Dental Implants: Pros and Cons

Why Won't Your Dentist Use Veneers on Your Back Teeth?

by Brett Clark

If you're looking to make your teeth look whiter or to fix small cosmetic problems, your dentist may recommend that you have your teeth covered with veneer shells. However, while your dentist may be happy to use veneers to cover your front and side teeth to fix your visible smile, they may not be so happy to use veneers on the rest of your teeth. Why is your dentist not happy about putting veneers on your back teeth?

Increased Risk of Veneer Damage

While veneers are pretty strong, their shells can still splinter, break or even come loose if they are exposed to too much stress. Typically, front teeth veneers fare better than back teeth ones. While you do use your front teeth to eat, these teeth don't take most of the strain of food processing in the mouth. This is the job of your back teeth, which break down, grind and chew foods for you.

Your dentist may simply feel that the additional workload that back teeth take on would compromise the integrity of veneers, making the shells more likely to develop problems down the line.

Questionable Cosmetic Benefits

Even if your dentist thinks that veneers will work on your back teeth without significant problems, they may be bamboozled at why you want to have these teeth veneered in the first place. Veneer shells don't cover all of the tooth; they only sit on the front side.

If you have a veneer put on a tooth right at the back of your mouth, nobody will be able to see that it is there – the front side of these teeth simply face your cheek. The more visible areas of back teeth – the top and inside surfaces – won't be covered by the veneer shell, so you won't see any cosmetic changes or benefits if you have this kind of treatment.

While you may be able to twist a dentist's arm and have all of your teeth veneered, you have to accept the increased risk of failure and lack of cosmetic benefits if you have your back teeth done as well as your front teeth. If you have issues with the way your back teeth look, then it may be better to talk to your dentist about other ways to improve the appearance of these teeth. For example, a crown will cover all of a back tooth's surfaces rather than just the cheek-facing side, possibly giving you a better all-round solution.