The Veneer Broke Off, Now What?

Veneers are fairly sturdy dental appliances, capable of lasting 10 to 15 years when properly maintained. However, life is unpredictable, and things can happen that may cause a veneer to break off. Here's what you need to do if that happens.

Immediately Contain the Damage

When your veneer breaks, the first thing you must do is clear your mouth of debris; otherwise, you could accidentally swallow shards that may do damage to your throat, stomach, or intestinal organs. Spit out the large pieces and then rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash or water.

Next, you want to inspect the veneer and tooth to determine if the entire thing came off or it broke in pieces. If the entire thing came off in one piece, it can usually be reattached, so put it somewhere safe until you can see your dentist.

If the veneer broke in pieces, however, the jagged edges can cut the inside of your mouth. Go to the store and get some dental wax as soon as possible and cover the broken veneer with it. This will prevent the sharp edges from damaging or irritating the soft tissue of your cheek and lips.

In either case, make an appointment to see a dentist as soon as possible so he or she can fix the problem.

Decide on a Treatment Option

There are three treatment options available to you depending on whether the veneer is usable or not. If the veneer is whole and undamaged, the dentist can simply bond it back into place. This is the cheapest and quickest option since all that's needed is a little glue and time.

If the veneer shattered, however, your options are to repair or replace it. Which one is best for your situation depends on just how damaged the veneer is. The dentist can buff out minor damage, such as chips and dings, but the tooth may lose some of it cosmetic aesthetic in the process. More extensive damage may require supplementing the veneer with composite resin. If a lot of resin is required to cover the damage, however, the dentist may recommend replacing the veneer altogether.

In the end, though, replacing the veneer may be the smartest option, especially if you have broken veneers before. The veneer may not have been positioned correctly or was made from poor quality material, so upgrading the dental appliance should help it last longer.

For more tips on what to do when your veneer breaks, contact a dentist near you, like Samuel D Knight, DDS.