Enamel, the hard, mineral substance surrounding each tooth, is one of the strongest substances in the body. Despite its strength, tooth enamel can be damaged. One common form of dental damage is a chip. Chipped teeth compromise the strength and aesthetics of the smile. Even more concerning, a deep chip can expose the nerves and tissues that lie within the central structures of the teeth, thus increasing the risk of infection and other oral health problems. For cosmetic and health reasons, it is ideal to treat a chipped tooth as soon as possible.
At Anacapa Dental Art Institute, we offer dental procedures to repair damaged teeth. Many of these treatments are suitable for chipped teeth. Dr. Saj Jivraj explores treatments for chipped teeth with his Oxnard, Ventura patients and helps them find the technique that is most appropriate for their unique situation.
Porcelain Veneers Oxnard, Ventura
Porcelain veneers are one of our most popular forms of cosmetic dentistry treatment. These fabrications are extremely thin shells that are bonded to the facial surface of the teeth during treatment. Porcelain veneers conceal cosmetic flaws such as chips, while providing an added layer of strength and protection.
Many people who are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth have achieved a beautiful smile with porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are tooth-shaped shells that fit over the teeth to completely transform the smile by concealing dental flaws or minor orthodontic issues.
Porcelain veneers are durable and can keep the smile looking beautiful for many years. However, they may require replacement at some point. Here, we’ll take a closer look at some common reasons porcelain veneers replacement may be needed.
To find out if you require porcelain veneers replacement, please schedule a consultation with Ventura’s best cosmetic dentist Dr. Jivraj.
The Underlying Tooth Develops Decay
It’s possible for a tooth supporting a porcelain veneer to develop decay. Porcelain veneers leave certain areas of treated teeth exposed, including areas along the gum line and the back of the teeth. These areas are not protected by veneers and can become decayed without proper dental care.
Decay may also develop between a veneer and a tooth if the veneer becomes loose. This may allow plaque and bacteria to lodge between the veneer and tooth, resulting in decay.
When decay develops, it’s often necessary to remove and replace the veneer in order to treat the decay and restore dental health.
Veneers Become Damaged
Although durable, porcelain veneers may become damaged with misuse. Teeth grinding, biting on metal pen caps, biting hard foods, facial injuries, or using the teeth as tools to open packages can chip, fracture, or otherwise damage the veneers. Damaged porcelain veneers should be replaced as soon as possible to protect the teeth from decay and further damage.
General Wear Issues
Porcelain veneers can last well over ten years with proper care and maintenance. As porcelain veneers age, some patients may begin to notice signs of wear, including scratches or chipping.
Those who have undergone porcelain veneers treatment to repair damage caused by teeth grinding may notice the signs of wear earlier, especially if teeth grinding has not been treated.
Weakened Bond Between Veneer and Tooth
Dental cement is used to bond porcelain veneers to the teeth. Although this special material creates a strong bond, over time the bond may weaken and cause a veneer to become loose.
Loose veneers increase the risk of tooth decay as they allow plaque and bacteria to become stuck between the veneer and tooth. Accordingly, replacing loose veneers is essential for protecting dental health.
Color of the Teeth No Longer Matches the Veneers
Over time and with exposure to certain foods and drinks, it’s normal for the natural teeth to become discolored. However, porcelain veneers do not discolor like the natural teeth. For some people, this may cause a noticeable difference in color between the natural teeth and the porcelain veneers. Teeth whitening treatments can also cause a noticeable difference in color since veneers do not respond to whitening treatments as the natural teeth do. When the veneers no longer match the color of the teeth, they will need to be replaced to restore uniformity.
Porcelain veneers treat a range of cosmetic dental flaws with a single treatment performed in just two dental appointments. These tooth-shaped porcelain shells are placed over the front of the teeth to mask imperfections and enhance the appearance of the smile. Maintaining your porcelain veneers is easy as long as you follow our porcelain veneers aftercare instructions.
At Anacapa Dental Art Institute in Ventura, CA, Dr. Jivraj educates patients about the proper way to care for their veneers. In this blog post, we provide tips to keep your veneers looking flawless and new.
#1: Exercise Good Oral Care
It is important to maintain, or even improve, your oral hygiene routine after getting porcelain veneers. This is critical for two reasons.
First, your natural teeth can still decay beneath the veneers. If you develop a cavity on a tooth that has a veneer, the veneer may need to be removed and replaced so you can have the cavity treated.
Second, keeping your veneers clean can prevent the staining and discoloration that can occur over a long period of time.
To prolong the lifespan of your veneers, you should:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, ideally in the morning when you wake up and at night before bed.
- Floss your teeth once a day.
- Use mouthwash as needed.
- See the dentist every six months for a dental exam and professional cleaning.
#2: Prevent Stains
While the high quality porcelain that is used in veneers is resistant to stains, discoloration can still occur. There are steps that you can take to prevent stains and keep your veneers looking new for as long as possible.
First, be sure to follow our oral care instructions to remove food particles and other staining agents from the teeth.
Second, you may also wish to limit or prevent known stain-causing foods and drinks from coming into contact with your teeth.
Generally, dark-colored or deeply pigmented foods and drinks can stain the teeth. This includes beverages such as coffee, tea, dark sodas, and red wine. Foods that are more likely to cause stains include tomato sauce, soy sauce, and berries.
If you do consume these items, you can brush your teeth shortly after eating or drinking these items to remove food and drink particles from the teeth. You may also wish to drink stain-causing beverages through a straw to limit contact with the teeth.
Finally, you should not smoke cigarettes if you get porcelain veneers. Tobacco products can yellow the teeth and veneers, accelerating their need for replacement.
#3: Avoid Damaging Items
Certain habits can damage your porcelain veneers or cause them to become dislodged. Avoid having your teeth come into contact with non-edible items.
For example, don’t open a beer bottle or soda can with your teeth. Don’t use your teeth to break string or clothing tags. Don’t chew on your fingernails or pen caps. Don’t chew on ice or other hard items that can crack or chip the teeth.
By following these tips, your veneers can last for 10 years or more. To learn more, contact Anacapa Dental today.
Is It Time to Replace Your Porcelain Veneers?
If you have noticed any of these issues with your porcelain veneers, it may be time for replacement. For more information about porcelain veneers replacement or to find out if it’s right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jivraj.