You’ve just walked out of your San Antonio dentist’s office with the brightest smile across your face. After shutting the car door, you drop the mirror down and bask in the glory that is your new set of dental veneers. Today couldn’t be more glorious.
The next day at the office you’re swamped in work. Without even thinking you compulsively start chewing on your pen and then you hear a crack. Panicked, you rush to the bathroom to check your smile and the veneer you once raved about has a hairline crack down the middle. “How could my veneers have broken if they were just put in?” you wonder.
Dental Veneers Are Not As Strong as Teeth
Veneers are wafer-thin shells designed to fit over your teeth for cosmetic purposes and are usually made of porcelain or resin. This is significantly weaker than the rock-hard mineral calcium phosphate that makes up the enamel in your tooth or the dentin underlying it. Veneers are designed to last at least 10 years, so breaking a veneer is likely a sign of improper maintenance that can be easily prevented.
Are Your Habits Causing Your Veneers to Break Sooner?
A sudden broken veneer can be devastating, especially if it was recently installed. However, it’s possible that your habits may be accelerating the wear of your veneers over time, causing them to break sooner. To prevent your veneers from breaking or cracking, pay attention to unconscious habits you may have that can dramatically affect the life span of your veneers. These habits include:
- Biting your nails
- Chewing on pens or other items
- Using your teeth for tasks better suited for tools
- Eating extremely hard or sticky foods
It’s also important to know if you clench your jaw or grind your teeth often, either during the day or while sleeping, as this could add stress to the veneer along with the tooth underneath it.
Taking Proper Care of Your Veneers
Along with scheduling regular checkups with your dentists, it’s essential to take preventative measures when maintaining your veneers. Teeth with veneers can still become decayed over time and are not usually appropriate for teeth weakened by decay, so maintaining them after initial placement is essential.
If decay worsens, the tooth may have to be covered with a crown instead, costing you more money in the long-term when the veneer should have been your only purchase. It’s rare for veneers to be covered by dental insurance since they are classified as cosmetic purchases, so take care of your veneers like you would your other assets.
Don’t hesitate to contact your dentist to learn more about dental veneers today!
About the Author
Dr. Brian Eck opened his San Antonio practice in early 1984 after attending Texas A&M University and eventually earning his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center. His expertise includes 35 years of comfortable, comprehensive, and cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers, metal-free restorations, direct bonding, and at-home whitening kits. To learn more about cosmetic treatments and Dr. Eck’s practice visit his website or contact his practice at (210) 361-8905.