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FAQ:  Porcelain Veneers


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    Question:
    I am so very disappointed in my porcelain veneers. My disappointment is not how they look but how they are holding up.

    It has only been four years and I am already seeing a darkness between my front six veneers. I believe it is my natural tooth coloring starting to show through. I did have a lot of tooth reduction done by a previous dentist so they are quite dark underneath.

    I did bring this to my doctors attention and he suggested he could put some bonding material on there to cover them. Have you ever heard of anyone needing their veneers replaced so soon?. I definitely can't afford to have veneers done every four years and besides how many times can veneers be replaced safely? ...Visitor from MI

    Answer:
    I am sorry to hear that you experiencing this problem. Let me see if I can address this appropriately.

    From what you are telling me it appears that the darkness in color you see from between your teeth is caused most probably by too conservative/incorrect tooth preparation. When conservatively preparing a tooth for a veneer, one needs to careful to prepare in between the teeth sufficiently so as none of the original tooth structure is showing. This would be especially true if the teeth were darkly discolored.

    Of course sometimes there can be recession of the gum tissue which can result in exposure of tooth structure as well. However, this does not seem to be your case.

    I have been a proponent of opening up the contact areas between the teeth so that the porcelain extends to the back of the teeth. Doing so would not only have prevented your problem but also would have kept the margins where the tooth and porcelain meet more accessible to cleaning. This also would make it less likely that any decay would get in from an open margin.

    So to answer your question, no it is not normal to have to replace veneers after four years. Your options are to let your dentist redo the veneers or find someone more experienced and have that dentist redo them.

    Editorial Staff


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