If you have minor cosmetic issues, dental veneers may improve the look of your smile by covering them up. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain, ceramic, or composite materials that fit over the front of your teeth, making them appear whiter, straighter, healthier, or more evenly aligned. To securely mount the coverings in place, a…
What To Do if Dental Veneers Come Off
You can cover up imperfections in your teeth with dental veneers, thin shells of porcelain that fit over your teeth, and bond to them. Veneers can last for at least a decade, but they typically need to be replaced occasionally if a dentist must treat underlying tooth decay or gum disease. Veneers can also stain; unlike natural teeth, they do not respond to bleaching. For these reasons, they are made to be removable by a dentist. While they are typically strong and durable, they may come off on their own if subjected to sufficient pressure due to daily habits, underlying disease, or blunt force trauma.
What you should do if a veneer falls off
A missing veneer is a problem that requires a dentist’s assistance. However, there are some steps you should take before calling the dental office, especially if you anticipate it may be some time before you can get an appointment.
Do not panic, but do not hesitate
A lost veneer is not a dental emergency, so while you should see the dentist as soon as possible, you do not have to have an appointment immediately. On the other hand, you should not hesitate to contact your dentist to schedule an appointment to replace the veneer as soon as possible. When the veneer falls off, the tooth’s pulp may be exposed to air, causing irritation and possible infection that could eventually endanger the tooth itself.
Determine if it is broken
Dental veneers are made of thin porcelain. When they fall out, they can break. If the veneer is broken, gather up all the pieces to take to your dentist. Even if it is not broken, do not try to put it back on, or you could irreparably damage it.
Take it out of your mouth
If the veneer detaches from the tooth completely, take it out of your mouth and put it in a clean container made of hard plastic, preferably a small one. Do not hold it in your mouth because you could accidentally swallow it and possibly choke on it.
Also, never attempt to reglue it with commercial glue. Dental professionals secure veneers with non-toxic adhesives and cement that do not damage the underlying natural teeth. However, if the veneer is broken, place all the pieces you can find in the same container.
Try dental wax
Applying dental wax in a thin layer over the surface of the tooth helps to protect it from exposure to the air until you can see the dentist. Wax is readily available for purchase at most drug stores and is easy to adhere over veneers with rough edges that could irritate sensitive oral tissue.
What you can expect your dentist to do
The first thing the dentist does is to figure out what caused the veneer to come off. It is important to address possible issues before attempting to replace the veneer to prevent it from happening again.
Bruxism or teeth grinding can damage teeth and cause veneers to fall off. It may be advisable to wear a night guard while sleeping to ensure that the veneers remain intact and underlying teeth resist the excessive force this unconscious habit exerts.
Dentists may review a patient’s diet to determine what foods to avoid or chew with care to prevent veneer damage. For example, chewing or biting sticky or hard foods can compromise veneers.
Underlying tooth decay can eat away a natural tooth’s surface enamel, destroying the layer onto which the veneer adheres. If the damage is extensive, it may be impossible to reattach the porcelain, and other restoration options may be advisable.
Reattach or replace
After determining that the underlying tooth is stable enough to accommodate the porcelain layer, the dentist checks whether the veneer still fits the tooth, attempting to put it back in place to make this determination. Even if it is broken, it may still be possible to replace it if it is mostly in one large piece. If the veneer can be reapplied, the dentist cleans it thoroughly first. If the existing veneer cannot be replaced, the dentist can order a new one and bond it to your tooth.
Dental veneers are reasonably durable but may be vulnerable to pressure from daily habits that causes them to come off. Losing a veneer is not considered an emergency, but failing to see your dentist as soon as possible for evaluation or replacement could permanently damage your tooth. Therefore, individuals who opt for veneers should consult a dentist about an appropriate home care routine to protect their veneers and promote general oral health.
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