Gum Line Decay on Veneer -- Composite Bonding Repair?

My cosmetic dentist noticed a small amount of decay at the gum line on my (15 year old) veneered front tooth. Replacement is recommended, but color match is an issue (as well as the fact that I will be redoing the 9 other veneers in 12-18 months). In the meantime, I'd like to address the issue of decay. Can the veneer be sanded down and composite filling used to treat the decay? While not perfect, I'm hoping this will be an acceptable short-term solution. Please weight in!

Doctor Answers 13

Veneer repair. decay under veneer

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Go and remove decay, add resin to match, then redo them all when you are ready. This is a great way to treat the tooth witout removing the whole veneer and making one new one which may not match.

Palm Beach Dentist

Restoring tooth decay next to a porcelain veneer

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A composite restoration next to a porcelain veneer can be a nice way to extend its life.  I would recomendation that you ask your dentist how extensive the decay is and how the restoration will affect the future margin placement of the new veneer.  Your next veneer will need to cover the composite that was placed to remove the decay thus changing the esthetics of the veneered tooh.  Your dentist will need to compensate for this issue with your next set of veneers.  Good luck.

James D. Salazar, DDS
Encinitas Dentist

Porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns

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By all means get the decay out, most of the time placing a small composite filling is a viable way to manage this situation.  This sounds very reasonable and should work out fine in the hands of a skilled esthetic dentist.. 


Ronald Konig DDS
Houston Dentist

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Composite Will Work Very Well

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I have nothing to add to all the responses you have received.  Do the Composite!!

Repairing a Porcelain Veneer With Dental Bonding

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I think that repairing your veneer with dental bonding is a good "short term" approach.  It would not be a good idea to replace that one veneer with porcelain if you are planning on getting new ones in the next 12-18 months. Hope this helps. 

Veneers can be repaired

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While not ideal, veneers can be repaired. TRY WHITENING to see if the discoloration is decay or stain. There is some discussion that you can use whitening to bleach out stain. I have had success with the combination of whitening and PATCHING with composite filling. Patching to remove the decay once you have gotten out the stain can work but you must make sure the dentist is bonding both to the porcelain and dentin with their products. Long term, we all agree that replacing veneers is your best bet but there are conservative treatments to try in the short run. Much success!

Wendy S. Spektor, DDS
Bellevue Dentist

Yes composite can repair this nicely

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If you are planning to replace all your veneers in a year or two, I would definitely try to prolong the life of your "decayed" veneer with a composite repair.  Even if the decay extends under the veneer and you have to remove it, composites are so beautiful today that a composite veneer should be able to match the old porcelain veneers very well.  The colour of the composite veneer should also be stable over the short term (2 years - no problem).  This will save you from having to pay for 2 porcelain veneers on that tooth, and you will be able to get a better esthetic result when you do all the veneers at the same time.

Martin Frankel, DDS
Toronto Dentist

Removing decay under old veneer and repairing with composite bonding

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As a short-term fix, yes, in most cases, the tooth should be able to be repaired with composite resin bonding provided the decay does not extend a significant amount underneath the old veneer.  Keep in mind that bonding to 2 unlike surfaces (tooth and porcelain) can be tricky as far as adherence and appearance go, so you may find yourself having to make multiple trips to have the temporary bonding replaced.  This may just be the fix you need until you are ready to replace all of your veneers at once for an overall more esthetic and consistent result.  Best of luck!

Decay beneath a veneer

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Yes this can be viewed as acceptable treatment. The decay must be removed in order to stop the disease process. The bigger question would be whats underneath the veneer. Is there more decay? The veneer has been in the mouth for 15 years. There is a possibility that there is recurrent decay and the entire veneer should be replaced. If the composite is bonded to the current porcelain restoration, the treatment chosen, placing composite in the site of decay, will be a very temporary fix. I always prepare my patients for the worst case scenario and if I am wrong we are both happy.

Dr. C

Roderick Cooper, DDS
Atlanta Dentist

Short term solution for decay around a veneer

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Repairing decay around a veneer with bonding is a good short term solution.

  • all decay must be thoroughly removed
  • color matching should be simple
  • cost is minimal
  • result is immediate
  • 12-18 months is a good prognosis

Steven M. Cohen, DDS
Livonia Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.