Cosmetic flaws can have a noticeable impact on your smile, and some are particularly difficult to remove. Teeth that are crooked, chipped, or discolored may still be perfectly healthy, but are more easily concealed than fixed. For this reason, many of our Troy patients have benefited from porcelain veneers, which allow them to achieve a naturally beautiful smile.
As durable as veneers are, multiple factors may be responsible for their eventual replacement. If you currently have or are considering porcelain veneers, here are the most common reasons why a replacement procedure may become necessary.
When accompanied by proper hygiene and preventative care, porcelain is one of the longest lasting dental materials. If veneers are not exposed to any unnatural stress or trauma, they can last for 15 years or, potentially, decades. Nevertheless, most veneers will eventually accrue some damage, whether through the forces exerted upon them daily or through unexpected injury. Chips or cracks are often the result of these factors:
- Hard or tough foods: Porcelain should be able to withstand regular eating habits for many years. Still, just like your natural teeth, it’s possible for them to chip on an especially hard surface. Take care when eating such foods, and avoid using your teeth to open or manipulate non-edible objects such as plastic containers.
- Bruxism: The habit of teeth grinding, called bruxism, can erode tooth enamel and dental restorations over time. If you suffer from this dental disorder, consider wearing a mouth guard at night to minimize potential damage.
- Injury: Just as teeth can crack from sudden trauma, so too can porcelain sustain damage. Take care when engaged in physical activities, and consider a customized mouth guard to protect all your teeth during contact sports.
If your veneers have incurred damage, consult your cosmetic dentist regarding repair or replacement. Although small chips can sometimes be bonded back on, the dental cement may be visible from the surface, and repaired veneers may break again in the unforeseen future.
While porcelain itself is not susceptible to decay, the underlying tooth is. Moreover, a diseased tooth can rarely be treated while a veneer still covers its surface. If a covered tooth requires dental restoration such as a filling, the porcelain will be removed similarly to how the tooth’s enamel was first removed for the veneer. Once subsequent dental treatment has been performed, the tooth will be re-fitted for a new veneer.
To avoid such problems, veneers should be given the same degree of attention and hygienic care as any other tooth. This is especially true for older veneers, as the edges of dental cement may have receded over time, leaving small spaces between the tooth and veneer for bacterial build-up.
It is rare for porcelain to retain stains, being far more resistant to discoloration than other tooth-colored materials or enamel. Still, some dark or brightly colored foods and drinks can leave stains, particularly those that are also acidic. Coffee, tea, wine, berries, and sauces have the potential to leave stains. To lessen the chance of discoloration, brush your teeth regularly and drink plenty of water to keep veneers clean.
Improvement From a Previous Procedure
If you have undergone a previous procedure that produced unsatisfactory results, allow Dr. Keith Kelley to enhance your smile in a way that better aligns with your expectations. With a wealth of experience and professional credentials, Dr. Kelley will ensure that your veneers are crafted and positioned to near perfection, complementing your teeth flawlessly.
Even if you have previously been happy with your veneers, a change in your natural teeth may result in a recent contrast. A whitening treatment, for instance, may have brightened your teeth while leaving your veneers a darker color by comparison. Replacement may therefore be necessary to keep your smile evenly shaded.
Learn More about Porcelain Veneers
To learn more about porcelain veneers and their replacement, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kelley. Contact our office today to make an appointment or to inquire about our other cosmetic dental treatments.