Veneers are most widely used to enhance the appearance of teeth. While veneers can be made of either porcelain or composite resin, the former tends to be more popular than the latter. The use of porcelain for veneers tends to yield a result that looks more like a natural tooth and lasts longer than resin, but even the most durable veneers can be damaged. In these cases, it may not always be possible for your dentist to repair the existing veneer, it may need to be replaced.
How Long Do Veneers Last?
Resin veneers are good in the sense that dentists don’t need to shave away as much tissue from the front surface of your tooth while placing them, but they usually don’t look as natural as porcelain ones. Because composite resin stains and chips more easily, they’re not expected to last as long as porcelain veneers. When properly taken care of, composite resin veneers can last anywhere between four to eight years.
Once a composite resin veneer is damaged, it usually has to be redone. Because composite resin is prone to staining, patients might also have to redo surrounding teeth so that the new veneer isn’t noticeably lighter.
Porcelain veneers are more durable and look more natural than composite resin veneers. They tend to last anywhere from five to twenty years, although the average porcelain veneer is considered to last about ten years. When porcelain veneers do get damaged, repairing the veneer might not always be possible, but there are cases in which porcelain veneers can be successfully repaired.
Porcelain Veneer Repair
How a porcelain veneer is repaired will depend on the kind of damage to the veneer. There are cases where it’s better to replace the veneer, but even in many of those cases repairing the damage is still possible.
Small Chips and Fractures
In some cases, it’s possible for dentists to simply buff away the damage to a veneer. This treatment also involves evening out the surrounding veneers so that it still looks natural. Although this is considered to be a good way to fix porcelain veneers, it can only be done in cases when patients visit their dentists before the damage worsens.
The most common way to repair a veneer that has a chip, is by making use of composite to fill in the chipped space. Success for this procedure varies depending on the quality of resin used for fixing the tooth and the skill with which the procedure is performed. In some cases, the composite stains much faster than the rest of the veneer, leading to an nnon uniform appearance. Nevertheless, this method is sure to prolong the use of a veneer, especially in cases where patients are unwilling or unable to replace it.
In some cases the whole veneer might debond from a tooth’s surface without breaking, in these cases it’s possible for dentists to simply rebond the dental veneer to a tooth without much effort. If your veneer debonded, you should inspect it to see if it’s still whole. A veneer that came off without any damage will look like a tooth when you view it from the convex side. Be extremely careful while handling a veneer that came off, as broken veneers that have debonded can’t usually be rebonded to your teeth.
Unfortunately, there are cases when a debonded veneer won’t stay in place after being reattached. When that happens, it’s usually best to replace the veneer altogether.
Every broken veneer is a unique case, and it might even still be worthwhile to take a debonded veneer that has broken to your dentist to find out whether or not he or she will be able to fix it for you. To prevent damage to your veneers from occurring to begin with, many dentists recommend that patients should wear a protective mouth guard while sleeping as well as refrain from eating particularly hard foods by biting on their veneers.