Veneer Replacement: How Many Times Can Veneers Be Replaced?
A good set of veneers, in the smile zone, can last an average of 10-15 years if a patient takes good care of them. But just like enamel, porcelain succumbs to wear and tear over time. Moreover, since veneers require the removal of enamel in order to be placed on teeth—so as not to be too bulky—they become a lifetime investment.
In other words, once you choose to have veneers, you should be prepared for the eventuality that they will need replacing. If a person decides to get 8 veneers at the age of 21 then, it is likely that those veneers will need to be replaced by the time they are 36 years of age. But how many times can veneers be replaced? And what happens when they cannot be replaced?
Enamel Dictates the Feasibility Replacement
As mentioned earlier, before a veneer can be placed on the surface of a tooth, the dentist needs to remove some of the enamel. This ensures that the tooth does not appear unnaturally bulky once the thin shell is placed on the tooth. It also allows for a better bond between the tooth and the veneer.
Should a veneer need to be replaced due to breakage, for example, the amount of remaining enamel on that tooth will need to be gauged before a new veneer is fashioned. If there isn't enough enamel, that would mean bonding the replacement veneer to dentin instead. Veneers do not bond well with dentin. However, there is such a thing as minimal, or no-prep, veneers.
Minimal or No-Prep Veneers is an Option
As you can see, enamel is the deciding factor when replacing veneers. Therefore, it is impossible to say just how many times a veneer can be replaced. The skill of the dentist plays a role, for example, one dentist might remove more enamel than another dentist, and the quality of the teeth is also important. Some teeth have more enamel than others.
There are too many variables to give a concrete answer. However, if a tooth did not have enough enamel for a standard porcelain veneer, then a no-prep or minimal prep veneer can be used instead. In both cases, little enamel is required to place the veneer. However, no enamel means no veneer replacement.
A Porcelain Crown May Be Needed
Going back to the hypothetical situation involving the 21 year-old patient, if by the age of 50, and having had their veneers replaced twice, there is no longer enough enamel, then crowns would be better. A porcelain crown is fitted over a tooth, not onto a tooth, so even if a tooth lacks enamel, a decent bond can still be achieved at the gum line.
There are simply too many variables to decide just how many times a veneer can be replaced. For one person, the answer might be that their veneers can be replaced just once, but for another, they might be able to replace their veneers several times. Choose a good dentist, care for your veneers and stay away from acidic drinks, and your veneers may last forever.