Getting veneers at a young age like 23 is a big decision that requires careful consideration of the pros and cons. Veneers are thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin that are bonded to the front of teeth to improve their appearance. They can fix chips, gaps, stains, and uneven shapes and sizes. While veneers can dramatically improve your smile, they also represent a permanent change that is difficult to reverse. As a 23-year-old, you have many factors to weigh before making this lifelong commitment.
What are the pros of getting veneers at 23?
The main reason to get veneers at any age is to improve the aesthetics of your smile. Veneers can fix the following cosmetic issues:
- Chipped or fractured teeth
- Gaps or spaces between teeth
- Stained or discolored teeth
- Worn enamel
- Misshapen or irregularly sized teeth
- Misaligned teeth
In your early 20s, your teeth may already have some flaws that detract from your appearance. While minor chips and stains can be fixed with teeth whitening or bonding, veneers are the most effective option for more significant cosmetic repairs. Getting veneers at 23 can help boost your self-confidence and happiness with your smile during the prime of your social life.
Another reason to consider veneers at a younger age is to prevent future dental problems. Issues like excessive grinding, orthodontic abnormalities, and developmental defects can cause teeth to wear unevenly or become weakened over time. Placing veneers early on provides a protective shell and reinforcement against fractures and chips. It also helps evenly distribute biting forces to prevent excessive wear. Getting ahead of these issues in your 20s can stave off more complex dental work in your 30s, 40s, and beyond.
Unlike later in life, getting veneers in your 20s allows the opportunity to standardize your teeth for optimal uniformity and symmetry. By shaping, contouring, and bonding the veneers, your dentist can create an attractive, proportional smile line with aligned edges and consistent color. This level of customization is much harder to achieve once teeth have shifted more significantly from natural aging. Doing it at 23 provides the freedom to design your ideal smile.
What are the cons of getting veneers at 23?
The biggest downside of getting veneers at a young age is the permanence of the decision. To place veneers, some of the original tooth enamel must be removed through etching or grinding to create space. This process is irreversible, so it’s a lifelong commitment. At 23, your tastes, lifestyle, and priorities may change significantly over time. The veneers you want now may not suit your needs in 10, 20 or 30+ years. Most veneers last 10-20 years before needing replacement, which requires going through the same invasive preparation process again.
Veneers also represent a major investment, with individual veneers costing $925-$2,500 per tooth. A complete set on top and bottom can run $15,000-$30,000 or more. While prices vary, veneers are not covered by dental insurance since they are a cosmetic procedure. At 23, you likely have less income and resources than you will later in your career. This significant expense may not suit your budget at such a young age.
The process of placing veneers can increase tooth sensitivity for some patients. Prepping the teeth damages the enamel layer and exposes the underlying dentin, which contains the sensitive nerve tissue. Some people experience pain, pressure, or discomfort for weeks or months after getting veneers until their nerves recalibrate to the new layer on their teeth. The chances of sensitivity are lower the thicker the remaining enamel. At an older age, natural enamel wear makes sensitivity more likely.
Damage over time
While durable, veneers can become damaged over decades of use. Their thin porcelain may chip or fracture from accidental impact or excessive biting forces. The underlying bonding glue can also break down, causing veneers to loosen or fall off partially. Getting veneers at 23 means potential for more wear and tear by your 40s, 50s or 60s vs. getting them later. Be prepared to pay for repairs or replacement down the road.
What are the alternatives to veneers at 23?
Given the downsides, 23 may still be too young for such a permanent change. Here are some temporary options to consider first:
Over-the-counter whitening strips or professional whitening treatments can brighten teeth stained from food, smoking, medications, or age. Whitening is an inexpensive and non-invasive option that can drastically improve tooth appearance. However, it doesn’t address issues like chips, gaps, or misalignment.
Bonding applies tooth-colored resin material to the surface of teeth to fix chips and gaps, or change shape and color. It offers a preview of potential veneer results since the material is similar. While bonding stains and deteriorates faster than porcelain veneers, it buys you time to decide if you want a permanent change.
Braces or clear aligners can straighten crooked teeth and close gaps without grinding down healthy enamel. This gradual approach allows you to preview subtle changes before committing. Orthodontics may still be needed under veneers to create proper tooth structure, so it makes sense to try this first.
Crowns fully cover damaged teeth like caps and offer an alternative restorative solution. While crowns involve tooth removal like veneers, they are meant to last longer − up to 30 years or more. Crowns may suit certain problematic teeth better than veneers based on your specific dental issues.
Questions to ask your dentist
If you decide to pursue veneers at 23, get the process right by asking your dentist these key questions:
What options do I have besides veneers?
A good cosmetic dentist will start by offering less invasive, temporary options to reach your smile goals. This ensures veneers are the right long-term solution.
How much enamel will you need to remove?
Removing 1mm or less is ideal to avoid nerve exposure and sensitivity. Request minimal prep with maximum enamel preservation.
What material do you recommend, and why?
Traditional porcelain and newer resin composites both have pros and cons. Your dentist should explain which option meets your needs best.
Will you use temporaries, and for how long?
Wearing temporary “trial run” veneers first allows you to test the size, shape, and color while providing time to change your mind.
How long should these veneers realistically last?
Your dentist should give you an estimate based on your specific teeth and oral habits.
What warranty do you provide if they damage or debond?
Many dentists offer free repairs or replacements for several years. Ask about any guarantees upfront.
Veneers are a significant investment. Here are typical costs for veneers vs. alternative options:
|Porcelain veneers (per tooth)||$925 – $2,500|
|Composite veneers (per tooth)||$250 – $1,500|
|Teeth whitening||$100 – $600|
|Dental bonding (per tooth)||$100 – $400|
|Braces||$3,000 – $7,000|
|Clear aligners||$3,000 – $8,000|
While veneers can achieve transformative smile makeovers, 23 may be too young for this permanent solution. Your smile needs and preferences are still maturing, so it’s best to start with more conservative cosmetic options first. But if you have significant cosmetic issues with your teeth already, veneers could boost your confidence now. Discuss nonsurgical and temporary treatments with your dentist before jumping straight to veneers. If you decide they are right for you currently, take steps to slow wear and extend their longevity as much as possible.