When you got your veneers, you probably loved the results. Unfortunately, veneers aren't a permanent solution, since they start to show signs of wear and tear in 10 to 15 years. Bad habits and accidents can shorten the lifespan of your veneers, revealing chips, cracks or even the unbonding of a veneer altogether. When this occurs, you'll need to visit your dentist for some veneer repair options.
Types of Wear
Even if you're careful, you could see some cracking or chipping occur in your veneers. Regardless of the material used to create veneers (resin or porcelain), anything from an accident to chewing on a pen could have an effect on veneers. Here are common issues:
- Cracks. Cracks can appear with age or as the result of bad habits like chewing on hard items, like your nails, a pen or ice. Cracks may seem like no big deal, but they can result in discoloration, so it's best to have them properly repaired.
- Chips. Usually the result of dental trauma (an accident) or chewing on hard items, chips can be small pieces to a significant portion of the veneer.
- Unbonding. Over time, the material used to bond the veneer to your tooth might wear away, resulting in a completely unbonding of the material to your tooth.
Types of Repair
If you think your veneers require repair, talk to your dentist. He or she will suggest a method for repair based on the type and severity of the issue. If you just have a small crack or chip and your veneer is otherwise in good shape, for instance, your dentist may be able to fill the crack with resin and simply repair it that way. Your dentist can also rebond veneers that have become unbonded as long as you keep the veneer: wrap it in a tissue and bring it to your dentist as soon as possible. If, however, you have a large portion that is missing, expect your dentist to suggest a replacement for that veneer. The bonding material will be removed and a new impression will be made of your natural tooth so that a new veneer can be made.
Caring for Your Veneers
Repairing and replacing veneers can be expensive, so your best bet is to properly care for your veneers to keep them in great shape throughout their lifespan. It's usually poor oral habits that result in veneer damage, so the American Dental Association warns against biting nails or chewing hard foods. You can also swap your toothbrush for a gentler model made for sensitive teeth. While it's important to continue following an oral care routine even with veneers, there's no need to brush harshly. Try the Colgate 360° Enamel Health Soft Toothbrush for Sensitive Teeth, which has 48 percent softer bristles.
Veneers can improve your smile, but it's important to remember that veneers need to be treated gently to last their full life expectancy. If you do damage your veneers, veneer repair is usually a quick and easy process, getting you back to your signature smile in no time.