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FAQ:  Porcelain Veneers

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Six (6) Anterior Teeth Bonding

    Veneers popped off: I have Veneers on my 2 front teeth that were placed approximately 3 years ago.

    Recently one of them popped off. Underneath on the front surface of the tooth there is decay. I went to the dentist and she said they both have decay underneath them (based on x-ray) and she will not rebond the one that came off.

    She is instead saying that I NEED to get porcelain crowns. My question is 2 part, first should both veneers have decay under them after only 3 years?

    My last dental appointment (prior to this) was about 11 months ago and the dentist I saw didnt mention seeing any problems with the veneered teeth. Secondly, why can't the decay be removed and then the veneer replaced? ...Visitor from Ontario Canada

    To answer your questions let me first give you a little background on porcelain laminate veneers.

    Well prepared veneers created by a top cosmetic dental laboratory should last a minumum of 8 to 15 years or longer if they are cared for with excellent daily brushing and flossing. Also, using a fluoride dental rinse for a minute before going to bed every night is a great way to reduce dental decay through out your mouth and around dental restorations.

    For your veneer to pop off due to decay underneath after only 3 or so years could mean decay was left behind when the veneer was cemented, or the wrong cement was used to bond the veneers.

    The way your teeth were prepared, or a bad impression of the prepared teeth could be another reason your porcelain veneers failed.

    Another factor could be that the dental laboratory that made your veneers may not fabricated them accurately.

    Decay that is evident in recent dental x-rays should have been noticed clinically 11 months ago. The reason the decay under your current porcelain veneers cannot simply be cleaned away and the veneers recemented is that the preparations are now changed.

    For porcelain veneers to seat properly, look great and last for many years depends on many factors, some of which I touched upon above. The teeth must be prepared carefully in order to provide the dental laboratory with the best impressions in order to fabricate the veneers. You need a skilled cosmetic dentist and dental lab who both know the latest cosmetic techniques to provide quality porcelain restorations.

    The gum tissue must be healthy around the teeth and the dentist must properly bond the veneers in place with the correct cement for long lasting results.

    Your current dentist suggested full porcelain crowns either due to the fact that after the decay removal she feels there will not be enough tooth structure left to re-veneer the teeth, or she feels more comfortable doing full crowns vs. veneers.

    In any case I know you are frustrated and upset with your current failing veneers. I think you may want to seek out an experienced cosmetic dentist to give you a second opinion on your current condition.

    Editorial Staff

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