Veneer fear
December 4, 2018 5:29 AM   Subscribe

I’m planning on getting veneers on 8 of my upper teeth in January. I’m really nervous about how the process will go. Can you help assuage my fears?

I will have temporaries for 3 weeks. I’m concerned about how they’ll look, how obvious they’ll be, how it may impact my speech, if they come off while in public or before I can get them fixed, etc. How was the process for temporary veneers for you? Do you have any suggestions or recommendations on dealing with this part of the process?

I’m less nervous about the procedure itself (but still have some nerves) - how long it’ll take, pain, etc - I’m pretty calm in a dental chair and have a high pain tolerance, but I don’t know how the day will go.

Can you give me any advice about going through with veneers? How to take care of them, prepare, deal with the process, etc? Questions to ask my dentist? In the long term, I think it’ll help my confidence tremendously as I’ve never had a smile I felt confident to show.
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Who recommended you to have veneers? They are a cosmetic procedure and require a lot of care to be kept in good condition. Was having a bridge not an option? My number one recommendation, coming from someone who has had both veneers and bridges, is to get a second opinion before the work is started. If I had, I would have avoided a very costly and uncomfortable veneer 'solution' that negatively affected my mental health and self-image for almost 15 years.
posted by parmanparman at 7:12 AM on December 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Just as a contrast the the other response, my husband has had veneers for 5 years and they look great, are totally comfortable and don’t require more upkeep than going to the dentist twice a year which you should be doing anyway. I can’t speak to the procedure itself but I know the result has been great for his confidence and has no downsides.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 7:57 AM on December 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Ive had my five veneers for about 7 years and I love them, wish I'd done it sooner. For unknown reasons, my top front teeth had gotten pitted and yellowed and though structurally sound, looked horrible. The veneers looks natural, not too white or perfect and feel great and I am happy to smile now because they look so good (seems especially important nowadays with so much picture taking). The procedure was easy, and upkeep is nothing special, just the usual maintenance. I eat whatever I want, and honestly forget them.
posted by j810c at 10:11 AM on December 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've had my veneers for 10 years and they are great. Of course, they need taking care of, just like non-veneered teeth, mainly gum health so the gum doesn't retreat and expose the un-veneered upper section of the tooth. I prefer an electric toothbrush. It may take some trial and error to find a flossing tool or thread that fits the altered gaps between your teeth.

Your temporaries will not fall off. You may feel that your teeth are thicker, which will affect your speech in a very minor way - others won't even notice - or will forget within moments. If your teeth are bad now, even the temporaries will look 100% better.

My procedure took around 8-10 hours but I had more work that you are having. I love the result and you should too.

Do get a mouth guard to protect your new pearlies at night-time. And do consider visiting a massage therapist soon after who can give you a mouth massage as part of their service as a way to relieve any muscle or jaw tension after sitting with your mouth open for hours.
posted by Thella at 11:55 AM on December 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Temporaries *do* sometimes fall off. I had a veneer put on ("installed?") a few months ago and the temporary came off just an hour or so after it was put on. It was annoying but ultimately not a big deal because my wonderful dentist was able to make a new one first thing the next day. The new one held out just fine (as did the third one; we weren't happy with the first veneer and cap that the lab made so we sent them back while I got another set of temporaries).

No problems with the veneer so far. I have a regular appointment in a month or so and I'm going to ask my dentist to polish the corners a little bit; it took me a while to figure out the difference between "this new thing has corners that are a bit sharper than I'd like" and "this is a new thing."
posted by ElKevbo at 7:52 PM on December 4, 2018

I've had veneers on my two front teeth for about 20 years. They were installed by a really shady dentist who pointed out some mild chipping on the ends of the teeth, asked if I wanted him to "clean that up", and when I assented promptly ground away most of those teeth to install the stupid-ass veneers.

Yes, I'm bitter and full of regret.

I don't remember much about the temporaries, to be honest. The permanent ones look fine, they don't affect my speech at all, and provided the color is matched correctly they're not noticeable except if you look really close at the gumline. Those teeth are more sensitive to cold and heat than they used to be, and I have to be more cautious about what I bite into: the veneers have broken off and needed replacing twice (#1: hard candy, #2 gristly taco). They're also significantly larger than the real teeth they replaced (because they're full size, not worn down from age like the surrounding teeth. It took me a long time to stop feeling like I looked like a chipmunk.) You have to be a bit more careful when flossing, but other than that they don't require any additional care.

If I'd actually needed them in the first place I'd probably be a lot less angry about having to put up with them now. If you have significant cosmetic problems it might be worthwhile, but be aware it's a much more substantial procedure than the name suggests -- a really shocking amount of tooth enamel will be ground off to fit them -- and they're functionally just not as good as the real thing.
posted by ook at 9:00 AM on December 5, 2018

Maybe you've already looked into alternatives, but I got my four front top teeth bonded - the enamel was so structurally compromised that my insurance actually covered it, but the side benefit was that I'm no longer self-conscious about smiling with my mouth open.

The advantage over veneers is that it's a single visit deal and you probably won't need to have your real teeth ground down (also cheaper).

I haven't experienced any of the supposed disadvantages: no staining, even though I drink coffee and red wine. And they've lasted 9 years now with no signs of deterioration (hope I didn't just jinx myself by saying so). I went to a new dentist a few years ago and he couldn't tell they'd been bonded.

Anyway, if you haven't already considered composite bonding instead of porcelain veneers it's worth considering. If you have already considered it, I will just say that getting my teeth done has made a big impact on my self confidence and it's totally worth it. I think you'll be really happy about it.
posted by Kriesa at 12:28 PM on December 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have veneers on my two front teeth. I broke them in half when I was a kid. Originally I had the the broken pieces bonded back on, before getting veneers in my 20s. For what it's worth, the veneers seem more solid than my original teeth, though more sensitive. People are usually shocked to find out that they are not my real teeth.

I don't remember having any problems with the temporary veneers at all - they seemed pretty solid and no one knew the difference.
posted by quiet coffee at 4:25 PM on December 5, 2018

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