I've got a list of a couple questions from either social media that people have chimed in with or sent it in to our email box and I'm going to jump right into it. Our first question is, "Doc, is there pain with dental veneers?" Dr. Creasman: No. Veneers aren't painful to get. The reality is that any time you have dental work done, there is a level of sensitivity that could be associated with that procedure. As with any filling or crown or veneer or anything else, the more work that has to be done on the tooth, the more likelihood that there could be sensitivity. Which is exactly why at Atlanta Dental Spa, we strive to be as conservative as possible and do as minimal prep as we can so that all that tooth stays and the sensitivity is minimized.
Dr. Boulden: So would you say that the amount of reduction of tooth is directly correlated to the amount of sensitivity possible for someone? Meaning a crown prep could be a lot more sensitive to someone than a veneer prep. Dr. Creasman: Oh, absolutely. Any time you work on a tooth, the more you have to engage that tooth, the more you have to take away or really irritate it, the more sensitivity you can have. So once again that's why at Atlanta Dental Spa, we try to be as conservative as possible so that that sensitivity is minimized or negated completely.
Dr. Boulden: Can you whiten a veneer? Dr. Creasman: No. You can't. Like fine china, the color of the porcelain stays stable throughout the entire life of the veneer. The things that impact the color of the veneer is the tooth underneath it, as well as the color of the porcelain that we choose. Porcelain veneers can have surface stain from coffees, teas, and lifestyle choices that we make, but they won't penetrate into the veneer so the veneer will stay the same. If you get any surface stain, that's easily polished away.
Dr. Boulden: How come I've had patients say, "Well, my veneers look darker over time." I know you just spoke about that being they might just need to be polished, but is there any other ways that they can be darkened over time or is that once the color is the color? Dr. Creasman: Well, the color of the veneer is actually the product of the color of the porcelain as well as the color of the tooth underneath. So if the tooth underneath starts changing colors, i.e., there was damage or trauma to the tooth and that tooth has darkened because of the need for a root canal, that could impact the color of the veneer. The only other way a veneer should darken or discolor is if there's actually a breach in the interface between the veneer and the tooth and it's starting to leak, in which case it needs to be addressed. Dr. Boulden: But they could look darker bathed in coffee for 10 years and the tooth behind it would be... Dr. Creasman: Well, not really because once again the porcelain doesn't change color so the surface stain from lifestyle choices like coffee should be easily polished away.
Dr. Boulden: A question that people ask is, "How long do veneers last?" And then the next question out of their mouth is, "What happens when they do have to be replaced?" So we've already talked about how long they last in certain other videos, but I guess what I'm trying to say is people's concern is, "Will my teeth just fall off? Do they just fall off when they're ready to be replaced? What's the process of getting them replaced? And how many times potentially could you have that done in your life?" Dr. Creasman: Obviously we want the veneers to last a really long time and we don't want to have to go through that replacement process, but realistically life happens. We can be in a traumatic event or a fall and something can chip or break. Sometimes porcelain veneers have to be replaced and if so, we treat that porcelain veneer just as if it were your natural tooth. We conservatively remove the veneer and we can apply a new veneer to the existing tooth that's still left. This is why we strive to be so conservative because in the future if you have to have a veneer replaced, you still have a lot of healthy tooth for us to put a new veneer on. Dr. Boulden: So there's no real number to...there's really unlimited amounts of time that you could have it replaced as long as you get back to a fresh bonding surface, right? Dr. Creasman: Yes. Every time that we replace a veneer, there is a microscopic amount of tooth that we have to remove. So in theory there is a finite number of times that a veneer can be replaced, but in reality you won't live long enough for us to go through that amount. Dr. Boulden: Yeah. The tooth doesn't spontaneously just fall off. There's not an expiration date where they explode or anything like that. Dr. Creasman: No. It's not time-release glue. They just don't fall off.
Dr. Boulden: Okay, good. I think that will ease people's minds a bit because I get that question all the time. Can porcelain veneers be removed? Dr. Creasman: Porcelain veneers can be removed. We can treat porcelain veneers