When do my porcelain veneer need replacement?
Porcelain veneers can help improve the appearance of your smile. However, this cosmetic dentistry solution is not permanent. Throughout the lifespan of your porcelain veneers, you may need to replace some of them to protect your smile from further complication. But how, exactly, do you replace porcelain veneers? Only an experienced cosmetic dentist can fit you for your porcelain veneers, and replace them properly to restore your smile.
Lifespan of Porcelain Veneers
First, it is important to understand that porcelain veneers, although strong, will not last forever. On average, the lifespan for porcelain veneers is about 10 to 15 years. With special care and proper maintenance, they may even last upwards of 20 years in some cases.
When Should You Consider Replacing Your Porcelain Veneers?
There are several instances in which porcelain veneers may need to be replaced. If damage occurs, through decay or trauma, then replacement may become necessary.
We may recommend porcelain veneer replacement if you have:
- A damaged veneer: Blunt force trauma or injury can cause a veneer to chip or fracture. This may also occur if you chew on hard objects, such as ice.
- Damage to the natural tooth: Porcelain veneers are impervious to decay. However, the natural tooth underneath is not. Therefore, if a treated tooth develops more decay, your dentist will likely need to replace your veneer.
- Loose veneers: Over time, the bonding material used to hold your veneers in place may weaken or erode. In these instances, you may require porcelain veneer replacement.
- Tooth discoloration: The veneers themselves are stain-resistant. However, if you develop severe discoloration on the surrounding teeth, your teeth may appear uneven in color. In some cases, porcelain veneer replacement may be necessary.
What to Do if a Veneers Breaks or Falls Off?
Treat the Veneer with Care
First, it’s important to get the pieces out of your mouth. You don’t want to swallow them or break them further by biting down on them. If there’s just one piece, examine it carefully. If it’s smooth in shape and symmetrical, it might have come off in one piece and can be rebonded. If there are multiple pieces, or if the piece is jagged and uneven, the veneer likely broke, and we’ll have to replace it. An inspection of the tooth where the veneer came from can also tell you if it broke or came unbonded. If there are pieces of veneer still clinging to your tooth, then the veneer broke.
Sharp edges of the broken veneer may irritate your cheek or tongue. To stop this, you can pick up some dental wax at the drug store. It helps people with braces avoid irritation from wires, and it works just as well for broken veneers, chipped teeth, and more.
Contact Your Dentist
If the dentist that placed the veneers is still practicing in a convenient location for you, and you’ve been happy with their work, contact them about the broken veneer. Hopefully, they should try to get you an appointment quickly. Remember, this isn’t a medical emergency, but if you have reasons why you might need the veneer replaced quickly, make that clear.
If you’re experiencing sensitivity where the veneer broke, coating the area with dental wax can help insulate your tooth.
Consider Your Options
Once you get your dental appointment, you have to decide how you want to proceed. There are many options, depending on how the veneer broke off.
- Rebond:If you were lucky and the veneer came off whole, dentists can quickly and easily bond it back in place.
- Repair:If the damage to a veneer is minor, there are a couple of potential repair options. First, dentists can repair the veneer the way we might repair a chipped tooth, with dental bonding. This isn’t a long-term option, but in some cases it can be a short-term fix. For really minor damage, we might buff out the damage. This is also not a great option, because the surface of the veneer is designed with special stain resistance and luster that may be hard to reproduce on the damaged part.
- Replace:This is what is normally necessary when you break a porcelain veneer. dentists will remove the last of the old veneer and replace it with a new veneer. You might also consider whether you want to replace other veneers if these are not looking their best.
Why Replacing Porcelain Veneers Can Take Time?
Labs normally produce porcelain veneers. Your dentist takes impressions and designs the veneers. Afterward a ceramicist crafts, fires, and finishes the veneer using the design material sent by your dentist.
Transportation time to the lab and back take up most of the time. However, the process of actually manufacturing the veneer takes time, too. Sometimes, the lab is close enough that they can create a replacement veneer in a few days. This often comes with a heavy surcharge for a rush order. Normally it takes over a week to get a veneer replacement back.
If your special occasion is before then, you would just have to accept a chipped tooth or a temporary veneer, which defeats the purpose of having veneers in the first place.
Replacing Porcelain Veneers Fast with CEREC
However, CEREC system gives us another way to approach replacing veneers. Instead of taking manual impressions and sending them off to a lab, we use a computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) system to make a replacement right in dentist office. dentists can scan your teeth digitally and use that data to design a replacement veneer.
The design is then sent to a computer-controlled diamond mill that will carve the replacement out of a closely color-matched block of advanced ceramic. We will then custom-dye the veneer so it matches the others, polish it, and voila, you have a perfectly matched replacement veneer.
Since dentists store the design on the computer, they can create another veneer replacement in the unlikely event it’s necessary.
YOUR PORCELAIN VENEERS’ 5 WORST ENEMIES
Bruxism is probably the biggest threat to your porcelain veneers. Clenching and grinding your teeth, whether during the day or at night, can seriously damage your veneers and lead to early failure. This is an especially big risk because many people get porcelain veneers to try to correct damage and wear due to bruxism. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your veneers from bruxism. Sometimes TMJ treatment can reduce or eliminate bruxism. In addition, there are bite guards that can protect your veneers from wear.
Your porcelain veneers are designed to chew food. They’re not designed to break nuts (or even sunflower seeds), cut packages open, crunch ice, trim fingernails, or nibble on the backs of pens. All of these things and other nonfood items can and will damage your porcelain veneers. This is something you just have to be conscious of and try to stop doing. If you have these kinds of habits and don’t think you can break them on your own, try to stop before you get veneers and consider counseling if you’re having trouble.
One of the benefits of porcelain veneers is that they’re highly stain resistant. This comes from their coating which doesn’t let liquid and foods cling to the veneer, let alone penetrate in order to make a stain. Unfortunately, the coating can be damaged if exposed to abrasive materials, including toothpastes. Veneers are still pretty tough, and they can resist about 11 years of brushing with normal toothpaste. Highly abrasive whitening toothpastes, though, can wear away the outer coating faster than usual. dentists will recommend a low-abrasive toothpaste and help you steer clear of the worst offenders.
Just as sports can be damaging to your teeth, they can destroy your porcelain veneers. In order to protect them, make sure you never participate in sports unless you’re wearing a proper mouthguard to prevent fractures and other damage to the dental veneers and the teeth that support them.
You’re probably thinking, wait a minute–veneers are made of porcelain , they can’t be attacked by decay. That’s true, but the teeth under them can be. Porcelain veneers aren’t like dental crowns. They don’t fully surround and protect your teeth. That’s why it’s crucial to keep getting your dental checkups and make sure your teeth are getting properly cleaned around your veneers. That’s actually not so bad, is it? Just a few simple things that you can do to give your veneers the longest life.
How to Prevent Staining Your Dental Veneers
To keep your teeth whiter with veneers, it is best to avoid tea or coffee. Consuming these drinks with a straw can avoid staining, because the liquid will bypass your teeth. Red wine can also stain veneers, so it’s important to consider how you’re going to drink it, unless it is avoided altogether. Another habit will increase the chances of staining your veneers – smoking. There is no way to prevent smoking from staining veneers, and causing a host of other potential problems, unless you stop.
BRUSH AND FLOSS NORMALLY
If you have dental veneers, brush your teeth right after eating. A quick rinse will suffice if you are eating out. Whitening toothpaste is a preferred choice for many people, but it is abrasive and can wear down the resin on your veneers, taking their stain-proof power away.
BE CAREFUL OF WHAT YOU EAT
Hard or very crunchy foods can damage veneers and their resin, which will also be worn away by hot sauces, lemons, and other acidic foods. Candy, tough meat, and gum should be avoided. Foods that typically leave stains should as well, including curry, jam, tomatoes, red pepper, and ketchup. Temporary veneers require even more care, and you should resort to only eating soft foods such as cut-up chicken, pasta, eggs, bananas, or white fish. With permanent veneers, any hard food or dark liquid is bad will quickly ruin the bonding material.
KEEP UP WITH APPOINTMENTS
Dentists usually schedule a visit one week after veneers are put in. They evaluate their placement and if there are effects on the gum tissue. Veneers may require periodic maintenance but, if you take the right measures to protect them and prevent staining, your teeth will remain sparkling white for many years.