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Is It Time to Replace Your Porcelain Veneers?

By Eugene D. Stanislaus on August 10, 2014


A woman with a straight, beautiful smilePatients with porcelain veneers can attest to the multitude of ways in which their smiles have been improved. Assuming these patients have taken proper care of their veneers, they will also be able to note just how long veneers can last without incurring any damage or discoloration. But despite the durability of porcelain as a dental material, time and use will most likely take an eventual toll on veneers, leading to their replacement.

Whether you first received your veneers at our Brooklyn office or have since become a new patient, we are happy to help you restore your veneers and thus your smile. Take a moment to read up on why a porcelain veneer may need replacement and what to expect from the replacement process. 

Causes for Replacement

There are a few possible reasons why porcelain veneers may call for replacement, ranging from structural damage to more subtle cosmetic issues. In any event, we urge our patients to consider when a veneer’s lifespan has expired so that they may once again achieve a brilliant smile:

  • Chips or cracks: Physical stress or trauma may cause a veneer to break, resulting in large chips or cracks that cannot easily be fixed. Even when a veneer can conceivably be cemented back together, it will remain weaker and perpetually liable to break again.
  • Gradual wear and tear: Patients who are careful while eating and who have no habit of teeth grinding can expect their veneers to last a long time without wearing down. After years of use, however, it is possible for veneers to become worn from many small chips, making them less effective.
  • Tooth decay: If a cavity forms within a tooth that is covered by a veneer, the veneer will have to be destroyed in the restorative treatment process. Any significant instance of decay therefore warrants the eventual replacement of a veneer or any similar restoration.
  • Dissatisfaction with prior veneers: If you are displeased with your current veneers, we will gladly replace them with a new set that more accurately meets your cosmetic expectations.
  • Staining: Although porcelain is highly resistant to stains from food, some foods and drinks may leave discoloration on veneers, especially if patients are negligent in their hygiene. Once a veneer is permanently stained, the only way to restore its color is to replace it with a new one.

The Replacement Process

Patients replacing their porcelain veneers can expect a procedure that follows similar steps to the original placement of the veneers. The primary difference is that no enamel needs to be removed for replacement, since an adequate amount has already been removed for the original veneers. Instead, the dentist will remove the first veneer as if it were a layer of tooth tissue, before taking an impression of the newly prepared tooth.

Using our on-site CEREC machine, the impressions will be scanned and a model of the new veneer will be digitally created. Over the next hour, the veneer will be milled from porcelain to the computer’s specifications. Once ready, it will be tested over the tooth to ensure a good fit, and finally, it will be permanently cemented on.

When you leave our office, your smile should be significantly improved, and you will be able to continue smiling, eating, and brushing your teeth just as you normally would.  

Get Your Smile Examined

Just like your natural teeth, porcelain veneers require routine exams and cleanings to ensure their continued health. With regular exams, you can prevent decay, discoloration, and other risk factors to your veneers, while keeping an eye on the projected lifespan of your restorations. Contact our office to schedule your next appointment with us.

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