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Patients sometimes ask us, “how long do veneers last?” Veneers usually last anywhere from 5 to 20 years, depending on where they are placed, the patient’s lifestyle and oral hygiene, and other factors.
If you are thinking about getting veneers, you may be wondering how long your investment will last. If you already have veneers, you may be noticing signs that they are wearing out. To better understand how long veneers last, it helps to learn a little more about them.
This article is purely for patient education, and we feel that informed patients can make better choices for their oral health. It isn’t a substitute for personalized dental care. Either way, we hope this article helps you understand the anticipated longevity of veneers.
What are Veneers and What Do They Do?
Dental veneers are thin shells that are custom-made to fit over the front of a tooth. They are frequently made from porcelain or composite resin. The purpose is usually cosmetic as they are designed to improve the appearance of a tooth or teeth.
For example, if someone feels self-conscious about deep stains that don’t respond to professional cleaning or tooth whitening treatments, a veneer can give them the bright smile they desire. These stains may be the result of certain medications such as tetracycline or the over-use of fluoride.
Dentists also apply veneers to improve the appearance of chipped, worn-down, misshapen, or uneven teeth. Veneers can address minor alignment issues like a gap, though orthodontic treatment may be more beneficial for more severe alignment issues. This is why it is important to consult with a dentist you trust to understand the best options for your needs.
A veneer looks like the front of an aesthetically pleasing natural tooth. In addition to appearance, the veneer offers protection to the tooth. In addition to their cosmetic function, they also provide a little extra protection to a weakened tooth, though not to the same extent as a full crown.
Veneers are one of many techniques that cosmetic dentists offer. During a smile makeover or other cosmetic procedure, veneers offer immediate solutions to many minor cosmetic concerns. Other techniques may include crowns and bonding. Cosmetic dentists also typically offer whitening treatments and invisible aligner treatments like Invisalign. This is why people are concerned about how long veneers last.
What Veneers Are Made of Composite vs. Porcelain Veneers
The material is a big factor in the expected life of a veneer. As mentioned, there are two primary kinds of veneers — porcelain and composite.
Composite veneers are usually the most budget-friendly, and dentists can sometimes repair cracks and other damage. However, they also tend to wear out faster and stain more easily. Please talk with your dentist about the composite they are considering since the art and science of dentistry advances with discoveries and technology.
Porcelain veneers tend to last longer, but they are also more expensive. These veneer options are not only more durable than most composite veneers, but they also resist staining better. However, they are not as easy to repair if damaged and chips or cracks develop.
Please talk with your dentist about which option is best for you since these decisions are a little more nuanced than they may appear and how long veneers last.
How to Make Your Veneers Last Longer
Chances are, you invested significant money into your veneers and other dental treatments. It makes sense that you want to enjoy them as long as possible. There are a few things you can do to increase the chances of how long veneers last.
First, although veneers offer some protection, they do not protect against gum disease and tooth decay. Having good oral hygiene helps your veneers stay strong.
- Floss your teeth daily.
- Gently brush your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- See your dentist as recommended for an examination and professional cleaning.
- If you bring your teeth during sleep, consider wearing a mouth guard to prevent damage and explore stress management techniques.
- If you play contact sports or sports involving flying objects, consider wearing a mouth guard to protect your teeth and veneers.
- Don’t bite down on hard objects like ice or unshelled nuts.
- Don’t use your teeth as tools to open packages, bottles, etc.
Accidents or trauma may also break or damage veneers. Remember to wear your seatbelt while driving or riding in a car. Also, wear a helmet while cycling.
Staining is another issue that can negatively impact the appearance of your veneers. They will stay bright looking for longer if you limit eating or drinking foods and beverages that stain teeth. Some examples include coffee, red wine, tea, and brightly colored sauces. Try limiting them to shortly before you brush your teeth and consuming less overall.
Eventually, a veneer will start to chip, break or show signs of age. This happens even if your oral hygiene is impeccable and you carefully mitigate unnecessary risks. However, the extra effort still pays off in prolonging your investment and promoting a healthy lifestyle overall. So don’t feel too discouraged if you notice veneers older than a decade need to be replaced.
Next Steps: Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about how long veneers last and how they may improve the appearance of your teeth, contact a dentist. Look for a dental professional who is experienced in offering smile makeovers and cosmetic dentistry procedures.
Your dentist will want to see you for a consultation and possibly an examination. At that time, your dentist may tell you about all the options that may help you meet your cosmetic goals, whether they be veneers or another treatment option such as tooth whitening, caps, or bonding.
Charlotte-area residents have trusted their smiles to Southview Dentistry for well over a decade. We love seeing confident smiles and helping our patients achieve their best smiles. Contact us today if you are looking for a dentist in the Charlotte area for any cosmetic or oral health needs.