Veneer Teeth: What Happens To Your Teeth Under Veneers?

Dental Designs Clinic Singapore
06 Feb, 2024

If you are familiar with how veneers work, you should know that they are excellent choices for smile makeovers. One of the most common questions we receive at Dental Designs about veneers is what happens to teeth under porcelain veneers — will they rot, be ruined or suffer damage? The good news is when fitted properly by an experienced dentist, veneers will not harm your teeth and your teeth will stay strong and healthy — although that largely hinges on your oral hygiene.

In this article, we’ll discuss the impact of veneers on teeth, the advantages of having porcelain veneers and how to avoid tooth decay with veneers.


Do veneers compromise natural teeth?

Veneers are designed to address common cosmetic issues such as discoloured/stained teeth, broken teeth, gapped teeth and misaligned teeth, which if unaddressed might cause dental issues in future. Often, patients think veneers might harm their teeth in the long run due to how they work. In order to effectively place veneers on your teeth, some of the tooth’s surface has to be partially removed as part of the tooth preparation process. Typically, about 0.5mm of enamel is required.

At Dental Designs, we always prefer to take the most conservative option to achieve your aesthetic goals. Therefore, if your concerns are mostly about the colour of your teeth, whitening alone might be sufficient to meet your goals. If you would like to improve the symmetry of your smile or change the shape of your teeth, veneers may be what you are looking for.

Once the tooth preparation for veneers is done, your custom-designed porcelain veneers are bonded to the tooth’s surface with a highly adhesive material known as bonding cement, which hardens under a special type of light. The veneer then adheres tightly onto your tooth to cover up any existing imperfections.

Patients do not have to worry about the adhesive material used to bond veneers to teeth as it is not harmful. Secondly, porcelain veneers are not made up of enamel-like natural teeth. This provides two advantages:

  1. They do not stain like natural teeth, even from strong staining agents like coffee or tea
  2. They are extremely durable1, which means they are more resistant to damage than natural teeth. At Dental Designs, our veneers are made of ultra high strength ceramics with translucent properties fabricated from natural high-purity feldspar found in Sweden and Norway.crafting-veneers-in-dental-lab

What are the benefits of porcelain veneers?

Whiter and brighter teeth

Our teeth will inevitably discolour over time due to factors like ageing, smoking and our diet. While teeth whitening is an option for those who desire whiter teeth, is it not suitable for everyone and must be done regularly to prevent stains from reappearing. Teeth whitening may not be sufficient in patients who experience darkened teeth due to root canal treatment, trauma, age, or tetracycline staining. Porcelain veneers2, on the other hand, are largely stain resistant and maintain their pristine colour for years.

Correct minor cosmetic dental issues

If you have slightly crooked or gapped teeth and do not wish to go through the process of undergoing braces or Invisalign, porcelain veneers can do the job. But instead of changing the position of your teeth as with orthodontics, what veneers does is to cover the front surface of teeth so your teeth appear straight. Be warned that more tooth structure may be shaved down, or the veneers may need to be thicker to create a uniform appearance of teeth.

Protect tooth enamel

Bacteria and acid from food can damage tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay over time. Excessive teeth grinding can also cause damage to the enamel and even lead to fractures or chips in the teeth. Veneers act as a protective layer for the underlying natural tooth enamel. They can help strengthen the teeth from damage, including teeth that have large fillings due to tooth decay and erosion. However, even with veneers on, it is recommended to practice good oral hygiene and prevent grinding your teeth to preserve the longevity of your permanent veneers too.

Minimal Tooth Preparation

Before placing new veneers, a small amount of the natural tooth enamel may need to be removed to accommodate the veneer shells. This process is known as tooth preparation and is minimal compared to other dental procedures such as dental crowns.

Preservation of Tooth Structure

Despite the need for tooth preparation, veneers are designed to preserve as much of the natural tooth structure as possible. Unlike dental crowns, which encase the entire tooth, veneers are thin and only cover the front surface, leaving the majority of the tooth intact.

Maintenance of Good Oral Hygiene

Proper oral hygiene is crucial for maintaining the Teeth Under Veneers. Regular brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing, and routine dental check-ups are essential for ensuring the longevity of both the veneers and the underlying natural teeth. With proper care and maintenance, veneers can coexist with natural teeth.

Easier Maintenance 

Teeth which have been subject to dental decay or cavities will have fillings on them to fix the decay. However, as fillings are usually made from a material called resin composite, they will get stained over time and start to break down and leak, needing replacement. Every time a filling is replaced, some of the natural tooth structure needs to be polished off to expose a fresh surface for the new filling to adhere to. Over a lifespan, this can cause the tooth to become smaller and as the filling gets larger, its also more prone to chips and breaking off. Having veneers instead of replacing large fillings may be a good alternative as porcelain veneers are made from a longer lasting material which does not need to be replaced so frequently, meaning that the tooth is more preserved in the long run.


What steps can I take to prevent tooth decay?

Firstly, practising good oral hygiene is imperative. Brush and floss at least twice everyday — many patients neglect to floss regularly, but not doing so can actually cause decay to build up between the teeth. Once this happens, the decay attacks the natural tooth enamel at the ends of the veneer and causes a cavity. As cavities under cosmetic restorations often go unnoticed, most patients do not realise they have one until they experience discomfort. At this stage, the cavity will threaten the long term health of your teeth and potentially shorten the lifespan of your veneer.

Thus, It is also recommended to see your dentist every six months for dental checkups and cleanings to ensure that your veneers are in pristine condition. Your oral hygiene habits do not change with cosmetic restorations on and should even be stepped up to ensure their longevity.

Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) to prevent cavities. Talk to your dentist about whether dental sealants are a suitable option for you or your children.

Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to strengthen tooth enamel and protect against decay. Some water sources contain fluoride, which also helps prevent cavities. Tobacco use increases the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco products to maintain good oral health.

Treat dental problems such as chipped teeth, crooked or misaligned teeth, or gum disease promptly to prevent further damage and decay. Seek professional dental care for any other dental health concerns or symptoms, such as tooth sensitivity or pain.

If you are considering porcelain veneers to treat any physical and/or aesthetic issues with your teeth, our experienced dentists can help. To learn more about Veneers, click here.



  1. Beier, U. S., Kapferer, I., Burtscher, D., & Dumfahrt, H. (2012). Clinical performance of porcelain laminate veneers for up to 20 years. The International journal of prosthodontics, 25(1), 79–85.
  2. Layton, D. M., & Clarke, M. (2013). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the survival of non-feldspathic porcelain veneers over 5 and 10 years. The International journal of prosthodontics, 26(2), 111–124.