Porcelain veneers can vastly improve the quality of your smile, and they are made of one of the most durable dental materials. But they cannot be guaranteed to last forever. Over time, it’s only natural that they will suffer from small chips and erosion, assuming they do not become broken or stained before that. Even if you take excellent care of your teeth and restorations, eventual wear and tear will gradually detract from the uniform, near-perfect smile they once achieved. In order to make the most of your veneers, take a moment to learn how the replacement process works and when it is needed.
Many people who are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth turn to porcelain veneers treatment to improve the smile’s appearance. Porcelain veneers are a great treatment option that can mask dental flaws and create a beautiful, stunning smile. Porcelain veneers provide long lasting results but they do have a lifespan and may require replacement at some point. To find out if you require porcelain veneers replacement, schedule a consultation with our Oxnard, CA team at Anacapa Dental Art Institute.
When Is it Necessary to Replace Porcelain Veneers?
Although porcelain veneers are durable, they may require replacement for different reasons. Veneers may simply reach the end of their lifespan or may require early replacement due to dental damage or an accident.
The most obvious reason to replace porcelain veneers is in the event of obvious damage. Large chips and cracks look the same on veneers as they do on regular teeth. Worse yet, broken veneers only increase the likelihood of further damage, and if a veneer breaks off completely, it leaves the underlying tooth exposed.
But even relatively unbroken veneers may warrant replacement. Additional reasons may include:
- Tooth decay: Teeth treated with porcelain veneers are just as vulnerable to tooth decay as those that are not. Although veneers cover the front surface of the teeth, the back surface of treated teeth are left exposed, making it possible for decay to develop. Decay may also develop at the gum line, where the veneers end and the natural teeth begin. If decay occurs, porcelain veneers should be removed and replaced in order to treat the decay and protect dental health.
- Damaged veneer: Porcelain veneers are durable, but they may become damaged over time from general wear and tear, an accident, or improper care. Chipped, fractured, or otherwise damaged veneers should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent damage to the underlying teeth.
- Loose veneer: Porcelain veneers may become loose as a result of the weakening of the dental cement used to bond the veneers to the teeth. Loose veneers can allow plaque and bacteria to lodge between the veneer and underlying tooth, leaving the tooth vulnerable to decay, which is why it’s of utmost importance to replace loose veneers as soon as possible.
- Changes in color of the natural teeth: Porcelain veneers may need replacement in the event the natural teeth become stained and no longer match the color of the veneers, a condition sometimes referred to as “technicolor teeth.” The discoloration may become obvious since porcelain veneers are more stain resistant than the natural teeth and they don’t respond to whiting treatment.
- Worn shape: Over time, veneers may become worn around the occlusal surface, leading to undersized veneers or dulled edges. The difference may seem subtle, but a new veneer’s full shape greatly lends itself to an attractive smile.
Prolonging the Life of Porcelain Veneers
Generally, the lifespan of a veneer is proportionate to how well one takes care of it. Good hygiene and dietary habits are enough for most people to avoid decay and discoloration. For those who play sports or suffer from bruxism, further protection such as a mouthguard may be needed to avoid damage. Additionally, patients should avoid chewing on non-food items or using their teeth as tools, as this can easily result in chipping.
With the right aftercare, veneers can easily last 15 years or longer. Some patients can go decades before noticing any substantial changes to their veneers. Of course, everyone is different, and your veneers can be periodically checked during regular exams and cleanings, along with the rest of your teeth and restorations.
Caring for porcelain veneers is as easy as caring for your natural teeth. With proper care and maintenance, porcelain veneers should last well over ten years. Follow these tips to help ensure you’ll enjoy the beautiful results of porcelain veneers for as long as possible.
- Don’t neglect oral hygiene: Practicing proper oral hygiene, brushing at least twice a day, and flossing at least once a day can help keep your veneers and teeth healthy and beautiful.
- See your dentist for regular check-ups: Regular dental exams and cleanings should be performed at least every six months and are necessary for catching signs of oral health problems or issues with porcelain veneers as early as possible.
- Switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste: Hard-bristled toothbrushes and abrasive toothpastes can scratch veneers and cause them to stain. Protect your veneers by using a soft bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste.
- Don’t chew on hard items: Avoid chewing on hard items, like metal pen caps, ice, or fingernails, to prevent chipping or fracturing your veneers.
- Don’t use your teeth as tools: Don’t use your teeth as tools, like to open plastic packages, cut tape, or open glue caps, as this can lead to fractured veneers and teeth.
The Replacement Process
If you require replacement for your porcelain veneers, the process is similar to the placement of your initial veneers. You can expect the following procedure at our office:
- After administering a local anesthetic, we will remove the old veneers much like the initial removal of enamel. This will create room for the new veneers.
- Impressions of your teeth will be taken and sent to an outside lab, where the veneers will be expertly crafted to match your smile.
- In the interim, temporary veneers may be placed over your teeth to protect them and preserve your smile’s appearance while the permanent veneers are crafted.
- In one to two weeks, your new veneers will arrive, at which point you will be called back into our office. The veneers will be carefully positioned and cemented in place.
Once your veneers are placed, you can leave our office and continue about your day without any worries. With the right care and protection, your veneers should last just as long, if not longer, than your old ones.
Keep Your Smile Bright
Porcelain veneers are one of the most effective ways of improving a smile’s appearance, whether through an individual tooth or a complete smile makeover. But veneers are only effective so long as they remain full, bright, and spotless. Contact our office to learn more about how to protect your veneers, or if you believe it may be time to replace them.
Schedule a Complimentary Cosmetic Consultation Today!
When it comes to efficiency of your time and proficiency of cosmetic dentistry techniques, Anacapa Dental Art Institute is the right choice for your teeth. Contact us to schedule your private consultation today and find out why we consider our dentists as the best cosmetic dentists in the area.
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We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Jivraj contact our Oxnard, CA, dental office today by calling 805-988-3320. Our office welcomes patients in and around Oxnard, CA, including Santa Barbara, Woodland Hills, Ventura, and the surrounding Southern California communities.