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FAQ:  Porcelain Veneers


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    Question:
    Time to re-do my veneers: It has been about 12 years since I had my first set of veeners (6 upper front) put on. I have been very happy with them, and have never had any problems.

    When I moved I found a new dentist that I have been satisfied with, however he seems to be crown-happy. I have 4 back teeth that he has put crowns on.

    Although I am not having any problems with my veneers, my current dentist said that I need to start thinking about replacing them because they are starting to chip away near the gum line. He suggested crowns.

    What is the general practice for fixing veneers that have started to break down? And if there is an intermediary fix, such as bonding in the weak areas? ...Visitor from IL

    Answer:
    First, let me say it probably is good that you put the brakes on.

    Your story reminds me of a patient that had root canals and crowns on every posterior tooth in her mouth. I really questioned not only the necessity of the crowns but also the root canals. Especially since this patient maintained such good oral health.

    As for you, based upon what you are saying, I would be very cautious and question the need for crowns. If you have to, get a second opinion. As for him doing veneers, bear in mind that veneers are a much more conservative restoration and in most cases more esthetic.

    There are many dentists that do not feel comfortable doing veneers for various reasons. One is that it's a technique sensitive procedure. If your current dentist can not demonstrate adequate competence in veneers (plenty of photos), look elsewhere. So based upon the information you have given me, do not do crowns.

    Replacing veneers is more difficult than having them done for the first time.

    If you want to repair them for the time being, that is fine. They can be repaired with a flowable composite resin which can be bonded to the porcelain if done properly.

    However, in the long run it sounds like you might want to have them replaced. Porcelain materials are better now than before and there are some talented ceramists that can probably make them nicer than before. Remember, you can always get a second opinion.

    Editorial Staff

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