Dental veneers can address a variety of aesthetic issues, but are they a permanent solution? Our Collingwood dentists discuss the purpose of these restorations, and factors that affect longevity.
What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are thin, custom-made slivers of tooth-coloured porcelain that are bonded to the front of your teeth to correct imperfections. Your dentist bonds them to your teeth using composite resin cement, creating a surface that looks and feels much like your natural teeth.
Lumineers are a type of dental veneer that is extra-thin and can often be placed while removing little to none of the natural tooth structure.
Veneers can help to change the appearance of your tooth's position, colour or shape.
How long do porcelain dental veneers last?
Porcelain veneers will likely need to be replaced at some point, as such veneers are not considered a permanent procedure. However, if properly cared for, porcelain veneers will typically last about 15 years on average. In some cases, they can last much longer (20 years or more).
After you've had veneers placed, it will be more important than ever that you maintain a good oral hygiene routine, since the longevity of your veneers depends on how well you care for them. Patients who maintain good at-home oral hygiene (brushing and flossing daily) and who visit the dentist twice yearly for professional dental exams and cleanings are more likely to see their veneers last longer.
Longevity will also be impacted by whether any oral health problems are corrected. Bite issues, biting hard objects, grinding and clenching can put excessive pressure on your teeth, and your veneers.
Why do porcelain veneers need to be replaced?
Although porcelain is very durable, veneers can chip, fracture, decay or come away from the tooth over time. You may also need to replace them if you experience issues such as gum recession, as this may cause the veneer to not fit correctly anymore.
Caring for your dental veneers
There are a few things you can do to help your veneers last as long as possible. Protecting your overall oral health is the best way you can ensure that your veneers stay in tip-top condition. This can include:
Wearing a mouthguard when playing contact sports
Trauma to the mouth (such as a run-in with another person or object) and cause dental veneers to fracture or fall off. Protect your veneers by wearing a mouthguard if you play contact sports.
Avoid hard or sticky foods and using your teeth as tools
While your dental veneers will stand up to everyday chewing, avoid chewing ice or using your teeth to rip open packages, as this increases the risk of chipping, loosening or breaking your veneers.
Attending twice-yearly dental appointments
When you attend your regular dental exams, you not only allow your dentist the opportunity to give your teeth an essential deep clean, but you also give your dentist the opportunity to check the condition of your veneers and treat any problems early before they become more serious concerns.
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene
Tooth decay is a common cause of failure of dental veneers. We know you've heard it all before but, be sure to brush twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss at least once a day.
Are porcelain veneers right for me?
Though dental veneers can be used to address a number of aesthetic concerns, they are not the right treatment for every dental health issue - or every person. Other restorations such as dental crowns, dental bonding, teeth whitening or orthodontics may be more effective treatment options depending on your specific issue.