment, as they can provide guidance on whether veneers are a suitable option and how to mitigate any potential risks or complications.

What Precautions Can I Take to Reduce the Risks Associated with Dental Veneers?

Taking precautions can help reduce the risks associated with dental veneers. Here are some precautionary steps that you can take:

  1. Before having a veneer placed, ask your dental team about their experience. Choose a licensed dentist. Make sure that all procedures are carried out according to protocols.
  2. Carefully follow all instructions provided by your dentist for dental hygiene aftercare, such as brushing techniques, to reduce the risk of damage to your veneer.
  3. Have regular check-ups with your dentist to make sure that your veneers are in good condition and free from decay. Make sure to attend scheduled follow-up visits with your dentist.
  4. Be aware of any changes or signs of damage in the veneer, and report them to your dentist as soon as possible.
  5. Avoid habits like nail-biting or chewing on hard objects (pens, pencils etc.) that may damage your veneer.
  6. If you experience jaw pain or discomfort, contact your dentist right away.
  7. Maintain good oral hygiene practices and keep up with routine dental exams when wearing veneers. Have regular cleanings. This will help keep the teeth and gums healthy so that the veneers are kept in optimal condition.
  8. Do not use abrasive toothpaste or hard-bristled toothbrushes that can scratch the veneers. Ask your dentist to recommend a specific type of toothbrush and toothpaste for you.
  9. Protect your veneers from grinding, clenching, and other forms of trauma. Wear a mouthguard when playing sports or doing activities that may cause facial trauma.
  10. Avoid hard foods as well as stain-causing foods.

What Alternatives Are There for Dental Veneers?

If you’re considering improving the appearance of your teeth but aren’t sold on veneers, a variety of alternative treatments are available. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options:

Dental bonding

This process involves applying resin to the surface of your teeth to improve their appearance. Bonding is used to repair chipped or broken teeth or to close gaps between teeth. The dental bonding process is less invasive than veneers and can usually be completed in a single visit to your dentist.

Dental crowns

Crowns are sometimes used as an alternative to veneers, particularly if you have more serious damage to your teeth or are looking to improve the function and appearance of your teeth. Crowns cover the entire tooth. They can be made from various materials, including porcelain or metal, and are designed to look and feel like a natural tooth.


If you’re looking to straighten your teeth, Invisalign can be a discreet and comfortable alternative to dental veneers. Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten your teeth.

Teeth whitening

If you want to improve the appearance of discoloured teeth, teeth whitening can be a great option. Various teeth whitening treatments are available, ranging from at-home kits to in-office treatments.

Traditional dental braces

Traditional braces may be necessary if your teeth require more extensive treatment than dental veneers can provide. Braces are orthodontic treatments that involve attaching brackets to your teeth and connecting them with wires to gradually shift the teeth into the desired position.

Tooth-coloured fillings

If you have cavities or other small areas of damage to your teeth, tooth-coloured fillings can be a great way to restore your teeth while maintaining a natural appearance.

Overall, there are many alternatives to dental veneers, so it’s worth speaking with your dentist to determine which option is suited to your specific needs and goals.

Final Thoughts

Dental veneers can be a viable way to improve the appearance of your teeth and give you a beautiful smile. However, despite their popularity, they still come with the risk of potential complications.

Short-term risks involve tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods, gum irritation, and chipping of veneers. Veneers’ long-term risks include veneer failure, tooth decay, gum recession, tooth damage, and improper fit. Therefore, you must consider your other options before deciding which one is right for you.

The decision to proceed with veneers ultimately lies with the patient, though a dentist can provide guidance on available options and potential complications based on individual circumstances. If you think dental veneers are right for you, book an appointment at Maylands Dental Centre today! Our team is available to provide information and answer any inquiries regarding the procedure or other cosmetic dentistry options.

Call us to book a consultation, or make an appointment online now. Together we can help give you the beautiful smile you deserve!

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Maylands Dental Centre
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