Loose Dental Veneer: What's the Risk and What Do You Need to Do?

It can be puzzling when a tooth feels loose without actually being loose — with the surface of the tooth feeling slightly mobile, while the tooth itself remains securely rooted in your jaw. But this is precisely what having a loose dental veneer feels like. The veneer's bond to the tooth is weakening, and will soon fail. So what do you need to do about it?

Controlled Detachment

A loose veneer isn't a dental emergency, but neither is it something that should be delayed. The veneer could detach at any moment, and it's helpful to have some control over this (as in, a dentist should be the one to remove it). You should not attempt to pull it off your tooth yourself (since you risk damaging your tooth). But leaving a loose veneer in place means it could easily come off while you eat, or it may detach while you sleep. It's unlikely to be a choking hazard, but if the veneer is swallowed, it's gone forever, and can't simply be reattached to the tooth.

The Tooth's Preparation

If you cast your mind back to when your veneers were first applied, you may remember the way in which a tooth must be prepared to host a veneer. This involved a small layer of the tooth's dental enamel being removed. Without this enamel, a tooth will have increased sensitivity to external stimuli (bite pressure, the temperature of foods and drinks). The dental veneer helps to protect the tooth from this excessive sensitivity, but it can be experienced again once the veneer is loose. A loose veneer also allows bacteria and other contaminants to make contact with the surface of the tooth, making it more vulnerable to decay. As mentioned, you're not experiencing a dental emergency, but you need to have a cosmetic dentist reapply your veneer as soon as possible. 

Reattaching a Dental Veneer

Dental veneers are a component of cosmetic dentistry since they're generally applied to a tooth to conceal an imperfection of the tooth (whether this is its shape or colour). The dentist will use a small excavator tool to prise the veneer away from the tooth. The tooth will then be inspected. If the tooth has decayed, its surface area will have changed, which might have contributed to the loosening of your veneer. The tooth's surface will be restored (as needed), and this may trigger the need for a new impression of the tooth to be taken, so a new veneer can be made (if the old veneer no longer hugs the tooth's surface). If the underlying tooth hasn't undergone any changes to its surface, the existing veneer can usually be reattached.

A loose veneer can be uncomfortable, and it's really to your benefit to act quickly. Delaying can increase your discomfort, while also increasing the chance that the veneer will detach and be lost, meaning you'll definitely need a new one. Make an appointment at a cosmetic dentistry clinic for more information.