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What Do Theet Look Like Under Veneers

Understanding the appearance and health of teeth under veneers is key to comprehending the full process of this popular dental procedure. Veneers, a form of cosmetic dentistry, are thin shells crafted from porcelain or composite resin, designed to fit over the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. They are used to rectify a variety of dental issues including stained, chipped, worn, misaligned, or unevenly spaced teeth. However, what exactly happens beneath these veneers is an aspect of dentistry that often goes unexplored.

The Preparation Process: A Glimpse Underneath

Before veneers are attached to your teeth, your dentist must first prepare the surface of your teeth. This involves the removal of a small amount of enamel from the tooth’s surface to make room for the veneer. This process creates a rougher surface that allows the veneer to adhere more effectively. Consequently, teeth underneath veneers can look slightly smaller and rougher than natural teeth.

The Role of Dental Adhesive

After the preparation, a dental adhesive is applied to help the veneer bond with the tooth. This adhesive layer is hardened using a special light. As a result, the underlying tooth surface is generally coated in a thin layer of adhesive residue, making it appear somewhat different from a normal tooth surface.

The Color of Teeth Under Veneers

In many cases, teeth underneath veneers might be discolored or stained, which is often one of the reasons people opt for veneers in the first place. Since veneers are largely opaque, they effectively hide any discoloration or stains present on the underlying teeth. Consequently, the color of teeth beneath veneers can significantly differ from that of natural, untouched teeth.

Possible Tooth Damage Under Veneers

If the veneer process isn’t handled correctly or if the veneers are not maintained well, the underlying tooth can be at risk. There might be decay, damage or even tooth loss in extreme cases. In most cases, however, with proper care, veneers should not contribute to underlying tooth damage.

Importance of Regular Dental Check-Ups

Even if you have veneers, regular dental check-ups are important. Dentists can use X-rays to see beyond the veneer and assess the health of the tooth underneath. If any decay is spotted, treatment can be started early before it causes serious damage.

Maintaining Oral Health with Veneers

Finally, maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial, regardless of whether or not you have veneers. Even though the veneers themselves cannot decay, the underlying tooth and surrounding tissue can, making regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups necessary.

The Long-Term Effects of Veneers on Underlying Teeth

While the immediate post-procedure appearance of teeth under veneers has been touched upon, it is equally important to explore their potential long-term effects.

Tooth Sensitivity

Since the veneer procedure involves removing some of the tooth’s enamel, this can potentially result in increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. While this sensitivity may decrease over time, in some cases it could persist, contributing to the overall experience of living with veneers.

Potential for Cavities

The tooth beneath the veneer remains alive and functional. This means it is still susceptible to cavities, particularly at the junction where the veneer meets the tooth. A poorly fitted veneer can create areas that are hard to clean, allowing bacteria to gather, increasing the risk of decay. It’s important to keep up good oral hygiene practices to keep cavities at bay.

The Role of Veneer Material on Underlying Teeth

The material from which the veneers are made can also impact what teeth look like underneath.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are often praised for their ability to mimic the light-reflecting properties of natural teeth. Beneath these veneers, teeth might appear slightly altered due to the thin layer of porcelain covering them. However, porcelain is more resistant to staining than the natural tooth, so over time, the color difference between the veneered teeth and any natural teeth may become more pronounced.

Composite Resin Veneers

On the other hand, composite resin veneers are typically thicker than their porcelain counterparts, meaning more tooth structure may need to be removed before they’re applied. This could potentially result in underlying teeth that are more drastically altered in appearance.

Underlying Teeth and Veneer Lifespan

Lastly, it’s important to remember that veneers are not permanent. On average, they last between 7 to 15 years, depending on the material used and how well they are taken care of. Once they are worn out, they will need to be replaced. This could also lead to further changes in the appearance of the underlying teeth.


In essence, while veneers provide an excellent aesthetic solution, they do necessitate changes to the natural structure of the teeth. Understanding these changes, both immediate and long-term, can help individuals make informed decisions about their oral health. From maintaining good hygiene practices to regular dentist visits and considering the type of veneer material, every aspect plays a crucial role in determining what teeth look like under veneers. Regardless of the choice made, ensuring the health of both the veneers and the underlying teeth should always be the top priority.

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