Veneer replacement is a common treatment for cosmetic dentists. The average lifespan of properly-applied porcelain veneers ranges from 10 to 30 years, depending on the dentist and materials used. It's not uncommon for patients to experience broken veneers, even if they are taking excellent care of their teeth.

What Causes Veneers to Break?

Veneers are made of durable porcelain materials that can withstand the pressure an average individual will place on their teeth throughout the day, such as biting, chewing, drinking, etc. However, there are reasons why veneers may fail at any given time after the procedure is complete, some more preventable than others:

  • Biting hard food. Biting down on hard food or objects (such as a fork), especially regularly, can easily break the veneers from excessive force.

  • Impact trauma. Individuals who sustain mouth injuries from falling could break veneers and cause trauma to the teeth underneath.

  • Teeth grinding. If you grind your teeth from stress during the day, or by habit during your sleep, the additional pressure can lead to cracking and chipping of veneers.

  • Receding gums & tooth wear. Aside from outright breaking, receding gums and natural tooth wear can cause veneers to appear to shrink, exposing the natural color of your teeth beneath the veneers.

Broken veneers could be caused by errors made by an inexperienced dentist during the veneer application process:

  • Poor bonding. Sometimes, it’s possible that veneers will fall off entirely resulting from insufficient bonding during the initial placement of the veneers.

  • Improper sizing. Individuals whose veneers were too small or large for their mouth may notice early wear from developing misaligned biting habits.

Veneers can also break by accident, but most damage can be avoided with proper maintenance and proper installation by a skillful cosmetic dentist.

Can Veneers Be Replaced?

The good news is that dental veneers can be removed and replaced. Veneer replacement procedure is similar to placing new veneers. If there is no severe damage to your tooth, placing a new veneer should only take two visits to complete.

  1. Removing the old veneer. Your dentist will need to remove the old veneers. To do this, they must carefully file away the old veneer in a way that won’t damage the real tooth underneath.

  2. Prepare the tooth. Next, your dentist will prepare the tooth by slightly surfacing it to successfully apply the adhesive.

  3. Make a tooth impression. Impressions are taken of the natural tooth to make models for constructing the temporary and new veneers to ensure they fit correctly in the mouth.

  4. Bite Registration. A bite registration may ensure your veneer will not wear down from incorrect biting habits so it can function more like a natural tooth.

  5. Apply Temporary Veneers. Using a wax impression, you will receive a temporary veneer to wear while your porcelain veneer is created.

  6. Bonding. Once your porcelain veneers are completed, your dentist will bond the porcelain veneer to your tooth for a new beautiful smile.

Related: Choosing The Perfect Shaped Veneers

How to Avoid Broken Veneers

It’s extremely important to take daily steps to maintaining your veneers to prevent further damage that could require another replacement. The most effective maintenance techniques to practice include:

  • Avoid chewing on hard foods and non-food items. Just like with natural teeth, avoiding hard foods and non-food items can prevent chipping and cracking of your veneers. Some people chew on non-food items out of nervous habits, but placing biting pressure in the same spot over and over is a leading cause of cracked veneers.

  • Avoid sticky foods. Chewing on sticky foods such as candy can cause decay in natural teeth, but also strain on veneers, causing bonding to fail.

  • Daily dental hygiene. Veneers are perfectly capable of collecting plaque and tartar buildup! Making sure you brush, floss, and rinse daily will help remove harmful bacteria from your teeth that could cause infection and gum disease.

  • Yearly dental checkups. Attending all check up appointments with your dentist (twice a year as recommended) will allow your provider to monitor for signs of veneer failure early, before the need for a replacement occurs.

Check out our guide on cleaning & maintaining veneers for more information.

Replace Your Veneers at a Reputable Dentist

woman smiling after replacing broken veneer

If you get your veneers from a regular dentist initially, seek out the best cosmetic dentist near you that specializes in veneers. Cosmetic dentists are specially trained in veneer application ensuring the best durability and aesthetics.

Dental veneers require precise measurements and specialized techniques to create a practical product with long-lasting results. They also require an expert eye in creating veneers that look like natural teeth, instead of replacement that can easily be spotted when you smile.

Veneer replacements are inevitable, but they don’t have to be frequent. By taking preventive measures to maintain your veneers, and working with an exceptional dental provider, you can wear your veneers proudly for years to come.

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