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Can Porcelain Veneers Help Sensitive Teeth?



Sensitive teeth are not always painful, but they can make it uncomfortable to enjoy cold and hot meals and drinks. Tooth sensitivity arises when the porous, inner structure of your tooth—dentin—becomes exposed due to enamel wear, allowing heat and cold to access the nerves.

Cosmetic Porcelain Veneers For Tooth Sensitivity

Enamel wear is usually caused by poor dental hygiene and eating habits, which cause bacteria to accumulate around your teeth. The bacteria feed on sugars and starch in your mouth, converting them into acids that gradually wear down tooth enamel and expose the dentin.

How to Treat Sensitive Teeth with Cosmetic Porcelain Veneers

The only way to treat tooth sensitivity is by covering the exposed dentin, as with cosmetic porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain bonded to the lip-side of your teeth to recreate the natural look of your teeth, and increase their structural strength and resilience. Besides addressing tooth sensitivity, porcelain veneers can be used for other cosmetic purposes, including:

  • Slight adjustments to the position of your teeth
  • Changing the shape, size and color of your teeth
  • Correcting fractured teeth and spaces between teeth

The Procedure

Porcelain veneers comprise a series of multiple thin porcelain layers that are bonded to the surface of your teeth to replace tooth enamel. Before applying the veneer, a small amount of tooth enamel is removed to create space for the porcelain to fit within your mouth without affecting the natural look and function of your mouth. After removing the enamel, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental laboratory where your custom veneers are fabricated. In the meantime, temporary veneers are installed to reduce sensitivity when eating.

When your veneers are ready, the temporary veneers are removed. Then the dentist places a light-sensitive resin between the surface of the remaining tooth structure and the porcelain layer, and hardens the bond using a special curing light. Finally, the veneers are trimmed and polished for a natural and dazzling look.

No-Prep Veneers

In some cases, you may choose to have the veneers bonded directly to your teeth without any preparations. If you’re suffering from sensitive teeth, for instance, removing more of the enamel can weaken the structure of the tooth. As such, placing the veneers directly can address the discomfort and strengthen the tooth in a single, fast procedure.

Are Veneers Right for You?

Most cases of tooth sensitivity can be adequately treated using cosmetic porcelain veneers. However, you may need to endure the sensitivity for a few more days, considering that more of the tooth enamel often has to be removed before the veneers can be bonded to your teeth. Consult your dentist to discuss whether porcelain veneers are right for you, and how to care for them.

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Dr. Stacey Stein
A graduate from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto, Dr. Stacy Stein provides personalized care to each patient by explaining the risks and benefits of different treatment options in an honest way, and involves patients in their own care. With a focus on preventative, paediatrics, restorative, prosthodontics, and endodontics, she loves working with patients of all ages.