Is It Time To Replace My Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain_veneersPorcelain veneers are a durable and dependable form of smile improvement. Veneers protect the natural teeth and are applied to provide a lustrous, natural-looking smile to the surfaces of your teeth. Porcelain veneers need regular care and maintenance if they are to last 10 to 20 years. Brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups are essential to maintaining your veneers.

Even with quality care, sometimes a porcelain veneer will need to be replaced before the end of its expected lifespan. Here is a brief guide to help you determine if your veneers are in need of replacement by a qualified cosmetic dentist.

Common reasons to replace porcelain veneers

  1. The veneer has chipped off of the natural tooth. Porcelain is a brittle material, and an accident or excessive pressure on the tooth can cause a veneer to chip and fall off the tooth.
  2. The veneer is cracked or worn. As with the situation above, a blow to the tooth, teeth grinding, or chewing on items like tools or pencils can damage your porcelain veneer. Cracks are difficult to seal or patch, so often your dentist will elect to replace the veneer.
  3. Periodontal disease has caused gum recession, exposing the gap between the veneer and your gums. This condition is not only unsightly, it can worsen the periodontal disease because tooth roots are now exposed. A new veneer must be made to cover the entire tooth.
  4. The natural tooth underneath a porcelain veneer needs treatment. A veneer itself does not decay, but the tooth it is applied to can. If this is the case, the veneer will have to be removed and reapplied after treatment, or another restoration option (such as a crown) will need to be applied if the tooth structure is too weak to support the replacement porcelain veneer. 

One other situation may necessitate replacing your veneers: if you want to whiten your teeth and you have existing porcelain veneers, it is easier to match the tone of a veneer to a whitened natural tooth than the reverse. If you choose to whiten in this situation, you may need to consider replacing your current veneers if you want a close color match between your natural teeth and those with veneers.

“Porcelain veneers are designed to last for many years, but it requires a commitment to maintain good oral hygiene and close consultation with your dentist to ensure you get the most out of them,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix.



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