Fitting veneers onto teeth can be a good way of fixing both cosmetic and dental problems. Often used to create a brighter smile, veneers can also cover up crooked teeth or teeth that have been discoloured by damage. If your teenager has dental problems or wants a whiter smile, they may ask if they can have veneers fitted. While you may agree to this solution, your dentist may not always have the same opinion. Why is your dentist advising against veneers for your teen?
Dentists may not be happy about fitting veneers on children until they have reached certain developmental milestones. Typically, this is all about tooth and jaw development. Ideally, teeth need to be permanent and fully developed before veneers are fitted; your child's jaw bone should also be fully grown.
Jaw growth can be a tricky one for teens to grasp. They may see friends who are the same age as them having veneers; however, your dentist may tell your child that they aren't ready yet. This all depends on your child's growth rate. For example, full jaw growth in girls typically happens between 13-15 years; boys can take longer to stop growing and it may take them until they are 18.
While veneers can hide a multitude of sins, they are not always the right way to fix a dental problem. Veneers may not always be the right solution for teeth that are very weak or damaged. If your child grinds their teeth a lot, this may also not be the best solution. Plus, while a veneer can fix a slightly crooked tooth, it may not be able to solve more complex misalignment problems.
Some teenagers want veneers as a tooth whitening solution. While this may be understandable if your child's teeth are very yellow or discoloured, it may be less vital to your dentist if your child's teeth are actually white enough. Teens can be very self-conscious about their looks and even kids with perfectly acceptable levels of whiteness may want to change their smile. In these cases, your dentist may advise against veneers.
Kids are very good at wanting things to happen now without thinking about the future. Your dentist may want to be sure that your child understands that veneers are a permanent solution that your child will have to live with for life. Regular veneers can only be fitted by removing some of the tooth's surface enamel. Once this happens, your child can't go back to not wearing veneers.
If your dentist is unhappy about fitting veneers on your teen, you may have other options in the short-term. For example, if your child wants whiter teeth, your dentist may be able to recommend less invasive whitening procedures; misaligned teeth may be better fixed with bonding or bracing solutions.