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FAQ:  Porcelain Veneers


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    Question:
    Veneers and Root Canals: My teeth were pretty crooked and crowded so I had porcelain veneers put on 16 teeth (8 upper/8 lower).

    Since getting the veneers I've had 4 root canals done on 4 of the 16 teeth and still need 2 additional root canals done.

    Prior to the veneers I had no cavities or any other dental problems. I am very concerned that something went wrong during the prep that has caused me to need so many root canals.

    Could my Dentist have removed too much of my teeth resulting in the need for these root canals? What make matters worst is I've had to pay (out-of-pocket) each time I needed the root canals. ...Visitor from CA

    Answer:
    Thanks for your inquiry. As I understand it your teeth had moderate crowding and were crooked and subsequently, after having veneers you've needed four root canals.

    I have to say that it is a little unusual that one would need that many root canals but it is a realistic consequence when one prepares crooked teeth for veneers with the goal of making them appear straight.

    When preparing crooked teeth for veneers as in instant orthodontics, we must sometimes take away more tooth structure than we would like. This can irritate the pulpal tissue of the tooth causing what we call an irreversible pulpalgia.

    However, some of this irritation can be minimized at the bonding of the veneers appointment. The use of a self etching bonding agent would be less irritating to the pulp than using the conventional phosphoric acid etch technique, especially when the tooth has been prepared close to the pulp.

    Nonetheless, I am certain that your dentist performed the procedures within the standard of care and it is just an unfortunate consequence that you have to have all those root canals. However, if it is just a lot of sensitivity that you are experiencing, I would wait as long as I could to see if it subsides.

    If it does that would be a good sign that you have a reversible pulpalgia rather than an irreversible pulpalgia.

    Editorial Staff


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