Understanding Tooth Sensitivity After Veneers: Causes and Recommendations

In pursuing bright, healthy-looking teeth, many consider dental veneers a popular cosmetic dentistry procedure. However, one concern that often arises is tooth sensitivity after veneers, one of the common side effects that cause anxiety in patients, but it’s important to understand why it happens and how it can be managed.

This blog post will unravel the causes of tooth sensitivity after veneers, strategies for managing tooth sensitivity, and tips for avoiding tooth sensitivity altogether. It will also explore the veneer procedure in detail, providing a comprehensive guide on veneers for that candidate for veneers or those considering this option for their dental health.

From understanding the intricacies of the veneer process to learning how to navigate the journey of managing tooth sensitivity, this article aims to equip you with the knowledge you need. So, if you’re contemplating veneers or have recently had a cosmetic dentistry procedure and are experiencing sensitivity, continue reading to gain valuable insights into achieving healthy teeth.

While this article provides general advice, consulting with an experienced dentist for personalised advice is always recommended.

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  • Sensitive teeth after veneers can be caused by various factors, including the veneer process and teeth’ natural response to the new veneers.

  • Sensitivity usually lasts for a couple of days to a few weeks after the procedure.

  • Managing tooth sensitivity involves regular oral hygiene, avoiding hot and cold temperatures in food and beverages, and desensitising toothpaste.

  • While avoiding sensitivity is challenging, proper oral care and the dentist’s instructions can minimise discomfort.

  • The veneer procedure involves several steps, including consultation, tooth preparation, and application of the veneers.

  • After getting veneers, it’s crucial to maintain good oral hygiene, avoid hard and staining foods, and have regular dental follow-up visits.

  • Professional help should be sought if sensitivity persists or intensifies or other symptoms like severe pain after veneers or gum swelling occur.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity After Veneers?

Tooth sensitivity after getting veneers can be a common experience for some patients, which could cause anxiety in patients. This mild discomfort is often due to the process involved in placing veneers. This commonly involves the reduction of some enamel, the tooth’s outer layer, to accommodate the veneer. The thinning of the enamel can make it easier for substances to penetrate the underlying dentin, potentially resulting in increased sensitivity to temperature changes and certain foods or drinks.

Several factors can contribute to tooth sensitivity after getting veneers:

  1. Tooth Preparation:
    Getting veneers involves removing a thin layer of enamel from your teeth that can expose the dentin and increase sensitivity.

  2. Bonding Process:
    The bonding process used to attach the veneer to your tooth can sometimes cause sensitivity, especially if the bonding agent comes into contact with the dentin.

  3. Veneer Fit:
    Loose veneers can lead to slight discomfort and sensitivity. It’s crucial to have your veneers fitted by a professional to achieve the right size and shape for your teeth.

  4. Tooth Trauma:
    Tooth trauma can cause temporary veneer pain, including getting veneers.

  5. Pre-existing Dental Issues:
    If you have pre-existing dental issues such as gum disease, cavities, or cracked teeth, you may experience increased sensitivity after getting veneers.

Remember, discussing any concerns about tooth sensitivity with your dentist before getting veneers is essential. They can provide advice tailored to your situation and help you understand what to expect during and after the procedure.

How Long Does Tooth Sensitivity Last After Veneers?

Sensitive teeth after veneers are a common experience for many patients. This discomfort can be attributed to several factors, including the veneer procedure.

The duration of this sensitivity varies among patients. For most, the temporary sensitivity subsides within a few days to a few weeks. However, the following factors can influence the duration of teeth sensitivity:

  1. The extent of Enamel Removal:
    A bit of enamel removed during the veneer procedure can impact the level of sensitivity experienced. More extensive enamel removal can lead to increased sensitivity.

  2. Bonding Process:
    The chemical agents used to attach the veneers to the teeth can sometimes cause sensitivity. Usually, temporary veneer pain subsides once the teeth adjust to the new veneers.

  3. Occlusion Issues:
    If the veneers alter your comfortable bite or how your teeth align when you close your mouth, this can cause temporary veneer pain or minor discomfort.

  4. Veneer Fit:
    If the veneers do not fit perfectly at the gumline, this can lead to sensitivity. A skilled cosmetic dentist will provide a proper fit to minimise the risks of veneers.

It’s important to note that if tooth sensitivity persists for more than two weeks after getting veneers, you should consult with your dentist. Persistent sensitivity could indicate an issue with the veneers or an underlying dental problem that needs to be addressed.

Tips for Managing Tooth Sensitivity After Veneers

Tooth sensitivity after veneers can be a significant concern for many patients. However, several strategies can be employed to manage this discomfort for a smoother transition to life with veneers. Here are some tips for avoiding tooth sensitivity after veneers:

  1. Use a Desensitising Toothpaste:
    Desensitising toothpaste contains substances that prevent the nerve from receiving sensation from the natural tooth surface. This toothpaste can be particularly beneficial for patients with sensitive teeth after a couple of veneers.

  2. Temperature Sensitivity:
    Hot and cold foods and beverages can trigger tooth sensitivity. Avoiding hot and cold foods several days to weeks after the veneer procedure may be beneficial.

  3. Practice Good Oral Hygiene:
    Maintaining oral hygiene routine, such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, using warm water or mouthwash, if recommended by your dentist, and avoiding tooth sensitivity.

  4. Limit Acidic Foods and Beverages:
    Acidic foods and beverages can exacerbate tooth sensitivity. Limiting such items’ intake may be helpful until the sensitivity subsides.

  5. Consult with Your Dentist:
    If tooth sensitivity persists or worsens, it’s important to consult with your dentist. They can provide further guidance and, if necessary, recommend suitable treatments to manage the sensitivity.

Can You Avoid Tooth Sensitivity After Veneers?

While tooth sensitivity after veneers is a common experience for many patients, it’s natural to wonder if it’s possible to avoid this discomfort altogether. While it may not be entirely avoidable, here are some steps to minimise the risk and effectively manage sensitivity.

  1. Pre-procedure Consultation:
    Before undergoing the veneer procedure, thoroughly discuss your dental history and any existing sensitivity issues with your experienced dentist to tailor the procedure to your needs and potentially mitigate some of the sensitivity.

  2. Proper Veneer Fit:
    Veneers that fit properly can help reduce the risk of sensitivity. An ill-fitting veneer can lead to discomfort and sensitivity, especially during the adjustment period. Therefore, working with a skilled cosmetic dentist for a proper fit is crucial.

  3. Good Oral Hygiene:
    Maintaining good oral hygiene before and after the veneer procedure can help keep your teeth and gums healthy, which may reduce the risk of sensitivity.

  4. Avoiding Certain Foods and Beverages:
    As mentioned earlier, certain foods and beverages can exacerbate tooth sensitivity. Avoiding these items, particularly in the days following the veneer procedure, can help manage sensitivity.

  5. Use of Desensitising Products:
    Desensitising toothpaste or mouthwash before and after the procedure can help manage sensitivity.

  6. Pain Medications:
    If prescribed by your dentist, over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications like ibuprofen or paracetamol can be effective in managing post-procedure sensitivity. It’s crucial to consult your dentist for the right dosage and timing so it’s appropriate for your condition.

Remember, every patient’s experience with veneers is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to maintain open communication with your dentist and follow their advice to manage and potentially avoid tooth sensitivity after veneers.

What to Expect During the Veneer Procedure

The veneer procedure is a meticulous process that requires precision and experience. It typically involves three main phases: consultation, preparation, and placement of veneers.

Consultation Phase

The first step is a consultation with your dentist. During this meeting, your dentist will assess your teeth and discuss your veneer options. They will take X-rays and dental impressions so that veneers are the right option for you.

Mandatory Tooth Preparation Phase

Once you’ve decided to proceed with veneers, your dentist will initiate the tooth preparation phase. This involves several key steps:

  1. Enamel Reduction:
    A small amount of tooth enamel is removed from the natural tooth surfaces to create room for the veneers. The amount of trimming varies but is typically about 0.5 to 0.7 millimetres.

  2. Impression Taking:
    Impressions of your prepared teeth are taken right after the enamel reduction. These impressions are crucial for the dental laboratory to fabricate your custom veneers.

  3. Temporary Veneers Placement:
    To protect your prepared teeth and minimise sensitivity while waiting for your custom veneers, temporary veneers may be placed.

  4. Fabrication by Dental Lab:
    The impressions are sent to a dental lab where your custom veneers are meticulously fabricated to ensure they align well with your existing teeth and meet aesthetic requirements.

Placement Phase

The final step is the placement of veneers. Your dentist will meticulously clean your teeth using a special tooth-cleaning gel, keeping bacteria from being trapped under the veneer and causing decay. The veneer is then bonded to your tooth using dental cement. Blue light is passed over the veneer to harden the cement and finalise the bonding.

It’s important to note that veneers are irreversible, and the bit of tooth enamel will not grow back once removed. As such, it’s crucial to be sure that you’re ready to commit to veneers before going through with the procedure.

The veneer procedure is a multi-step process that involves careful planning and execution. It’s essential to understand what to expect before proceeding with this treatment.

How to Care for Your Teeth After Getting Veneers

Maintaining the lustre and longevity of your dental veneers goes beyond the dentist’s chair. It extends into your daily oral hygiene routine and lifestyle habits. However, it’s important to remember everyone’s oral health needs are unique, so always consult your dentist or oral health professional for personalised advice. Here’s how to care for your teeth after getting veneers:

  1. Regular Brushing:
    Brush your teeth at least twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque and prevent tooth decay.

  2. Floss Daily:
    Flossing is essential to manage food particles and plaque between your teeth and the gum line your toothbrush can’t reach.

  3. Avoid Hard Foods:
    Avoid biting into hard foods with your veneers, which could cause them to chip or break. Cut up hard foods into smaller pieces before eating them.

  4. Limit Staining Foods and Beverages:
    Coffee, tea, red wine, soft drinks, and certain fruits and vegetables can stain your veneers. Avoid consumption of these foods and beverages to keep your veneers looking their finest.

  5. Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools:
    Using your teeth to open packages or bite your nails can cause damage to your veneers.

  6. Regular Dental Follow-up Visit:
    Dental visits for follow-up visits and cleanings are crucial to maintaining oral health and the longevity of cosmetic teeth veneers.

This advice is general, and patient health circumstances may vary. Always consult with a healthcare professional for accurate information.

When to Seek Professional Help for Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can be a common effect after getting cosmetic teeth veneers. While mild sensitivity is normal and usually subsides within a few days, certain signs and symptoms indicate a need for professional care. Here are some situations when you should seek professional help for tooth sensitivity:

  1. Persistent Pain after Veneers:
    If your tooth sensitivity persists for more than a few weeks after getting veneers, it’s time to consult your dentist. Persistent pain after veneers could be a sign of an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

  2. Intense Pain:
    Experiencing intense pain after veneers when consuming hot or cold items, sweet or sour foods and beverages is abnormal. If the pain is severe and prevents you from eating or drinking comfortably, seek professional help immediately.

  3. Pain When Brushing or Flossing:
    If you experience severe discomfort or temporary veneer pain, especially when brushing or flossing, your teeth could indicate exposed dentin or gum recession. A dental professional can provide appropriate treatments to alleviate your discomfort.

  4. Gum Recession:
    If you notice gum recession around the area where the veneers were placed, it’s important to seek dental care immediately. Gum recession can contribute to sensitivity and may require additional treatment.

  5. Visible Changes in Your Natural Teeth or Gums:
    If you notice any visible changes in your natural teeth or gums, such as discolouration, cracks, or receding gums, it’s time to consult a dentist. These changes could be contributing to your tooth sensitivity.

Remember, it’s always better to seek professional help sooner rather than later regarding your oral health. Your dentist can provide treatments for tooth sensitivity, such as applying fluoride varnish to strengthen the enamel and dentin, recommending desensitising toothpaste, or conducting root canal therapy in severe cases.

In conclusion, while mild tooth sensitivity after getting veneers is normal, persistent, intense, or unusual sensitivity is a sign that you should seek professional help. Regular dental visits can help identify potential issues early and keep your smile healthy and pain-free.

Final Thoughts

Tooth sensitivity after getting veneers is a common experience for many patients. However, with the right care and attention, it’s possible to manage this sensitivity and enjoy the benefits of your beautiful smile. Everyone’s experience is different, and what works for one person may not work for another.

At Peel Dental Studio, we’re committed to providing care and support throughout your veneer journey with our comprehensive dentistry services. Our team of highly trained professionals is always on hand to answer any common questions you may have and provide personalised advice tailored to your specific needs.

If you’re experiencing prolonged tooth sensitivity after getting veneers, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Ready to take the next step towards a brighter, more confident smile? Book an opinion appointment with Peel Dental Studio today. We look forward to welcoming you to our clinic.

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Peel Dental Studio


Dr. Bailey formerly served on the Australian Dental Association as President, Vice President Treasurer and Country Councillor. He was on the Australian Dental Association Federal Council and has always been keen to give back to the profession that has been his life. He has tutored student dentists at the Oral Health Centre in Perth.