When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, getting veneers is by far the best, most affordable option to get your smile looking bright and healthy. But unfortunately, veneers aren’t made to last forever. The average lifespan of dental veneers ranges between 10-15 years for most porcelain veneers and approximately 5 years for resin. And regardless of what kind of veneers you have, you’ll need to know what to do when your veneers break.
How to Take Care of Your Veneers
Prevention is always better than cure, so to avoid unnecessary veneer repair expenses, it’s best to know how to take good care of your veneers. A properly fitted porcelain veneer is usually about just as strong as your natural tooth, so it’s reassuring to know that proper veneer care will also keep your natural teeth healthier for longer. Some general guidelines to prevent damage to your veneers and tooth tissues include:
- Good oral hygiene: Brushing twice a day helps to prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay. This can help to prevent a tooth that’s fitted with a veneer from decaying to the point where it no longer has enough bonding surface for your veneer to stay in place. A tooth that’s too decayed to support a veneer will either need to be crowned or extracted, so spending an extra few minutes brushing your teeth every day is one of the best investments you can make for you overall dental health.
- Avoid extreme temperatures: Temperature fluctuations in your mouth can cause both your natural teeth and dental veneers to crack. To avoid getting a cracked tooth or veneer, you should avoid exposing your teeth to rapid temperature fluctuations. A good example might be if you drink a cup of very hot coffee with a glass of ice water on the side, taking sips from both as you go along.
- Don’t bite on hard things: Everyone knows that biting on hard things can cause your teeth to break, but for some reason, everyone still does it. If your teeth are very strong, you might even get away with this more than 99% of the time, but eventually the day will come when your teeth aren’t strong enough to withstand the pressure. So even if your teeth are still strong, it’s better to take good care of them so they’ll stay healthy for a larger portion of your life. Doing so will also ensure that you can enjoy your dental veneers for many years to come.
All of these things will help prevent your veneers and natural teeth from breaking. But if you would also like to avoid cosmetic concerns, like tooth and veneers staining, it’s also best to limit things like coffee, tea, red wine and smoking.
Dental Veneer Repair
Now that you know what you can do to prevent future problems with your veneers to the best of your abilities, it’s good to know how you can get it fixed. There are various ways a dental veneer can break, and so repairing your veneer won’t always be the same. Here’s how you can repair different problems with your dental veneers:
- Dental veneer fell off: There are two main reasons why a dental veneer can fall off. The first reason is that the dental glue failed. This could be because your dentist didn’t bond the veneer properly, but often times these things just happen for unknown reasons. However, a veneer that came off because of bonding failure can usually be refitted without too much hassle. The second reason for why your veneer might come off is that your tooth might no longer have enough surface to support the veneer, in this case you should talk to your dentist about your options.
- Small veneer chip: If you veneer has a small chip, you can ask your dentist whether or not they’ll be able to help by filling it up. This won’t always be possible, but it can be worth asking.
- Large chip: If the veneer has a large chip, there’s a good chance your dentist will recommend that you replace it.
- Crack: If your veneer has cracked and a piece of it came off, your dentist will almost undoubtedly recommend that you replace it.
Unfortunately, replacing a veneer isn’t always simple. Sometimes you might even have to replace your full set of veneers so the new veneer matches the color of the rest of your teeth. This would especially be good if you’ve had your veneers for a long time, as they’ve probably stained throughout the years.
However, provided the veneers still look good, you can always ask your prosthodontist to match the color of your new veneer to your slightly stained ones. This is a good option if your veneers were still relatively new, like if you got them approximately 5 years ago or less. Prosthodontists specialize in different kinds of cosmetic dentistry work, meaning that your prosthodontist will be skilled at matching colors perfectly.