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Replacing Broken Veneers

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women in yellow sweater smiles after receiving porcelain veneers surgeryReplacing Old or Damaged Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are a successful cosmetic procedure that can immediately improve the look of your smile in as few as two visits to your dentist! But, what happens when you’re dealing with a case of veneers gone wrong? With the lifespan of porcelain veneers ranging from 10-30 years, depending on the dentist, it’s not uncommon for individuals to have a dentist replace broken veneers, even when they are taking excellent care of their teeth. However, seeing a professionally trained cosmetic dentist from the start cannot only extend the life of your veneers but saves you money in the end with fewer repairs to pay for.

What Causes Veneers to Fail?

Veneers are made of durable porcelain materials that can withstand the pressure an average individual will place on their teeth throughout the day, such as biting, chewing, drinking, etc. However, there are several reasons why veneers may fail at any given time after the procedure is complete, some more preventable than others:

  • Biting Hard Food/Objects: Biting down on hard food or objects (such as a fork), especially regularly, can easily break the veneers from excessive force.
  • Trauma From Falling: Individuals who sustain mouth injuries from falling could break veneers and cause trauma to the teeth underneath.
  • Grinding: If you grind your teeth from stress during the day, or by habit during your sleep, the additional pressure can lead to cracking and chipping of veneers.
  • Receding Gums and Tooth Wear:  Aside from outright breaking, receding gums and natural tooth wear can cause veneers to appear to shrink, exposing the natural color of your teeth beneath the veneers.

Other causes for failed veneers could occur due to errors made by placing the veneers, including:

  • Poor Bonding: Sometimes, it’s possible that veneers will fall off entirely resulting from insufficient bonding during the initial placement of the veneers.
  • Improperly Sized: Individuals whose veneers were too small or large for their mouth may notice early wear from developing misaligned biting habits.

Related: Choosing The Perfect Shaped Veneers 

Failures of veneers can occur by accident, but most damages can be avoided with proper maintenance and initial placement by a specially trained cosmetic dentist.

How To Replace Veneers

Veneer replacement is very similar to placing new ones. If there is no severe damage to your teeth, placing the new veneers should only take two visits to complete.

  1. Removing Old Fronts: First, your dentist or dental provider will need to remove the old veneers. To do this, they must carefully file and chip away the old porcelain as to not damage the natural tooth underneath.
  2. Prepare The Teeth: Next, your dentist will need to prepare the teeth by slightly surfacing the natural teeth to bond successfully to the adhesive used to place the veneers.
  3. Impressions: Impressions are taken of the natural teeth to make models for constructing the temporary and new veneers to ensure they fit correctly in the mouth.
  4. Bit Registration: A bite registration may ensure your veneers will not ware from incorrect biting habits so they can function more like natural teeth.
  5. Temporary Veneers: Using a wax impression, you will receive temporary veneers to wear while your porcelain veneers are fabricated.
  6. Bonding: Once your porcelain veneers are completed, your dentist will bond each individual veneer to your teeth for a new beautiful smile!

man and woman hold each other while smilingMaintaining Your Veneers

It’s extremely important to take daily steps to maintaining your veneers to prevent further damage that could require another replacement. The most effective maintenance techniques to practice include:

  • Avoiding Hard and Non Food Items: Just like natural teeth, avoiding hard foods, and non-food items can prevent chipping and cracking of your veneers. Some people chew on non-food items out of nervous habits, but placing biting pressure in the same spot over and over is a leading cause of cracked veneers.
  • Sticky Foods: Chewing on sticky foods such as candy can cause decay in natural teeth, but also strain on veneers, causing bonding to fail.
  • Daily Hygiene: Veneers are perfectly capable of collecting plaque and tartar buildup! Making sure you brush, floss, and rinse daily will help remove harmful bacteria from your teeth that could cause infection and gum disease.
  • Yearly Checkups: Attending all check up appointments with your dentist (twice a year as recommended) will allow your provider to monitor for signs of veneer failure early, before the need for a replacement occurs.

Who Should I See For Veneer Replacements 

If you saw a general dentist or another dental provider for your first veneer placement, you might want to consider seeing a cosmetic dentist for replacement veneers, especially if the initial bonding was to blame. Cosmetic dentists are specially trained in treatments such as dental implants that enhance both the functionality and appearance of your mouth.  Though veneers can be completed in two visits, they require precise measurements, and techniques to create a practical product with a long lasting result. They also require an expert eye in creating veneers that look like natural teeth, instead of replacement that can easily be spotted when you smile.

Veneer replacements are inevitable, but they don’t have to be frequent! By taking preventive measures to maintain your veneers, and working with an exceptional dental provider, you can wear your veneers proudly for years to come!

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