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How do veneers feel at first?

Getting dental veneers is a big decision that can dramatically transform your smile. If you’ve decided to get veneers, you’re probably wondering what it will feel like when you first get them put on. Here’s an in-depth look at what to expect when you first get veneers.

The veneer placement process

Veneers are thin shells, usually made of porcelain, that are bonded to the front of teeth. Placing veneers takes a few steps:

  • Your dentist will prepare your teeth by lightly filing them down so the veneers can be placed on top.
  • Impressions will be taken of your prepared teeth.
  • The dental lab will use the impressions to create custom-fit veneers.
  • At your next appointment, your dentist will bond the veneers onto your teeth with dental cement.

The entire process of getting veneers takes 2-3 visits to the dentist. It’s normal to feel some sensitivity and discomfort during the process as your teeth are being prepared and adjusted.

Initial feelings right after placement

Once your veneers have been bonded into place, what should you expect to feel? Here are some of the most common sensations:

  • Tightness or pressure: This is very common. The veneers will feel tighter and heavier on your teeth at first. This pressure should subside within a few days as you get used to the feel.
  • Minor pain: Your teeth may be tender after the grinding and bonding procedure. Usually a non-prescription pain reliever is enough to address any discomfort.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold: For the first couple weeks the veneers may make your teeth feel more sensitive to hot and cold. This should gradually improve.
  • Awkward speech: Talking may feel a little funny at first as your mouth adjusts to the new “bulkiness” of the veneers on your teeth.
  • Consciousness of veneers: You’ll likely feel very aware of the veneers and run your tongue over them a lot during the adjustment period.

These feelings are all normal parts of the adjustment process. Within a week or two, the sensitivity and pressure should subside substantially as you get used to your new smile.

Coping with discomfort

Although veneer discomfort is usually mild and temporary, here are some tips to help manage it:

  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen as needed.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to relieve pain and keep areas clean.
  • Avoid chewing hard, crunchy, or sticky foods during the first week.
  • Use desensitizing toothpaste if you have sensitivity.
  • Practice talking out loud to adapt to your new speech pattern more quickly.

Be sure to let your dentist know if you have any severe or persistent pain after getting your veneers placed. Some sensitivity and pressure is expected, but significant pain may indicate an underlying problem.

Longer-term adaptation

Over the next couple weeks and months, you should adapt well to your veneers. Here is the typical longer-term adjustment process:

Timeframe What to Expect
1 Week Sensitivity, pressure, and tenderness improves. Speaking becomes more comfortable.
2 Weeks Teeth feel far less sensitive and awkwardness speaking resolves.
1 Month Occasional sensitivity may remain but you’re fully adapted in most ways.
3-6 Months You are completely comfortable with veneers and barely notice them in your mouth.

In a relatively short period of time, your veneers should begin to feel just like your natural teeth. It’s a big adjustment at first, but be patient during those first couple of weeks.

Caring for new veneers

To help your veneer adjustment go smoothly, be sure to care for them properly:

  • Brush and floss daily to prevent plaque buildup and decay under the veneers.
  • Come in for regular dental cleanings every 6 months.
  • Avoid biting your nails or chewing on hard objects.
  • See your dentist right away if a veneer feels loose or falls off.

With good oral hygiene, your dental veneers can last 10-15 years or longer!

Is veneer discomfort normal?

Mild to moderate discomfort and sensitivity is very common when you first get veneers placed. Within 1-2 weeks this should improve significantly. However, any severe or persistent pain is NOT normal. Contact your dentist right away if you experience:

  • Severe throbbing or shooting pain that medication does not relieve
  • Hot/cold sensitivity or pain that gets worse instead of better
  • Numbness or tingling in your teeth, gums, lip, chin, or tongue
  • Sores, ulcers, or swelling around the veneered teeth

This level of pain may indicate an important problem that needs prompt attention, such as an improperly fitted veneer, infection, or nerve inflammation. Don’t delay in getting it checked.


New veneers will feel unusual as you initially adapt to having dental work done. Give yourself at least 2 weeks for the worst sensitivity, tenderness, and awkwardness to improve. Avoid hard, sticky foods temporarily. Stay diligent with oral hygiene. Most people adjust very well within a month and feel completely normal after a few months. Some minor sensitivity can persist longer but should not be severe. See your dentist promptly if you have any worrisome pain or symptoms. With proper care, veneers can give you a smile to be proud of for many years!