From an article that recently turned up in our inbox:
Ceramic veneers are minimally invasive, preserve tooth structure, and provide long-term aesthetic rehabilitation and, therefore, may be a better option than crowns for patients with fluorosis….
You know what’s an even better option? Living a fluoride-free life, so the fluorosis doesn’t happen at all.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Nearly 75% of the US population gets tap water that’s been spiked with the stuff. Because of its prevalence, it turns up in plenty of food and beverages made with fluoridated water. Fluoride is in most toothpastes and many mouth rinses. You can even get fluoridated dental floss and flossers.
Fluoride. Is. Everywhere.
And so is dental fluorosis, in which the teeth become discolored and pitted from being exposed to too much fluoride. According to a 2018 study comparing fluorosis rates at the start of the 21st century with rates 10 years later, the rate soared from about 30% of the teen population to just over 61%.
But while steering clear of fluoride is ideal – not only because of fluorosis but the many systemic health risks fluoride raises – the point remains that fluorosis happens, and there are people who would rather not live with the cosmetic defect. They’d rather be comfortable and confident when smiling or talking.
And that brings us back to the current study, which evaluated the results of ceramic veneers used to cover front teeth that have been damaged by fluoride.
All told, the research team looked at the results of over 350 porcelain laminate veneers that were placed to cover up fluorosis-damaged teeth. These veneers are thinner than composite ones, less apt to stain, and, most importantly, don’t require us to remove as much natural enamel in order to place them.
Their survival rate? Nearly all were in good shape after 10 years. The few problems that were observed included secondary caries (recurrent tooth decay) and fractures.
Clearly, the evidence suggests that ceramic veneers are a good option – and not just for covering fluorosis damage, either. All kinds of smile features that you may be dissatisfied with can be improved, from chips to tooth wear to gaps and more. While they may not be right in every situation for every person looking to improve the aesthetics of their smile, they are a versatile option worth consideration in creating the smile of your dreams.
For more on the biocompatible cosmetic dental options we offer, click here.
Fluorosis image by MoninaCisneros