Are composite veneers reversible, and what happens to the teeth underneath over time?

Doctor's Answers 1

In order to adhere the composite material to your teeth, the enamel surface has to be cleaned and treated with an acid gel (35% hydrophosphoric acid). The acid treated surface (etched) is impregnated with a bonding resin that has to be set using a special curing light. Only after these 2 steps can the composite be applied to the tooth surface and sculpted. The composite also must be set using the same curing light.

If NO tooth preparation (shaving) is done beforehand, the final veneers can be quite bulky. This may not be a desirable look for some people. Hence for most veneer cases, some tooth trimming is required.

If no care and attention is paid to shaping the interdental (between the teeth) and palatal (the back surface) contours of the veneers, unhygienic plaque traps can form. If you do not clean in between your teeth with floss, accumulation of food debris and oral bacteria will cause swollen bleeding gums (gingivitis), bad breath and tooth decay.

What tends to happen is staining at the veneer margins (the junction where the composite joins the tooth) especially if the veneer placement has been contaminated with plaque, saliva or blood or if you are at high risk for tooth decay. Tooth decay can burrow underneath veneers.

Should you wish to remove the veneers, your dentist can do it safely without harming your enamel but it is a long and difficult process. Good magnification (use of loupes) and good light is essential.

Regular monitoring and maintenance of composite veneers is mandatory. Xrays may be used to check for decay in between the teeth. After about 9-12 months, the composite surface tends to lose its gloss and needs to be repolished. The average lifespan of a composite veneer is between 3-5 years.

Similar Questions

What cosmetic dentistry treatment is the best for correcting small teeth? (photo)

judging from the picture, it seems to me that you have short looking teeth because the width and the height of the teeth appear to look the same. Normal looking teeth have a width that is less than the height. Usually this ratio is anywhere from 70% to 80%. A tooth can look short due to: a) excessive gums or b) the wear and shortening of the edge of the tooth. We need to establish the cause of the short or small teeth before proceeding. If it's due to excessive gums, then we can perform a laser gum recontouring. We can also consider lengthening the teeth simultaneously with porcelain veneers.

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Answered By

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How does dental bonding compare to veneers when it comes to making teeth appear longer?

Both dental bonding and dental veneers can make teeth appear longer. Bonding of the tooth is definitely cheaper, faster and, possibly, less invasive. Placing dental veneers requires more time, cost and there is some shaving of the teeth. The disadvantages of bonding are that it is not as long-lasting, they tend to stain more easily and they are weak. It is advisable not to bite with these teeth on anything hard. If they break then please understand that more tooth needs to be removed to be able to place a new filling.

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