Some people with bruxism worry that they won't be able to get veneers or that they'll become damaged and require frequent, expensive replacement. It's true that people who grind their teeth have to take some extra care with their veneers; however, it's definitely possible to have bruxism and still keep your veneers in good shape for years to come. How can you make them last as long as possible?
The porcelain that veneers are made from is a very strong material; it has to be to hold up to the biting and chewing that people do. But grinding your teeth will exert extra pressure on it. If you don't already have one, you should ask your dentist about getting a mouth guard to wear at night.
Many people with bruxism avoid night guards; after all, they can be a bit embarrassing. However, they're definitely better than having your veneers crack, leaving you covering your smile until you can see your dentist.
Patients also often worry that they will be too uncomfortable to sleep in. But dental mouth guards aren't the bulky plastic guards you find at a sporting goods store. They come in a wide variety of shapes, often made from soft, flexible plastics, and may even be custom-fitted to your mouth.
Bruxism doesn't have a simple cure; most people find that wearing some type of mouth guard is the best way to reduce its effects. However, another effective way to reduce the amount of grinding you do is to reduce your stress. Most people find that, by reducing daytime stress, they grind their teeth less during the night.
It's worth trying some simple lifestyle choices to reduce stress. Taking up exercise – even simply walking outside – can be very good for this. You can also learn stress-reducing techniques like meditation or controlled breathing; meditating before bed each night is a good way to improve your rest and potentially decrease your grinding.
Even for people who take perfect care of their veneers and never grind their teeth, replacement will eventually be necessary. Luckily, this isn't a difficult procedure, simply requiring the old veneers and bonding to be removed and new veneers put on in their place.
And there's one important thing that many people don't know about veneer replacement. Although initial installation of veneers is considered cosmetic and almost never covered by insurance, having damaged veneers replaced is a functional procedure, and many insurance companies will cover it – so be sure to ask.
For more information, contact a professional such as Michael K Sakuda DDS.