Veneer Leakage: How Can The Veneers On Your Teeth Actually Leak?

Your dental veneers should last anywhere from a decade to three decades. This isn't exactly a narrow margin, and when veneers eventually need attention, it can be due to leakage. It's not your veneers themselves that leak, but remember that veneers are a cosmetic dental procedure, and their ongoing success depends on a sturdy connection with the tooth beneath them. When this connection is jeopardized, the health and appearance of your teeth can start to deteriorate. So what is leakage, and how exactly does it affect your dental veneers?

Cosmetic Dentistry

Remember that a dental veneer only covers the outward-facing surface of the tooth, which is the tooth's mesial side. It's different from a dental crown, which fits over the entire tooth. Veneers are cosmetic and are generally either made of laminate (resin) or porcelain. The application process that you underwent (potentially many years ago) is as follows:

  • A shallow layer of surface enamel was removed from the tooth's mesial side to ensure that the completed tooth wouldn't be excessively thick. 
  • The prepared surface was then etched with a special acidic solution to strengthen adhesion.
  • Finally, the made-to-measure veneer was bonded to the tooth using dental cement. 

Leakage becomes a problem when this dental cement starts to deteriorate.

Veneer Leakage

As the cement weakens, microscopic openings form. This allows saliva to enter the space between your veneer and your natural tooth structure. This may not sound like a problem, but remember that saliva can transport contaminants, such as bacteria. Tooth decay may begin to affect the tooth's mesial surface, which is still concealed beneath the veneer. The appearance of your veneer will also be affected.

Cosmetic Significance

As leakage intensifies, the edges of the veneer may begin to discolor. This discoloration will likely expand if you don't seek treatment. It's important to remember that none of these developments are overly serious if you get prompt treatment, so you should make an appointment with your cosmetic dental clinic without much delay.

Cosmetic Dental Treatment

Treatment for veneer leakage is not intrusive and is certainly not complicated. A dentist must remove your veneers to take a careful look at them. If they're intact and have retained a suitable appearance, your tooth will undergo some of the previously-mentioned preparations. No further enamel will be removed, but the tooth may be re-etched before new dental cement is applied. The veneer can then be bonded back onto the tooth.

If the veneer has become stained, chipped, or is otherwise showing its age, having a new one manufactured can be in your best interests. But otherwise, sealing veneer leakage can be as straightforward as a fresh layer of dental cement.

Contact a cosmetic dentist clinic to learn more.