Are Porcelain Veneers Removable or Permanent?
By J. Brent Gorrell on August 03, 2019
Porcelain veneers are thin cosmetic shells that sit over the facial surface of the teeth to conceal a wide range of cosmetic imperfections. Although porcelain veneers are only about as thick as contact lenses, they are extremely durable, and, with proper care, can last for decades.
Some patients want to know if porcelain veneers are removable or permanent. It can be confusing to hear porcelain veneers described as a permanent treatment, while also hearing that they will likely need to be replaced at some point. Dr. J. Brent Gorrell is happy to clear up any confusion our Mountain View, CA, patients may have regarding the permanency of porcelain veneers treatment.
Bonding Veneers in Place
Dr. Gorrell designs the veneers to fit the unique measurements of each patient so that they enhance the smile without standing out or looking artificial.
In addition, a small amount of tooth enamel is removed to make space for the veneers. When the completed veneers are ready for placement, a bonding process is used to hold the veneers is place.
Before applying a bonding compound, Dr. Gorrell gently etches the surface of the teeth. This creates small areas of space that will hold the dental compound and help the bonding process. The dental compound is used to attach the porcelain veneers to the front surface of the teeth. Finally, a special dental light is applied to the treated teeth. The light hardens the dental compound and completes the bonding process.
Once porcelain veneers are bonded in place, they are a permanent part of the smile. Veneers will not shift or slide out of place, and they cannot be removed by the patient. After porcelain veneers treatment, the teeth will be strong enough to perform all normal oral functions, including biting and chewing.
Addressing Damaged Veneers
Porcelain veneers are meant to withstand wear and tear so they last for many years. However, just like the natural teeth, they will eventually wear down or become damaged. Damaged veneers increase the risk of tooth decay and other dental complications, so it is important that our Mountain View patients address issues as soon as possible. Dr. Gorrell addresses damaged porcelain veneers by removing the them.
After damaged porcelain veneers are taken off the teeth, they must be replaced. The small amount of tooth enamel that is removed prior to porcelain veneers treatment leaves the natural teeth vulnerable. This is why most people consider porcelain veneers to be a permanent treatment. Even though patients may go through more than one set of veneers during their lifetime, the teeth will always require protection from porcelain veneers once they have been placed.
Are There Removable Options?
All porcelain veneers are bonded in place so that they fit securely on the teeth without shifting. However, there is a less permanent option. Lumineers are like porcelain veneers, only thinner. Lumineers require less prep, so the treatment is usually reversible. However, since most patients want porcelain veneers to maintain a bright and attractive smile, the permanence of porcelain veneers treatment is usually not an issue.
Send Us a Message
If you are interested in addressing cosmetic flaws to enhance the appearance of your smile, you may be an ideal candidate for porcelain veneers. To learn more about this cosmetic dentistry treatment, send us a message at your earliest convenience or call (650) 967-1441 to schedule an appointment with Dr. J. Brent Gorrell.
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“I moved out of the area 20 years ago and happily drive 40 miles to still see Dr. Gorrell. Best dentist ever.” Kevin B.