I finally was able to save up enough money to get eight porcelain veneers done on my front teeth. Then, as I was packing up to leave the dentist office after they were done, the dental assistant mentioned that the veneers may come off every couple of months and to be prepared for that. This was news to me. I didn’t know I would have to be on alert that they may come off. How frequently does this happen? After paying so much, I didn’t imagine I’d have to worry about them coming off. I assumed that I would need to be somewhat careful when eating really crunchy foods like they told me. But, this new information feels sneaky and unfair that I’m just learning it now.
Anything you can share to help me get the longest life out of the veneers or any other advice you may have would be greatly appreciated.
-Tess in North Carolina
In one word – ludicrous. No porcelain veneers should not come off every couple months. This is unacceptable. Porcelain veneers are permanently bonded to the surface of your teeth and when they are done by a skilled cosmetic dentist they should stay in place for 10 years or more.
Tell you what, if you end up having one come off within the first few months or years for that matter, you have grounds to demand a refund. If they come off in a short time, it means they were not done properly.
Within the field of dentistry there is a certain ‘standard of care’ that is expected. It gets a little convoluted since cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty area within dentistry. So, unfortunately, the ‘standard of care’ in regard to cosmetic dentistry is relatively low. For example, the porcelain veneers don’t necessarily have to look beautiful according to this philosophy. In fact, they may look terrible and still fall within the spectrum of being an acceptable standard of care. But, the porcelain veneers do need to stay on. Honestly, if they come off within the first couple years, you have a strong case for a breach and some legal backing for that type of situation. Now, there are many factors that may impact the lifespan of the veneers, so it’s difficult to put a specific number out there. But, it’s not uncommon for veneers to last for 10 years, as mentioned above.
In regard to avoiding certain crunchy foods, that is also not common. When an excellent cosmetic dentist places porcelain veneers, there will not be dietary restrictions. You should be fine to eat an apple or anything you desire. Now, you don’t want to pop a bottle open with your teeth or something like that. They wouldn’t hold up to that kind of stress.
At this point, you should test them out. Feel free to eat an apple. It would be better to know if they will stay put, than deal with it or always be concerned that they may come off at any time down the road. Place some stress on them and see if the dental bond will hold. If they were bonded correctly, they will not come off. The porcelain bonds directly with your natural tooth tooth and so they should function just like your normal teeth do.
Now, there are some restrictions to porcelain veneers and in maintaining them over the years. For example, you don’t want to use a mouthwash or any oral care products that contain alcohol because it can weaken the bond. Also, you will want to wear a mouth guard if you are engaging in sports or a night guard if you grind your teeth. Then, of course you want to avoid biting metal objects or using your teeth as a tool. Even then, these types of activities may cause them to chip or crack versus coming off.
In an nutshell, you can eat what you want. Go and enjoy nuts, almonds and have an apple. Then, if there are issues, go directly to the office, demand a full refund and find an excellent cosmetic dentist in your area.
Thank you for reaching out to share your story. Hopefully, it will be helpful to others who may be considering porcelain veneers.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS.