By: Dr. Lahiru Chandraweera

June 06, 2024

A Patient’s Guide to Understanding the Link Between Dental Veneers and Tooth Sensitivity

Dental veneers are a popular choice for enhancing your smile. They can transform your teeth by addressing crooked teeth, slightly misaligned teeth, and gaps between teeth, giving you a beautiful and natural look. However, many people experience tooth sensitivity after getting them, which can be an unexpected and uncomfortable side effect.

It is important to understand why it happens and how to manage it. Knowing the link between veneers and sensitivity can help you make decisions about your dental care.

We will explore why veneers can cause sensitivity and how to deal with it. We’ll also provide useful tips and insights to help you enjoy your new smile without discomfort.

Summary of the Content

  • Enamel trimming, adhesive bonding, and adjustments in bite alignment are some of the causes of tooth sensitivity.
  • Pre-existing conditions like gum disease, tooth decay, or previous dental work can heighten sensitivity post-procedure.
  • The veneer procedure involves consultation, enamel trimming, impressions, temporary veneers, bonding, and final adjustments.
  • Managing tooth sensitivity includes avoiding hot and cold foods, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, desensitising toothpaste, and fluoride rinse. This also includes dietary changes, regular check-ups, and avoiding whitening products.
  • Consult a dental professional if sensitivity persists, worsens, or becomes severe or if chewing causes pain or visible damage to veneers.

Discovering the Connection Between Veneers and Sensitive Teeth

Dental veneer procedures can give you a confident smile, but they may also cause tooth sensitivity. Understanding why this happens can help you manage any discomfort you might experience.

  • Enamel Trimming:
    To place veneers, a thin layer of enamel is removed. This loss of tooth enamel can expose the underlying dentin, causing pressure and temperature sensitivity.
  • Bonding Process:
    The bonding agent used to attach veneers can sometimes irritate the nerve endings inside your teeth, resulting in temporary sensitivity.
  • Adjustment Period:
    After getting veneers, your teeth may need time to adjust. During this period, they can be more sensitive as they adapt to the new surface, especially if there is pre-existing long-term tooth sensitivity.
  • Bite Changes:
    Veneers can slightly alter an improper bite, causing your teeth to make contact differently. This can result in increased sensitivity until your mouth gets used to the new alignment.

Understanding the link between dental veneers and tooth sensitivity is crucial for proper care. Being aware of the factors mentioned can help in managing tooth sensitivity after getting veneers and maintaining your smile makeover results.

Different Types of Veneers and Sensitivity Concerns

When choosing dental veneers, it’s essential to understand how different materials can affect tooth sensitivity. Porcelain and composite veneers each have unique characteristics that influence their interaction with your natural teeth.

Type of VeneerPorcelain VeneersComposite Resin Veneers
DurabilityVery durable, can last 10-15 years or moreLess durable, usually last four to eight years
Aesthetic QualityHighly natural appearance and stain-resistantNatural look but can stain over time
Procedure ComplexityRequires more enamel trimming, more complex procedureLess enamel trimmed, simpler and quicker procedure
Risk of SensitivityHigher due to more enamel trimmed and complex bondingLower, as less enamel is trimmed and simpler bonding

Choosing between porcelain and composite resin veneers depends on your specific needs and sensitivity concerns. Understanding these differences can help you make a decision that balances aesthetics and comfort.

Pre-Procedure Conditions that Influence Sensitivity

Before undergoing a dental veneer procedure, it’s important to consider your overall dental health. Certain conditions can increase the likelihood of tooth sensitivity after the dental procedure.

  • Gum Disease:
    Gum disease can be one of the causes of tooth sensitivity. Inflammation and infection of the gums can expose tooth roots, making them more sensitive. Gum recession can also contribute to this issue. Veneers placed on these teeth might exacerbate this sensitivity.
  • Tooth decay:
    This is another one of the major causes of tooth sensitivity. Cavities weaken the natural tooth structure, making it more vulnerable to sensitivity. To have a stable and less sensitive foundation, any decay must be addressed before the placement of veneers.
  • Previous Dental Work:
    Existing fillings, crowns, or other dental restorations can impact how veneers fit and adhere to teeth. This can cause increased sensitivity as your mouth adjusts to the new veneers and the pressure on them.

A comprehensive dental health strategy will support a smoother healing time for dental veneers. By taking these steps, you can prevent unexplained toothache and other physical health issues related to your dental veneer journey.

Step-by-Step Guide Through the Veneer Procedure

Understanding each step of the dental veneer procedure can help in anticipating and managing tooth sensitivity. Here’s a detailed walkthrough of what to expect.

  • Consultation:
    During your initial visit, your experienced dentist examines your teeth and discusses your goals. Dental X-rays or impressions may be taken to plan your dental treatment. This step is crucial to identify any pre-existing oral issues that could cause sensitivity. This also determines if you are a suitable candidate for veneers.
  • Preparation:
    The dentist trims a bit of tooth enamel from the front of your teeth to make space for the veneers. This tooth preparation, also known as tooth reduction, can result in short-term sensitivity to temperature or sweet foods.
  • Impression:
    After enamel trimming, an impression of your teeth is taken. This helps create custom veneers that fit snugly. The impression process itself is noninvasive but critical for the final fit. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory where your veneers are crafted.
  • Temporary Veneers:
    While waiting for your new veneers, temporary veneers might be placed. These can cause mild discomfort or sensitivity as your prepared teeth adjust to the new sensation.
  • Bonding:
    Once your custom veneers are ready, the dentist will bond them to your teeth using a strong dental cement. This process involves etching the tooth surface, which can temporarily heighten sensitivity.
  • Final Adjustments:
    After the veneers are bonded, your dentist will make any necessary adjustments for a snug fit. You may experience some sensitivity as your mouth gets used to the new shape and bite alignment. This step helps provide a comfortable bite and an improved smile.

By understanding each stage of the veneer process, you can better manage any discomfort that arises. Taking basic precautions and following personalised advice from your clinic can provide a comfortable experience and a smooth dental veneer recovery time.

Managing Sensitivity After Veneers

Experiencing tooth sensitivity after getting veneers is common, but there are ways to manage and reduce it. Here are some practical tips to help you find relief.

  • Avoid Hot and Cold Foods:
    Immediately after getting veneers, avoid very hot or cold foods and drinks. Extreme temperatures can increase sensitivity, which is one of the procedure’s common side effects.
  • Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush:
    Brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush can help reduce irritation to your gums and teeth, minimising sensitivity. This is an important part of maintaining good dental hygiene.
  • Desensitising Toothpaste:
    Switch to a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes contain ingredients that help block pain signals from reaching the nerves in your teeth.
  • Gentle Brushing:
    Gently brush your teeth to prevent causing discomfort in delicate places. Brushing too hard might cause the enamel to erode and become more sensitive. To preserve your enamel, learn proper brushing techniques.
  • Fluoride Rinse:
    Use a fluoride mouthwash daily to help strengthen your enamel and reduce sensitivity. Fluoride helps to remineralise your teeth and protect them from further sensitivity.
  • Dietary Changes:
    Limit your consumption of acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits and soft drinks. These can cause enamel erosion and heightened sensitivity.
  • Regular Dental Check-Ups:
    Schedule regular visits to your dentist to monitor your veneers and overall dental health. Consulting with your dentist can help address issues related to dental veneers and tooth sensitivity. If needed, your dentist can provide additional treatments, such as a cleaning.
  • Avoid Whitening Products:
    Teeth whitening products can be harsh and increase sensitivity. Avoid using them unless recommended by your dentist.

By following these tips and maintaining a thorough oral hygiene routine, you can manage tooth sensitivity and enjoy your new veneers.

When to See Your Dentist About Veneer-Related Sensitivity

While some sensitivity after getting veneers is normal, certain signs and symptoms may indicate the need to consult your dentist. Here’s when you should seek professional aftercare advice.

  • Persistent Sensitivity:
    If sensitivity continues for a couple of weeks without improvement, it’s important to get it checked. Prolonged discomfort might signal an underlying issue.
  • Severe Pain:
    Experiencing severe pain instead of mild sensitivity can be a sign of a more serious problem. Intense tooth pain after veneers should never be ignored.
  • Worsening Discomfort:
    If sensitivity starts to get worse instead of better, it could indicate a problem with the veneer placement. It can also indicate potential issues with your natural tooth.
  • Pain When Chewing:
    Minor discomfort while chewing or biting might suggest that the veneer is not fitting properly. If not addressed, this could result in further complications.
  • Visible Damage:
    If you notice any chips, cracks, or other damage to your veneers, see your dentist promptly. Damaged veneers can contribute to increased sensitivity and other dental issues.

Paying attention to these signs can help you address any problems early and maintain your dental health.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the link between dental veneers and tooth sensitivity is crucial for anyone considering this popular cosmetic treatment. By knowing what to expect and how to manage potential discomfort, you can enjoy the benefits of veneers while maintaining your oral health.

If you have concerns about tooth sensitivity after a dental veneer procedure, don’t hesitate to contact Hills Family Dental Centre Kalamunda. Our experienced team is here to answer your questions and help you achieve a beautiful smile.

Call us today or visit our website to book your dental appointment!