“How long do veneers last?” is one of the first questions we get asked by patients considering enhancing their smile with this cosmetic dentistry procedure.
Deciding to have dental veneers involves a considerable financial investment for most patients and is not a decision to be taken lightly.
You’ll want to feel confident that your investment is going to look good and perform well for several years to come. So how long do veneers last and what contributes to their success?
The short answer is that it all depends.
Yes, it’s a vague answer but in all truth, the lifespan and success of dental veneers depend on several factors including the materials they’re made from and how well they’re cared for. But before we look more closely into these factors, let’s explain briefly what is meant by dental veneers.
What is a dental veneer?
A veneer is an ultra-fine shell of porcelain or composite resin material cemented or bonded onto tooth enamel. This is done to change the size, shape, or colour of one or more teeth to enhance the aesthetics of the smile.
As a cosmetic dentistry procedure, it should be explained that these are changes a patient wants rather than needs because they are unhappy with certain aspects of their smile.
Another reason for the popularity of this type of cosmetic dentistry is that dramatic transformations can be achieved in as little as 1-2 dental appointments.
When are dental veneers used?
Veneers are extremely versatile and can be used to:
- Conceal imperfections and flaws such as hairline cracks and chips
- Whiten badly stained or discoloured teeth
- Straighten crooked teeth
- Close gaps in between teeth
- Change the shape, size or length of a misshapen tooth
So, getting back to how long do veneers last, let’s take a closer look at each veneer option.
Porcelain is the ‘go-to’ material for veneers because it has a translucency and sparkle that closely matches that of natural teeth. It’s also incredibly strong and far more durable than composite resin.
Porcelain veneers can be placed in 2 dental visits and when properly cared for, can easily last up to 10 years and often longer. Here at Beyond Infinity Dental, Dr Yang has a preference for Infinity Veneers which utilise ground-breaking technology that makes them less vulnerable to discolouration or staining.
That said, porcelain veneers can need replacing for the following reasons:
- Over time, gums can recede showing the margin between the tooth root and the veneer. This area may stain in due course. A fine brown line along a person’s gum line is a tell-tale sign that this has occurred.
- Like natural teeth, veneers can crack or chip as the porcelain gradually weakens with normal wear and tear and daily use. They can also break when exposed to trauma.
- Should the bite change significantly due to tooth decay, acid erosion or tooth loss, a veneer will break.
How about composite veneers?
Unlike porcelain veneers that are manufactured in a dental lab before being applied to the teeth, composite veneers are made from composite resin (the same as is used for tooth-coloured fillings) and applied directly to the surface of the tooth enamel.
There is virtually no preparation required which makes them a more affordable and conservative option. Typically they can be placed in a single dental visit based on a digital smile design or wax model.
The downside of composite dental veneers is that they are less durable than porcelain veneers and more prone to
- wear and tear
- chipping; and
A patent can expect their composite veneers to last for between 5 and 7 years and during that time, they are likely to require a little maintenance work.
Will I need to replace my veneers?
Yes, it’s more than likely that you would need to replace your dental veneers at some point in your life, particularly if you got them at a young age. When porcelain veneers are replaced, your dentist will remove them, clean the teeth, prepare them and take another impression before creating new veneers and bonding them back in place.
Each time a porcelain veneer is replaced, a small amount of enamel has to be removed and on occasions, old veneers may need to be replaced with dental crowns if there is insufficient enamel left.
Sometimes patients replace their composite veneers with porcelain veneers when looking for a more permanent option.
Are veneers the best option?
Dental veneers can be life-changing in some circumstances and provided they’re fitted by an experienced dentist, can last for a long time.
That said, good design and planning are critical for the success of porcelain veneers.
At Beyond Infinity Dental, each patient is assessed on an individual basis and Dr Yang will be taking into account factors such as:
- The amount of tooth enamel
- Whether minor orthodontic work is necessary first
- If teeth are too dark to mask with veneers
- Whether the bite needs correction
- A patient’s age and the impact of removing tooth enamel
In the above instances, options such as dental crowns, Invisalign and (in the case of a younger patient with perfect tooth enamel) composite veneers, may be better.
How to help your veneers last longer
Now you have the answer to the question “how long do veneers last” there are a few habits to break and make that can also influence the longevity of your veneers.
- Do not use your teeth as tools as even nail-biting can put pressure on porcelain veneers causing them to break
- If you grind your teeth wear a mouthguard when you sleep
- Practice good oral hygiene
- Limit drinks that stain such as coffee and red wine
- Do not use overly abrasive toothpaste
- Moderate acid intake from soft drinks and citrus fruits
Who should fit your porcelain veneers?
Choosing an experienced dentist such as Dr Yang is a good idea. He for instance uses the latest technology such as Digital Smile Design. This is a 3D planning technique enabling him to assess and design your veneers while giving you a perfect preview of how they will look. Why not book your online veneers consultation with Beyond Infinity Dental or call us at (02) 8806 3799 today.