Cosmetic dentistry has developed very durable restorations like porcelain veneers that not only look great but can last for years, even decades. But, as with all things, these restorations can eventually break. But if one of your restorations breaks, you are faced with a dilemma: should you just replace the one restoration, or should you replace all your restorations?

Here are some good reasons to replace some of the other restorations that aren’t broken.

porcelain veneer patient

Actual porcelain veneer patient of Dr. Doolin and Dr. Haddad

They’re in Danger of Failing

Sometimes, we can look at your other restorations and tell that this first break is a sign of things to come. Although ceramics don’t experience fatigue the same way that metals and plastics do, they can develop small defects over time that will, sooner or later, turn into major failures. If we detect this minor cracking, we might recommend that you replace other restorations at the same time to save yourself the hassle of multiple visits to repair your smile.

Another potential for failure of ceramic restorations is wear on the glaze. The glaze on ceramics helps keep them from getting stained so they can stay as white as ever for decades. But over time, brushing and other erosion can remove the glaze, making your restorations vulnerable to staining. Brushing with normal toothpaste can wear away the glaze in about 11 years, and it takes much longer for the glaze to wear off if you’re using low-abrasive toothpaste. But eventually it will wear away, and then your veneers can stain. If this has started happening, or if it is soon to happen, we will recommend replacing your other restorations.

But the most common reason why restorations fail is because of the tooth they are one. If you’re starting to develop decay around your porcelain veneers or other restorations, then we will recommend removing the restorations so we can treat the decay. We’ll then replace your restorations with a new one.

Old Restorations Look Unattractive

Sometimes cosmetic dentistry doesn’t live up to its name, especially when it’s twenty years old or more. These restorations may be stained (possibly because of a lost glaze) or otherwise discolored. Or maybe they’re poorly shaped. Possibly you’ve never been happy with them. But if you’re unhappy with the appearance of your old restoration, now’s the perfect time to get them replaced with new ones that you’ll like much better.

We Can’t Match Old Restorations

When you’ve had porcelain veneers or dental crowns for twenty years, they’ve survived through several generations of technology in dental restorations. It might just be that the kind of restoration you have on your other teeth simply isn’t available anymore. Or it is available, but at a prohibitive cost so that it makes more sense to just replace all the restorations at once.

It’s not like working with a classic car: there’s no junkyard of old smiles out there that we can go pull off a veneer from to put on your teeth. All veneers and other restorations are custom-crafted for your smile, and if we can’t get new ones to match, it’s probably better to replace them all.

Your Restorations Are Causing Other Problems

Since just one of your restorations has broken after years of service, it’s clear that your restorations aren’t the victim of a bad bite. But they could be instigators. If you’re experiencing TMJ symptoms like jaw pain and headaches, we might want to consider that your restorations could be responsible.

We might be able to identify the problem by looking at the teeth opposite your restorations. If these are badly worn down or in danger of cracking, we’ll probably recommend changing out your restorations (and restoring the teeth they damaged!). This will not only restore your beautiful smile, it will make your bite more comfortable and functional, and it will help your new restorations last another twenty years or so!

If you are looking for high-quality repair or replacement of damaged restorations like porcelain veneers in Rochester, MI, please call (248) 656-2020 for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Rochester Advanced Dentistry, serving the entire Detroit area.