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Veneers and Tooth Decay

OAKTON, VA, February 15, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- If you've had porcelain veneers put on your teeth, you might be concerned about continuing to keep your veneered teeth healthy. Just as with untreated teeth, dental hygiene is very important to maintaining the health and beauty of your newly rejuvenated smile. You must continue to brush and floss regularly, and see your dentist on your usual schedule.

You will also want to be sure your dental hygienist knows about your new veneers. Using the proper procedures and tools to perform standard dental hygiene on veneered teeth can go a long way toward keeping them intact and maintaining your beautiful new smile for a long time to come.

Can cavities form behind veneers?

Unfortunately, yes. While the veneers themselves are obviously not susceptible to decay, the rest of the material of your veneered teeth is.

While regular brushing and flossing, as well as professional dental care, can prevent the occurrence of cavities behind your veneers or in any of your other teeth, there are some special considerations to keep in mind regarding veneers.

1. Your choice of cosmetic dentist. This is extremely important. While many dentists will perform cosmetic dentistry, not all of them have the experience or education to do truly exceptional work. An inexperienced dentist might place the veneers incorrectly, resulting in uneven edges, shelves, or ledges where food material can collect. Bacteria can then infest these areas, called harborages, causing decay. A cosmetic dentist with a great deal of experience and an extensive education is much more likely to place the veneers in such a way as to prevent these harborages from occurring.

2. Long-term care. In addition to regular dental hygiene and visits to your dentist to find any signs of decay before it progresses, you should avoid substances that can cause the bonding agent to dissolve. Foremost among these is alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption can destroy the bond between the veneers and your teeth, which can cause the veneers to move or even come loose. It can also cause an undetectable separation behind the veneer where cavities can form without any symptoms until they become severe enough to cause pain.

3. Toothpaste. Overly abrasive toothpaste can also cause damage to your new veneers. Be sure to consult with your cosmetic dentist about what kind of toothpaste is best to use on your veneers.

While prevention of tooth decay is always preferable, sometimes cavities can form in spite of our best efforts. If decay occurs along the edges of your veneers, and is caught before it becomes too extensive, it can be treated in much the same way as decay in a non-veneered tooth. If a tooth must be filled near the edges of the veneer, a special bonding material must be used to ensure that the material of the filling bonds to the edge of the veneer, but otherwise a normal filling can repair any minor damage.

Decay that actually occurs behind the veneer can be more serious and difficult to treat. Because this kind of decay is so difficult to detect, it often becomes very serious before any noticeable symptoms occur. Unfortunately, by this time often the only treatment is to perform a root canal on the tooth.

If, however, you choose a qualified and experienced cosmetic dentist to apply your veneers, take care of your teeth after treatment, and avoid excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, your chances of this kind of serious decay are greatly reduced.For more information on veneers, how to care for them, and how to treat any decay that might occur on your veneered teeth, consult a qualified cosmetic dentist. In the Northern Virginia area, Dr. Michael Chung, DDS, can answer any questions you might have about veneers, how to care for them, and how to repair decay on teeth that have been treated with veneers.

Source: Dr. Michael Chung, DDS
Website: http://softouchdentalcare.com