I had six porcelain veneers placed. Some time after that I developed what I thought was a sinus infection but ended up being a periapical abscess. My dentist is sending me to an endodontist. I’m worried about losing the porcelain veneer. Is it safe to get this procedure done?
The good news is as long as your dentist placed the porcelain veneers correctly, you won’t have to worry about losing it. There is a concern about the underlying tooth turning dark, but I have a method that can help postpone that for quite a bit. Don’t let this keep you from getting the abscess treated. You don’t want to go from a dental infection to a life-threatening one.
That being said, I do wonder how you ended up needing a root canal treatment to begin with. It’s very rare for a tooth with a porcelain veneer to need a root canal treatment after placement. When a tooth is prepared for veneers, very little tooth structure is removed, as seen in the picture above. This means there is no significant trauma to the tooth or its nerves.
Unfortunately, some dentists will actually place porcelain crowns and just call them porcelain veneers. Looking at the picture directly below, you will see that a dental crown requires a much more aggressive tooth preparation. This puts the tooth at greater risk of trauma, which could lead to a root canal treatment.
Protecting the Color of Porcelain Veneers with a Root Canal Treatment
Most darkening of the tooth that results from a root canal treatment is actually because of the filling material and cement left in the tooth after treatment. Sadly, most dentists don’t know that. You may have to ask your dentist to do some things he or she may not know to do otherwise.
The first step is to clean out any of the fillings and materials left from the root canal treatment from the crowned part of the tooth. Once that is cleaned out, the next step will be to place a white fiberglass post down into the root. Finally, your dentist will fill the remaining space with a light colored composite material. Dentists who follow this method forestall darkening of the teeth for years.