Veneers can beautifully transform a flawed smile. But what happens when instead of enhancing your teeth, these facade covers end up ruining teeth instead? Unfortunately, in some cases dental veneers result in significant tooth damage rather than improvement.
Though veneers beautifully mask tooth imperfections with a flawless facade, danger lurks if fragile underlying tooth structure gets compromised during overly aggressive veneer placement.
Excess enamel removal to accommodate thick veneers leaves teeth more prone to decay and temperature sensitivity from exposed dentin. Inadequate bonding also enables microscopic gaps that give bacteria an ingress to erode protective layers from underneath. Poor bonding strength then allows loose shifting veneers to further deteriorate anchor sites through friction and leaks.
Moreover, without meticulous home hygiene, plaque accumulates along veneer margins, fueling inflammation and progressive deterioration. Damaging habits like teeth grinding magnify stress on vulnerable bonding junctions.
Thus, while veneers offer an esthetic ideal if executed with care on suitable conservative cases, their thinness is a double-edged sword. In aggressive reconstructions on teeth already compromised, veneers hasten demise rather than protect.
Expert technique and evaluation help avoid overtreatment so these shells fortify rather than hasten destruction. Still, responsibility ultimately lies with patients for sustaining gains through diligent lifelong self-care after opting for elective enhancement.
Veneer Issues That Spell Trouble
While a wonderful solution for many, veneers come with risks that demand careful planning and maintenance to avoid irreversible problems like:
Excessive tooth enamel shaving
Excessive tooth reduction weakens underlying tooth structure and stresses the inner pulp. This shows up later as severe sensitivity, infection, and even tooth loss.
Low quality veneers
Poor quality veneers allow bacteria and stains to penetrate the porous material, resulting in decay spread where veneers meet the tooth. The decay burrows deeper necessitating root canals, crowns or tooth extractions.
Poor oral hygiene
Inadequate oral hygiene, unaddressed grinding, and unrepaired cracks enable extensive decay by permitting bacteria invasion under loose, broken and misaligned veneer edges. Their facade quickly disguises devastating damage.
Improper bonding creates tiny separation gaps that also channel bacteria causing unchecked decay. This destroys tooth integrity from underneath pretty shells.
Signs of Veneer Failure
Be alert for any of the following indicators of undiagnosed trouble below veneers:
- Tooth sensitivity, especially to hot and cold, signaling pulp inflammation
- Veneer cracks or repeated breakage indicating excessive bite forces weakening stability and structure
- Gum inflammation which recedes to expose vulnerable tooth root segments
- Sudden onset of toothache pointing to underlying infection setting in
- Changed tooth shape from bulges emerging or gum gaps materializing
- Bad odor emanating from veneer edges hinting at deep decay
- Darkening visible at veneer margins suggesting boundary cavities
See your dentist immediately at the earliest signs of failing veneers. Leaving issues unchecked risks requiring tooth extraction or more extensive repairs.
What Happens When Veneers Go Wrong?
Best case when veneers fail
The unhealthy underlying tooth simply needs the veneer removed, decay excavated, and a new restoration like a crown or replacement veneer.
Underlying damage is so severe from years of concealed, advancing decay that the tooth needs extraction and expensive replacement via bridge, implant and restoration. This causes ultimate destruction rather than the intended smile enhancement.
How to Recover from Problem Veneers
First have your dentist thoroughly examine affected veneers, checking below for:
Early Detection: Regular dental checkups and X-rays are crucial to detect decay early on, preventing significant damage to the underlying tooth structure.
Removal of Decay: If decay is detected, the dentist will carefully remove the decayed portion of the tooth, preserving as much healthy tooth structure as possible.
Veneer Repair or Replacement: Depending on the extent of decay, the existing veneer may be repaired or replaced with a new one.
Minor Cracks: Small, hairline cracks may not require immediate treatment. However, regular monitoring is essential to ensure the crack doesn’t worsen.
Larger Cracks: If the crack is more extensive, the dentist may recommend repairing it with composite resin or replacing the veneer altogether.
Preventive Measures: To prevent future cracks, avoid biting on hard objects, grinding your teeth, or using veneers for non-eating purposes.
c. Pulp Vitality:
Sensitivity Management: If the veneer placement affects the pulp’s sensitivity, the dentist may recommend desensitizing toothpaste or a temporary filling to protect the nerve.
Root Canal Therapy: In severe cases where the pulp is inflamed or infected, root canal therapy may be necessary to preserve the tooth and prevent further complications.
Regular Monitoring: Regular dental checkups are crucial to monitor the pulp’s health and address any concerns promptly.
d. Periodontal Pockets:
Deep Cleaning: Deep cleaning, also known as periodontal scaling and root planing, removes plaque and tartar buildup from below the gum line, reducing inflammation and promoting healing.
Maintenance: Maintain excellent oral hygiene at home, including thorough brushing and flossing, to prevent plaque buildup and recurrence of periodontal pockets.
Regular Monitoring: Schedule regular dental cleanings and checkups to monitor periodontal health and ensure the veneers remain stable.
In summary, your dentist will address repairable issues like isolated decay with conservative treatment to salvage natural tooth and veneer if possible. But where pulp or structural loss exists, veneers likely require removal. Your dentist will discuss restoration options like crowns, implants or fixed bridges to replace problem teeth. Though extensive and costly, this becomes essential to regain oral function and aesthetics when concealed veneer damage passes the point of no return.
Choose Your Professional Wisely
To avoid destructive “botched” veneer work, do diligent research before starting treatment. Scrutinize cosmetic dentist training, experience and veneer philosophy at free consultations to find the best fit for your needs and expectations.
Insist on ultra-conservative enamel preservation. Commit to enduring oral hygiene and maintenance to protect your investment. And monitor for problems early when remedies remain simpler. With wise dentist selection and attentive long term care, artistic veneers bring lasting beauty and protection rather than risking permanent tooth damage or loss.