The basic idea of a dental veneer is so simple that it's surprising they look as good as they do. And a well-made, expertly-applied veneer can look flawlessly natural. It's also important that a veneer is fully integrated with the tooth it's attached to, otherwise, it won't feel natural. If that attachment starts to weaken, the veneer certainly won't feel natural—and the tooth it's attached to won't feel comfortable.
What a Veneer Does
A dental veneer is a robust, ultra-thin porcelain shell, attached to the outward-facing (or mesial) side of a prominent tooth. It's the best shape and color for the tooth it's covering, even though it won't necessarily look exactly like the tooth underneath it. Veneers are part of cosmetic dentistry and are used to improve the appearance of a tooth that may be misshapen or irreparably discolored. Alternatively, the tooth may not match its counterpart in the same dental arch (for example, a veneer may be recommended if your upper left incisor tooth was a slightly different shape to your upper right incisor).
How a Veneer Is Attached
Even though veneers are largely cosmetic, the tooth must still undergo some clinical preparations. Before the customized veneer can be bonded to your tooth, that tooth must be made ready. Your dentist will remove a slender layer of surface enamel from the tooth to accommodate the veneer. Without this preparation, the completed tooth would be too thick, and too bulky when compared to the other teeth in your mouth. This can place uncomfortable pressure on the surrounding teeth, and may even eventually shift your bite out of alignment. However, it's these unavoidable preparations that may be contributing to any discomfort you're experiencing.
An Increase in Sensitivity
Removal of a tooth's surface enamel inevitably increases a tooth's sensitivity. It's the enamel that isolates the inner structure of the tooth, protecting it not only from corrosive bacteria but temperature fluctuations. Is your veneer-covered tooth noticeably sensitive when consuming hot or cold foods or drinks? This is a sign that the veneer has loosened, and although it may still be attached, it's no longer protecting the tooth beneath it.
See the dentist who applied your veneer. Several outcomes are possible, and it may be as simple as re-bonding the veneer to your tooth. However, the underlying tooth may have experienced decay beneath the veneer. This will need to be repaired so that the veneer once again has a solid base to cling to.
Be sure to seek treatment promptly, since your sensitivity will only increase, and if the veneer detaches and is swallowed, it obviously can't be reattached.
To find out more, speak to a cosmetic dental specialist today.