Can you recement your porcelain veneer back on with super glue?
Porcelain veneer emergencies will always happen. And, in fact, we have an entire page that explains the kinds of things that can go wrong with veneers and why, and another that explains what options dentists can offer for fixing damaged veneers.
But beyond those general types of issues, from time to time we’re asked specifically if it’s OK for a person to recement their porcelain veneer that came off back on their tooth with super glue (cyanoacrylate, Krazy Glue®). This page address the various issues associated with that subject.
Our short answer.
Using super glue to put your veneer back on is a bad idea.
The basic goal of this page is to try to convince you that reattaching a lost veneer with super glue makes a poor choice. And while that notion may not surprise you entirely, the primary reasons we give to support that stance are probably different than the ones you may have expected.
What we were expecting to find …
When doing the research for this page, we thought that it would be a simple matter to search through dental literature and find sources that stated that using super glue directly on tooth surfaces harms them. On the contrary, however, we didn’t (we discuss this issue below).
So, we’re not making the case against using cyanoacrylate products to reattach a lost veneer based on that argument.
Where the larger concern seems to lie …
Instead, and as outlined on this page, in almost all cases a do-it-yourself job is almost certainly going to be deficient in several ways, due to both the DIY nature of your work and the properties of the material used (the cyanoacrylate).
And that means, despite having accomplished what you think looks like a great job, in reality, and unknown to you, it will have some serious shortcomings.
- Some of these will place your tooth, its neighboring teeth and associated gums at risk for complications. (Especially over the long-term.)
- And generally, your attempt will simply make your dentist’s job of making a permanent repair just that much more difficult.
Here’s an explanation of those points …
1) The presence of voids under the veneer.
One of the biggest concerns with a do-it-yourself job is that when you recement the veneer, the super glue won’t fully fill in 100% of the space between your tooth and restoration.
What’s the concern?
Besides not being cemented as securely as it could be, if a void exists, several other potentially serious problems can occur.
a) Bacteria will find a home.
If an accessible nook or cranny exists in the mouth, like a minute void that opens at the edge of a porcelain veneer, it will be colonized by bacteria.
And since the space cannot be cleansed (which would be the case with this type of situation), that persistent accumulation of plaque will place the tooth and its associated gum tissue at increased risk for the formation of tooth decay and gum disease.
b) Voids may affect the appearance of your veneer.
Background – The color of a veneer, especially a porcelain one that’s been designed with a lot of translucency (an important feature in helping it to look lifelike), is heavily influenced by the color of the cement that’s used to bond it into place.
- Admittedly, super glue is usually clear in color. But how areas of no glue (a void) will compare in shade to areas fully filled with cement would be difficult to predict, and impossible to remedy after the fact.
- Equally, if not even more troublesome, any dark debris/staining that accumulates in the void will show through the veneer.
The internal surface of a debonded veneer.
Notice the consistent (no voids) layering of the previous cement (bonding).
How does a dentist prevent voids?
Can’t you use this same method with super glue?
2) What happens if excess super glue is left around the edges of a veneer?
Background – When a dentist bonds a veneer into place, they always use an excess of cement (so to prevent void formation). And then, in all cases, they trim away any extra that expressed out. (See animation below.)
That’s a cardinal rule because any hardened excess that remains will interfere with being able to cleanse the tooth properly (especially flossing), which of course can lead to an increased risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
How a dentist trims cement.
The excess cement that expresses out is cured and then trimmed.
How does a dentist remove excess cement from around a veneer?
Couldn’t you do the same with excess super glue?
The bigger problem is this issue.
So hand scraping is possible, a dentist will first only “partially cure” the bonding material they’ve used to place a veneer. (Using that “blue” light you’ve probably noticed.)
That way, the cement is set enough that it will break away cleanly rather than rip or tear as it’s scraped off. But it’s still weak enough that it can be removed using just hand tools instead of requiring the use of a drill.
With super glue, you won’t have that option. It will either be too soft or runny (depending on the consistency of the type of cyanoacrylate product you use, liquid or gel), or else already set, with essentially no in-between time.
What happens if you leave an excess of super glue around a veneer?
As already mentioned above, anything that keeps a person from cleaning their tooth properly places it at greater risk for the formation of tooth decay and gum disease. And clearly, globs of set cement will prevent you from cleaning your veneer and its tooth effectively.
A consequence you may not realize.
For those who don’t know, it’s important to point out that persistent gum inflammation (gum irritation, gum disease) often leads to the occurrence of gum recession.
And since veneers are only placed on teeth that show prominently, the effects of gum recession, especially when only experienced by a single tooth in a person’s smile, makes it difficult to create an even and pleasing appearance for the patient.
3) What about reattaching a veneer using super glue as a temporary solution?
Even this possibility has complications associated with it. The main one being, how much of a mess will you create for your dentist when they’re called on to make a permanent repair?
This veneer debonded and luckily remained intact.
Your dentist should be able to reattach it. Don’t mess things up for them.
Scenario #1 – Your porcelain veneer has come off fully intact.
- In the case that you’ve succeeded in reattaching the restoration, it’s unlikely your dentist will be able to remove it from your tooth without breaking it.
Scenario #2 – Only a portion of your porcelain veneer has broken off.
With this situation, the question would simply be, how much of a mess will you make for your dentist when a permanent repair is made?
- Due to the excess of cement that will no doubt exist from your repair, will your gums be healthy (minimal tissue bleeding, stable gum line) for the procedure when your new veneer is made?
- Will excess super glue that’s escaped to adjacent teeth place their restorations at risk for damage when it’s removed?
Won’t a dentist just cement your veneer back on with super glue?
No, not at all.
Dentists don’t use cyanoacrylate cement.
There really aren’t any dental applications for cementing restorations onto a tooth using cyanoacrylate cement.
We found plenty of references, some stemming back several decades, where this method had been evaluated. But, as an example, one such paper (Herod) states that “these (applications) have not met with much success. Newer techniques and materials seem superior in this aspect of dentistry.”
Additionally, we couldn’t help but notice that a paper by Griffith expressed concerns about:
- The use of “industrial” cyanoacrylates orally vs. those that have been tested for biological applications. (How would someone buying super glue in a store know the nature of the product they were purchasing?)
- The paper also mentions that as a class, cyanoacrylates are subject to degradation by moisture, and therefore not indicated for use as a permanent dental adhesive.
Will applying super glue to your tooth harm it?
We won’t provide a specific answer to this question (there are too many variables involved) but we will mention two research studies whose conclusions seem to suggest that it doesn’t.
As examples, here are two dental applications for cyanoacrylate that may exist and an explanation of what they seem to imply.
Treating dentin hypersensitivity.
A paper by Javid discusses the successful application of cyanoacrylate directly to the root surface of teeth to help to decrease the level of “root sensitivity” that the patient experiences.
Usually, all surfaces under the veneer are (only) enamel.
A study by Aljandan evaluated the use of cyanoacrylate as a pulp capping material. It stated that the authors found the material to be “biocompatible and suggested to (it) be studied further on human teeth.”
The bottom line, however …
Despite these last positive points, it still seems to us that attempting to reattach your lost veneer with super glue still makes a poor choice and we can’t imagine that your dentist would recommend it.
Page references sources:
Aljandan B, et al. The effectiveness of using different pulp-capping agents on the healing response of the pulp. Indian J Dent Res. 2012
Griffith JR, et al. Cementation-materials and techniques. Australian Dental Journal. 1974.
Herod EL. Cyanoacrylates in dentistry: a review of the literature. J. Canadian Dent. Assoc. 1990
Javid B, et al. Cyanoacrylate—a new treatment for hypersensitive dentin and cementum. The Journal of the American Dental Association. 1987