So it happened: while you were eating, talking, or even sleeping, one of your porcelain veneers managed to fall completely off. Since a veneer looks an awful lot like a tooth, your first instinct is to panic. After closer inspection, you realize that it’s just one of your veneers…which then brings you to the question of what to do next. A veneer falling off isn’t as urgent an emergency as an actual tooth falling out but it can still be quite alarming and, if the veneer was on one of your front teeth, it can mean keeping your smile under lock and key. As your cosmetic dentist, that’s the last thing I want to see happen.
If your veneer falls off, the next step is easy: call us. If our office isn’t open, we will schedule you for the first time slot available when it reopens. We’ll re-cement the veneer for free and do some tests to see why the veneer might have fallen off.
Veneers are the crowning achievement of cosmetic dentistry but they are not without fault. As with almost everything in life, they carry with them both pros and cons. A serious con of veneers is the fact that, occasionally, they do fall off. The cement we use to attach the veneer to the tooth is not meant to be a permanent binder since most people who get veneers will want to replace them in a decade or so. Veneers have to be removable. This, unfortunately, means that, when they encounter an excess of pressure, they can come off.
The trick to getting veneers to stay on is all in how they’re shaped and how they’re placed. We look at a patient’s occlusion (how their top and bottom teeth come together) in order to determine the best techniques to use for that individual. Everyone’s bite is different so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. There is, however, a lot of cutting edge technology that can help us understand your unique dental pressure points. That tech can dramatically lower the chances of a veneer falling off.
Recently, we bought a new device called a Tek-Scan that can detect the slightest inconsistencies in a patient’s bite. With this equipment, we hope to see fewer and fewer patients come in with detached veneers.
If a veneer falls off while you are eating or talking, there is a chance you may accidentally break the veneer. If that happens, call us immediately. With broken veneers, we can temporarily fix them but, in the longterm, we will need to reevaluate your bite and order a new veneer. Once the new veneer comes in, we’ll re-cement it and you’ll be on your way!
When a dentist bonds and crafts veneers correctly, they are quite strong. Although dental labs make veneers out of porcelain, they are far from fragile. If your veneers are frequently falling off or breaking, it probably has something to do with how the veneers were bonded — or how they’re reacting to your unique bite. Both of these problems require a trip to the dentist.
Very rarely do veneers fall off because of something the patient does, though, it occasionally does happen. Typically, the patient is biting directly into something hard, like an apple or some ice. Other times, it’s because the patient wasn’t able to give up a bad habit like smoking (which causes irreversible dental damage) or biting their nails.
Taking care of your veneers is not hard. It’s mostly just common sense. When you get them, we’ll give you a list of some simple dos and don’ts. If you follow those, you should be fine.