Porcelain Veneers - Not Worth It if You're Only Trying to Fix a Minor Problem- Philadelphia, PA
I purchased 8 veneers 4 years ago as a 24 year old...
I spent months researching the best cosmetic dentists in my area (Philly suburbs at the time) and paid a lot of money in consultations alone. When I finally found a dentist I liked, I visited the lab that they used to create the veneers to meet the technician/artist/whatever you call him face-to-face.
The procedure was AWFUL. The procedure started with the removal of my bonding, which I was thrilled to see go. I already had my teeth sawed down from the procedure my dentist did as a teenager, so that wasn't the worst part. This part of the procedure bothers a lot of people, and I'd have to agree that if you have healthy teeth with enamel, don't go ruining them by sawing them down just to fix discoloration or something minor. At this time though, it was nothing new to me. The temporary veneers were placed on all 8 teeth. My dentist made one big piece and glued it onto the surfaces of the teeth as such, kind of like a retainer. He mentioned that it may get loose, or it may even break off, and if that happens it would be no problem to quickly glue them back on. He assured it wouldn't hurt if it happened.
Well it happened. Over and over and over again in the 2 week period it took for the lab to finalize the veneers. And it hurt. As I mentioned, I took on two jobs to pay for the procedure, and one was a waitressing job, which required working weekends. Not only did my temporary veneers break off as I was talking to a table, but it happened on a Saturday night, and the office was closed until Tuesday. I called the dentist office emergency number that they gave me, and the dentist was unreachable, so the receptionist said she'd glue them back on for me. I was so desperate, and had to work 10 hours on the following Sunday that I agreed to go in. Without anesthesia, the receptionist glued the temps back onto my teeth.
Please keep in mind that having your teeth exposed like that without any enamel is extremely painful. You cannot eat, drink, breathe with your mouth open, or go outside in the cold. Having your teeth worked on without anesthesia of any kind when they are totally exposed is even worse. I was screaming in pain.
Finally, the *real* veneers were glued on and I could finally kiss this horrible nightmare of getting veneers and the insecurities I had before veneers goodbye. I was so excited to smile in pictures, wear lipgloss (something I didn't do for years because it drew attention to my mouth) and to talk to people without feeling like I was being judged for having bad teeth. I was happy to ditch the temporary veneers that kept breaking off, and at first I must admit, I really liked how I looked. After a few days, weeks, and months as I looked closer, I noticed that some of the veneers did not cover the tooth entirely. There was one tooth on the side of my jaw that was so exposed that I couldn't eat and drink anything on that side for MANY months. There is a tooth next to my big front tooth that was not placed properly, and now there is a stain along where the veneer lays against my real tooth. THIS IS IN THE FRONT OF MY MOUTH and I am not equally as self-aware as I was before. My dentist cannot remove the stain to do where it is.
On top of the pain and aesthetic disappointment, I am constantly afraid that they will fall off or break. They say this is rare, but I'm not so sure about that because I've read a LOT of horror stories about veneers falling off. This anxiety has gotten worse as my teeth or veneers have now started to move when I eat certain foods. I actually hear clicking, and the movement sensation does not stop until at least 30 minutes when I'm done eating. At the dentist yesterday, I mentioned this occurrence. She said that my teeth do not move upon her examination, and she's never heard of this happening before. As far as she can tell, the veneers are in good shape. Oh and by the way, going to the dentist is 10 times more frightening then it was before. I'm constantly afraid that they're going to pop off of break a veneer during the exam. They try to reassure me by saying "don't worry, if that happens we can replace it, or make you a new one quickly!". Yeah, great. Can't wait to pay a couple grand for a new tooth that might not even match the others because I'm trying to be responsible about my dental health.
I'm not really sure what to make of this, but I've maintained my veneers exactly as directed - with the most expensive electric tooth brush, religious flossing while pay special attention to my gums, wearing a mouth guard, and literally not biting into anything. When you get veneers, you can say goodbye to biting into sandwiches, pizza, fruit, etc. and chewing anything remotely hard. This can be awkward when you're places like work functions where finger foods are the only thing available. I chew everything with my back 4 un-veneered teeth. It will change your life, your diet, and your anxiety level.
If you're looking to fix minor discoloration or tooth placement, this is not for you. Keep your teeth in tact and wait until a better option is on the market.