Replacing Your Porcelain Veneers

Replacing Your Porcelain Veneers By Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. on October 01, 2013

When flashing a smile, no one wants to worry about a chipped or discolored tooth. Fortunately, cosmetic flaws like these can be covered through the use of porcelain veneers. Veneers are an effective way to restore a tooth’s natural appearance, but they can also chip or get worn out over the years. Read on to learn about your options in Jackson for dealing with an old or damaged porcelain veneer.

Taking Care of Your Veneers

Teeth that are covered by porcelain veneers are equally susceptible to decay and gum disease. Patients should continue to practice good hygiene by brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily. These habits will not only preserve your teeth, but also maintain the durability of your veneers. Some patients are able to go decades without needing a replacement, but the average lifespan for porcelain veneers is ten years.

Also keep in mind that porcelain is a brittle material and, as a result, is prone to chip or crack under heavy pressure. Patients who grind their teeth or bite their fingernails may be at a greater risk of damaging their veneers, as are those who play contact sports.

Repairing a Porcelain Veneer

One disadvantage to porcelain, when compared to composite resin, is the difficulty in repairing it. Most breaks are too big or tricky to produce satisfactory results through repair.

Assuming a small, clean break, some dentists are willing to cement a piece back on to a veneer using an appropriate shade of dental cement. In some cases this may be a financially sound option, but once repaired, veneers rarely last very long.

A restored porcelain veneer may also present cosmetic problems. After being cemented back together, it is possible for discoloration to occur along the line of breakage. The cement used may also be visible, even when carefully matched to the porcelain.

Replacement is the Best Option

Since repairing a porcelain veneer is risky if not impossible, the recommended solution is to replace it entirely. The process of installing a new porcelain veneer is nearly identical to getting the original: 

  • Preparation: First, the old veneer is carefully ground down from the tooth until it is removed. Unlike the original procedure, no additional enamel needs to be removed. Digital impressions are then made of your teeth, which serve as a model to craft the new veneer. Whereas many dentists require two or three visits to create and install a veneer, Dr. O’Keefe utilizes in-office CEREC technology to craft your veneers on the spot, within a single visit.   
  • Bonding: Once the replacement veneer is made, it is ready for bonding. The tooth will be cleaned and the surface made coarse for better adherence. The veneer will be positioned and new dental cement applied. Assuming proper care, a new veneer lasts 10 to 15 years on average.

Interested in Replacing?

If you believe you are a candidate for new porcelain veneers, or are interested in learning about our other procedures, contact our Jackson office. An initial consultation can help you decide which treatment plan is best for you, while addressing your individual concerns.

Dr. Danny O’Keefe has been a practicing cosmetic dentist for over 35 years, providing patients with exceptional, personalized care. Schedule an appointment today to see what we can do for your teeth and your confidence!