Hello Dr Hall-
My daughter has porcelain veneers on 8 upper and 6 lower front teeth. They were placed almost 2 years ago. She chipped the bottom of #9 (upper left front tooth) about 2 months after they were placed. The dentist “fixed” it by shortening the tooth (with the sander/buffer thing). This also necessitated buffing #8 to make them the same length. About 6 months later I felt like tooth 8 looked a little darker than the others so I had him look at it. He said he didn’t see it and I was being too picky and that he was “great at color” and couldn’t see what I was talking about. Fast forward several months … she now has a dark spot on the tooth as well as some weird bluish color on the tooth which happened practically overnight. She is freaking out that the tooth is going to fall off (she’s a college student out of state). Can you give us any kind of reassurance as to what might be going on and whether she can leave it for another 8 weeks until she is out of school for the year and gets home?
– Amy from Ohio
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I have good news and bad news for you.
First the bad news.
It really does sound like something is wrong with your daughter’s veneer on tooth #8, and while it seems like it will stay on until she is out of school, having it fall off is a very real risk.
But even after she gets home, it would be best to wait until it does fall off, as there is no way to just take it off without breaking it.
But then the good news. If you could share with me where your daughter’s school is, I could see if I could find an expert cosmetic dentist who would take her in on short notice, as an aesthetic emergency, and get it re-bonded immediately. It should be a fairly quick, easy procedure. Tell her to resist the temptation to superglue the veneer back in place as that would risk ruining it.
If the appearance of the veneer continues to worsen to the point where it is unsightly, it should probably be ground off and replaced.
Is this a leaky porcelain veneer?
You didn’t share where this dark spot is showing up, or the bluish color. Not knowing anything more, my best guess is that the bond between the veneer and her tooth is failing, permitting substances to leak up under the veneer. If that’s the case, this can be totally fixed by rebonding this same veneer. I don’t think there is any connection between the shortening of this veneer and the spots appearing. The bond between tooth and veneer should be very strong and the vibration created by shortening the veneer shouldn’t have had any effect on it.
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