If you have a lot of dental erosion on the backs of your front teeth, then your dentist will talk you through treatment options. During this chat, your dentist may float the idea of putting some lingual veneers on the back of these teeth.
You thought that veneers were only ever used on the front of teeth, so you're a little surprised. What are lingual veneers, and why does your dentist think they're a viable solution for your dental problems?
What Are Lingual Veneers?
Lingual veneers work the same way as regular veneers. They cover the surface of a tooth. The difference with lingual veneers is that they are fitted to the back of a tooth and not to the front.
When Are Lingual Veneers Used?
Lingual veneers are primarily used to manage damaged teeth. In some cases, they also have some cosmetic benefits. They are usually fitted to the backs of teeth that have been damaged by dental erosion.
Some people have erosion problems because their teeth erupt with soft or insufficient enamel. Others get these problems from medical conditions such as acid reflux, bulimia or anorexia. In these cases, reflux and purging expose the back of the teeth to harmful acids regularly enough to damage the enamel and erode it.
If the enamel on the back of your teeth is badly worn away by erosion, then you'll have regular problems with decay and sensitivity. Lingual veneers take on some of the jobs that your enamel used to do. For example, they prevent decay from attacking the backs of your teeth. They may also reduce sensitivity by creating an outer shell on the tooth.
While you can't see lingual veneers, they also have some cosmetic benefits. If the backs of your teeth are badly eroded, then the fronts may look translucent and worn, especially at the edges. This can make your teeth look odd in certain lights.
Lingual veneers may make teeth look less see-through and can add length to worn teeth. They add weight and thickness to eroded teeth. In some cases, these veneers are used in tandem with treatments on the front of teeth, such as bonding, to make them look better cosmetically.
Talk to your dentist about the pros and cons of all their recommended treatments before you decide which you want to go with. They can also explain how lingual veneers can help you in more detail.