Your beautiful smile is worth preserving. When your pearly whites need a little help, you might consider veneers for a natural cosmetic restoration. Whether your teeth need a lift due to natural aging or recent dental work or trauma, dental veneers are a great option for a brighter grin. But how long do veneers last?
What are veneers?
Dental veneers fit over your natural teeth to repair minor cosmetic issues. These issues include:
- Deep stains or discoloration that resist whitening
Dental veneers serve more than a cosmetic function, too. In some cases, veneers can help prevent further damage to your teeth. For example, a minor crack can become a major issue if it’s not fixed, and veneers might just do the trick.
The veneers process is fairly straightforward but generally does involve more than one visit to your dentist.
The veneers process
In the initial consultation, your dentist will check the health of your teeth and explain all of your options for veneers. They will ask for your preferences in terms of the size and shape of your smile. This will influence your final result and is a crucial step.
Next, a cast is made of your natural teeth.
Since the most popular types of veneers are custom-made, you will need to schedule another visit for application. AZ Dentist works with master ceramists and schedule their time in advance to minimize your wait.
Finally, your teeth are prepared to apply the veneers. Your dentist will remove a small amount of tooth material and then apply dental cement to the natural tooth. The veneers are affixed, and your bite is checked.
The adjustment period for dental veneers is minor. You may notice mild sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures for a little while, but this should subside quickly.
How long do veneers last?
Now you have a beautiful set of veneers and your smile is wide and lovely. But how long do veneers last? Many dentists often hear the question, “Are veneers permanent?”
The simple answer is that they are not, but they can last for decades for many patients. There are four factors to consider, including:
- The skill of the dentist
- The type of material used
- Personal stresses to your veneers
- How well you care for them
Let’s look at each of these in more detail.
The skill of the dentist
The skill and experience of your dentist who applies your veneers is crucial when it comes to predicting how long your veneers will last.
The best dentists will properly fit and apply your veneers. They will select the best veneer material for your desired look and how you use your teeth. This will influence not only the look but also the function of your dental veneers.
For example, feldspathic veneers are some of the most natural looking and durable veneers when applied properly. Off the teeth, they are brittle and can break easily. This type of veneer requires an expert dentist to apply.
The type of material used
The type of material used cannot be underestimated when considering how long veneers last. Some materials, like composite veneers, are only meant to be temporary. Others like feldspathic veneers are a more durable choice.
In general, zirconia, feldspathic, and porcelain veneers are the longest lasting choices, with each lasting at least ten years with proper care and often twice that. Composite veneers are a more temporary fix, lasting just a couple years before they need replacement.
Of course, expect to pay more for longer-lasting veneers, but consider the cost over the lifespan of your dental restoration. Sometimes the most affordable choice doesn’t end up actually being the cheapest choice if it needs to be replaced every few years. Learn more about the different types of veneers here.
Personal stresses to your veneers
People who grind their teeth, bite their nails, or routinely chew on non-food items (e.g., pencils) will find that their dental veneers are prone to wear and tear and cracking.
For the most long-lasting restoration, treating bruxism and fixing bad habits (like chewing on your nails) can greatly increase the lifespan of your veneers.
How well you care for them
As with most things in life, if you take proper care of your veneers, they will last much longer.
If poor dental hygiene brought you to the necessity of veneers in the first place, don’t expect it to be much different than your natural teeth. If you don’t take care of them, your veneers will not last as long as they should.
How can I better care for my veneers?
Depending on the type of veneer you choose, you can expect them to be a financial investment worth protecting.
To get the most (and longest) life out of your dental veneers, follow these four guidelines for care.
1. Brush and floss properly
Veneers are not impervious to stains and cracks. Brush your teeth properly twice a day, and floss at least once.
Use a soft-bristled brush and brush with care, taking your time and using the toothpaste your dentist recommends.
2. Protect your teeth
If you play a sport, wear a dental mouthguard to protect your teeth every time you practice or play.
3. If you have bad habits, break them
If you bite your nails, take your new teeth as an opportunity to break that habit. Similarly, smoking can stain your veneers just like they stain natural teeth.
Vow to use your teeth only for chewing food (not trimming nails, opening packages, or biting pencils), and put down all nicotine products.
4. Visit your dentist
Your dentist can keep track of your veneers and spot any changes if they occur. Visit twice yearly for a deep cleaning and evaluation of your oral health. You’ll be glad you did, as they’ll often last longer with this routine care.
If you are considering veneers as a cosmetic restoration and still have questions, get in touch with AZ Dentist today! We can answer any of your questions about dental veneers.