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Failing Porcelain Veneers

Veneers - Procedure Basics
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Understanding Good Veneers versus Bad Veneers

1. How long will veneers last?

Porcelain veneers were first being used as a cosmetic restoration in the 1980's. Several factors can affect the longevity of veneers, such as: the effectiveness of the bond to the tooth, the patient's bite, and inappropriate use of one's teeth.

Under ideal circumstances veneers can last a long time. I personally have patients who still have veneers in good condition since 1989. With the advances made in dental adhesives, very tenacious bonding of porcelain to tooth structure has been achieved.

Realistically speaking on average,(taking into account all levels of technical ability) it is not unreasonable for one to expect to replace some or all veneers after ten year period. Done properly, I personally feel they can last much longer.

2 .My veneers feel and look too thick. Is that normal?

Porcelain veneers do not need to nor should they feel thick if made properly. Either the dentist did not reduce the tooth enough to allow room for porcelain or the dental lab made them too thick. Usually it is because there was poor planning and the tooth was not reduced enough. Working with a good lab and doing a diagnostic wax-up of the proposed veneers will help to achieve a more ideal outcome.

3. I had veneers done recently by a dentist and they look awful. How difficult is it to have them re-done?

Some of the more challenging cases which I have had were fixing someone else's mistakes. Unfortunately, there are dentists who do not have the skill level to treat simple or moderate to advanced veneer cases and consequently end up with less than acceptable results. To answer your question, yes. Old veneers can removed, but is very tedious if they were bonded correctly. The question is how well were the teeth prepared prior having the veneers bonded? I have seen cases where an excessive amount of tooth structure was removed and ultimately can compromise the longevity of the teeth and veneers. Make sure the dentist that you are using can show you ample photos of cases he has done.

4. I have veneers that have fallen off, is that normal?

No. If teeth are properly prepared and the veneers have been correctly bonded, they should not fall of as long as there are no problems related to your bite. Often times it is usually a failure of improper bonding. Bonding porcelain to teeth is a technically sensitive procedure. If the surfaces are not properly treated and free of contaminants such as oil, water or saliva, there will be a bond failure.

5. I have discoloration at the margins of my veneers where they meet the tooth and I can see my old tooth color between my teeth. Is there anything I can do?

It sounds like the veneers were not bonded correctly. Either you have resin cement that has discolored or there is a gap and stains are getting into the margin. The fact that you can see the color of your original tooth probably means that the tooth was not reduced properly so that the porcelain would cover that part of the tooth.

Editorial Staff

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