Can You Get Dental Veneers If You Have Gum Disease?: How Can You Be a Candidate for Dental Veneers if You Have Gum Problems

Can You Get Dental Veneers If You Have Gum Disease?: How Can You Be a Candidate for Dental Veneers if You Have Gum Problems By Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho | February 20, 2023

Dental veneers are a popular choice for improving the look of your smile. Dental veneers can help address chips, cracks, and discolouration and close gaps between teeth. But if you have gum disease or periodontal disease, is it still possible for you to get dental veneers?

The answer is yes, but with certain conditions.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the relationship between dental veneers and gum disease and what it means to be a candidate for veneers if you have gum problems. Let’s get started!

Summary of the Content

Dental veneers can be a great way to enhance the appearance of your smile, but it is important to consider the state of your gums before undergoing this procedure.

Periodontal disease can affect the longevity and success of dental veneers.

Maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly are essential to ensure your gums are healthy before getting veneers.

Gingival health and dental veneers must be taken seriously, as periodontal disease can lead to complications with the longevity of these restorations.

The pricing of veneers can be greatly impacted by periodontal disease, as it may necessitate extra dental treatments before the placement is possible.

What are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are one of cosmetic dentistry‘s most versatile and transformative treatments today. They are designed to cover the front surface of a patient’s teeth, creating a more aesthetically pleasing look while providing extra strength and protection to the tooth.

Veneers are custom-made pieces of porcelain or composite resin material that can be reshaped and coloured to match a person’s natural teeth. There are two types of veneers based on the chosen materials, classified as either porcelain or composite resin varieties.

  1. Porcelain Veneers: These veneers are made from thin pieces of porcelain and can offer a long-lasting, natural-looking smile.
  2. Composite Veneers: These veneers are created with a resin that is applied to the tooth surface, creating an instant smile makeover.

When you decide to opt for veneer, the advantages are countless. Here are some of the numerous benefits that come along with it:

  • Improved Aesthetic: Dental veneers can improve the appearance of your teeth by making them brighter, straighter, and more uniform in shape.
  • Durable: Veneers are highly resistant to staining from tea or coffee, meaning you can enjoy a fresh-looking smile for years.
  • Improved Dental Health: Dental veneers can protect teeth from further damage, including chips or cracks. It can close gaps and make teeth appear straighter, which can make brushing and maintaining good oral hygiene easier for patients.
  • Enhanced Confidence: Dental veneers can boost self-confidence and improve the overall appearance of your smile.
talk between dentist and her patient

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious dental condition caused by bacterial plaque which builds up on teeth. It can cause swelling, tenderness, and bleeding of the gums, and if not properly addressed, it can lead to receding gums, bone loss around your teeth, bad breath, and eventual tooth loss. Gum disease can be prevented with proper brushing and flossing habits.

Types of Gum Disease

Gum disease is categorised into two main types: gingivitis and periodontitis.

  • Gingivitis: Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that almost everyone has experienced at some point. It is characterised by swollen or inflamed gums that bleed when the patient brushes or flosses. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, and it is reversible. However, if not addressed immediately, it can develop into something more serious.
  • Periodontitis: Periodontitis is a serious and progressive disease that occurs when gingivitis is not addressed for too long. This allows the bacteria that cause the infection to spread below the gum line and damage the bone, leading to periodontal pockets, bone loss, loss of attachment of teeth to the bone, and even eventual tooth loss.

Causes of Gum Disease

Gum disease is caused by the accumulation of plaque around the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. These bacteria cause an inflammatory response that leads to swelling and bleeding of the gums. As the disease progresses, the inflammatory response caused by bacterial plaque causes the bone to resorb, the gum to recede, and the teeth to lose attachment, leading to the shifting of teeth and, eventually, tooth loss.

Although gum disease is primarily caused by bacteria in plaque, the following increases the risk of gum of periodontal disease: 

  • Poor Dental Hygiene – When proper brushing and flossing techniques are not followed, plaque can accumulate and harden on the tooth surface. This causes bacteria to form below the gum line, leading to infection and inflammation.
  • Tobacco Use – Smoking or chewing tobacco can drastically increase the risk of gum disease due to the chemicals these products contain. Smoking drastically slows down the healing process of the body, making it more susceptible to infections such as gum diseases.
  • Genetics – Genetics can play a role in the development of gum disease, making some individuals more susceptible to this condition than others.
  • Certain Medical Conditions – People with diabetes and other diseases that affect the body’s ability to fight off infection are at an increased risk for periodontal (gum) disease.

Can You Get Dental Veneers if You Have Gum Disease?

Dental veneers and gum disease may not be a good combination. The dentist may decide whether or not they are willing to place veneers after assessing the patient’s oral health.

You may be suitable to get dental veneers if you meet the following criteria:

  • Your periodontal disease is controlled, meaning it is no longer progressing.
  • The surrounding gums are healthy, with no signs of periodontitis.
  • There is sufficient bone left to support the teeth. There is no tooth mobility.
  • You constantly visit your periodontist for maintenance periodontal therapy.
  • You are willing to commit to a rigorous oral hygiene routine and attend regular checkups with your dentist.

 

It is important to remember that even if you are a suitable candidate for veneers, the dentist may still recommend treatments to improve your gingival health and increase the success of your dental veneers. Treatments such as scaling and root planing can help reduce bacterial growth in the mouth and promote healthy gums.

However, dental veneers may not be appropriate for you if any of the following apply:

  • Periodontal disease is active: Dental veneers are not recommended when an active case of gum disease is present. This is because unstable gums usually bleed upon manipulation. This can prevent proper adhesion of the veneer on the tooth and lead to detachment. Additionally, the placement of veneers can worsen periodontal disease if the gums are not healthy.
  • Poor oral hygiene: Dental veneers require stringent oral hygiene maintenance to be successful. If your dentist notices poor brushing or flossing habits, they may not recommend veneers.
  • Dental caries: Dental veneers are also not recommended if active tooth decay is present, as it can lead to treatment failure. Dental decay may progress if not addressed immediately and require more extensive restorative treatment in the future. For this reason, this condition must be resolved before the placement of dental veneers.

Gingivitis and Dental Veneers

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. It is caused by the buildup of bacterial plaque on teeth, resulting in red, swollen, or bleeding gums. Gingivitis rarely causes pain, but this does not mean that it can be disregarded. If not addressed properly, gingivitis can lead to more serious issues such as periodontitis and tooth loss.

There are a few key components to be aware of when it comes to dental veneers and gum disease. Dental veneers can help improve the overall appearance of your teeth, but if this treatment is administered to patients with gingivitis, they can do more harm than good.

If you are considering receiving dental veneers but have gingivitis, here is a list of the potential risks associated with this procedure:

  • Treatment failure: The inflammation and swelling associated with gingivitis can compromise the integrity of the veneers, causing them to fail prematurely.
  • Increased risk of dislodgement: When gums are inflamed, they have a tendency to bleed, which can negatively impact the attachment of veneers. This is because the bonding agents used to secure the veneers require a dry surface to be effective. Consequently, the veneers may become dislodged more easily.
  • Unnatural appearance of veneers: Gingivitis causes the gums to be inflamed. If the impression of the teeth is taken while the gums are inflamed and large, it can lead to the fabrication of shorter veneers.
  • When the inflammation decreases, parts of the veneers that were covered by large gums will become visible, leading to an unnatural look.
  • Increased risk of periodontitis: Gingivitis patients experience bleeding when they brush. This usually discourages them from brushing, which is very important, especially in patients with dental veneers. If bacterial plaque is allowed to build up around the edges of the veneers, it can exacerbate the gum disease, cause further inflammation and swelling, and lead to periodontitis.

Periodontitis and Dental Veneers

Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease that impacts the supporting structures of teeth. Its hallmark features include gum inflammation and bone loss, which gradually results in the loss of tooth attachment, mobility, and, ultimately, tooth loss.

To manage periodontitis, patients must undergo periodontal treatments such as scaling and root planing and, in severe cases, periodontal surgery. These treatments are essential for achieving healthy and stable tooth-supporting structures.

Once a patient’s periodontitis is under control, they may be eligible for cosmetic or restorative procedures, such as dental veneers. However, placing veneers before getting treatment for periodontitis is not recommended, as it can exacerbate the disease and compromise treatment success. Healthy teeth and gums are crucial for the success of dental veneer treatments, which is why patients with gum disease, be it gingivitis or periodontitis, must address their gum condition before undergoing veneer treatment.

Managing Gum Disease Before Getting Dental Veneers

If you have gum disease and are considering getting dental veneers, it is essential to understand that the management of periodontal disease must be done prior to proceeding with dental veneer treatment. Periodontal treatment is prioritised due to the following reasons:

  • Periodontal disease is a progressive disease that can worsen with dental veneers. The veneers can cause further plaque accumulation, which can lead to further attachment breakdown.
  • Dental veneers must be cemented on healthy teeth with good bone support. If the tooth is slowly losing attachment, it could eventually fall out, rendering the dental veneer treatment wasted.
  • Inflamed gums bleed easily, making it difficult to achieve a dry tooth surface which is needed when cementing dental veneers. This compromises the attachment of the veneers, which can lead to dislodgement.
  • Blood from the inflamed gums can discolour the dental cement used in dental veneers.
  • Inflamed gums appear bigger in impressions and moulds. These make it difficult to fabricate dimensionally accurate veneers and may result in veneers that appear too short for the teeth.

Consultation with a Dentist

Don’t let gum disease hinder you from achieving a healthy smile. The first step to obtaining it is consulting an experienced dentist. Doing this lets you understand the treatment process and allows you to ask questions about dental veneers and gum diseases. Moreover, the dentist may recommend additional treatments if your gingival health does not permit you to be a suitable candidate for dental veneers.

Here’s what to anticipate when you book your consultation:

  • Dental examination: The dentist will assess your oral health by inspecting your teeth, gums, and overall mouth area. During this process, they will look for signs of gum disease.
  • X-rays: Depending on the severity of the gum disease, the dentist may suggest taking x-rays to determine if there is bone loss.
  • Dental cleaning: If there is any plaque or tartar buildup on your teeth and gums, the dentist may suggest getting a professional dental cleaning to help reduce your risk for periodontal disease.
  • Dental veneer options: The dentist will discuss the ideal treatment options for your needs and oral condition.

Dental Veneers Procedure

A dental veneer procedure involves at least two visits to the dentist. During your visits, you will have to undergo the following:

  1. Dental examination and cleaning: The dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth to assess the overall health of your gums and teeth. The dentist will take X-rays to identify any signs of gum disease or other dental problems. The dentist will also clean your teeth and gums to remove bacteria and plaque that can cause periodontal disease.
  2. Dental veneer preparation: The dentist will prepare the teeth for veneers by removing a thin layer of enamel. After which, an impression of the teeth will be taken to be sent to the laboratory for veneer fabrication. Temporary veneers will be attached to the teeth while the final veneers are fabricated.
  3. Dental veneer fitting: Once the veneers are ready, the dentist will place the veneers on your teeth to check for proper fit, colour and bite. Adjustments will be made if needed.
  4. Dental veneer cementation: Your dentist will use dental cement or an adhesive to secure the veneers in place. Excess cement will be removed, and the teeth will be polished to make them look smooth and glossy.

Cost of Dental Veneers with Gum Disease

The cost of your dental veneer treatment depends on various factors. Let’s explore some of the most important ones:

  1. Material: Porcelain veneers are generally more expensive than composite resin veneers because they are more durable and have a more natural appearance.
  2. Location: The cost of dental care can vary significantly from one region to another, and even from one dental practice to another within the same area.
  3. Dentist’s expertise: Experienced dentists typically charge more for veneers because they have more training and experience in this area.
  4. Number of veneers: The cost of veneers will depend on how many teeth will undergo treatment. If you only need a few veneers, the cost will be lower than if you want to have veneers on all your front teeth.
  5. Additional treatments: Patients that need additional treatments like periodontal treatment, extraction, and fillings are expected to pay a higher price because of the cost of these additional treatments

The following are estimated costs of the different types of veneers:

  • Porcelain Veneers: Up to $2,036 per tooth
  • Composite Veneers: Up to $836 per tooth
  • Lumineers: Average of $2,050 per tooth
  • Snap-On Veneers: Up to $900 per tooth
  • Prepless Veneers: $1200 to $3,000 per tooth

Aftercare for Dental Veneers with Gum Disease

Dental veneers are a great way to enhance the appearance of your smile, but like any dental work, it requires extra care and maintenance. Here are some tips that will not only help extend the longevity of your veneers but also prevent gum disease.

  • Brush twice daily: Brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste helps to remove plaque, which can initiate gum disease.
  • Daily flossing: This helps remove plaque and food particles between the teeth and along the gum line.
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash: An antiseptic mouthwash can help reduce plaque and gum inflammation.
  • Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental checkups and cleanings help monitor the health of your gums and teeth and address any problems that arise.
  • Avoid smoking: Smoking can increase the risk of tooth discolouration and periodontal disease.

Final Thoughts

Dental veneer treatment is a cosmetic dental procedure that helps in improving the aesthetics of your smile. However, it is important to consider the state of your gums before receiving veneers. Getting veneers while having active gum disease can cause complications and lead to treatment failure.

It is essential to maintain good dental hygiene and visit your dentist regularly to keep your gums healthy and help preserve the beauty of your veneers.

Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho

Dr. Jon is a Perth-based dentist who graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Science in 2005 from the University of Western Australia. He has worked at a range of dental practices, including being a partner and principal dentist for a group of five dental surgeries in Sydney. Dr. Jon has been practising for over a decade in the northern suburbs of Perth. He provides treatment for patients in Darch, Madeley, Landsdale, Kingsway, Kingsley, Marangaroo, Alexander Heights, Wangara, Ellenbrook, and others.

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