Dental veneers are a transformative tool in the realm of cosmetic dentistry, offering a powerful solution for a myriad of aesthetic dental concerns. They can mask imperfections, correct minor misalignments, and deliver a radiantly beautiful smile.
However, a recurring question is often centred around their durability – precisely, how long do veneers last? In this guide we will shed some light on this topic and detail the influencing factors, expected lifespan, and maintenance tips for dental veneers.
Factors Influencing the Longevity of Dental Veneers
Quality of the Procedure and Materials
The durability and lifespan of dental veneers primarily depend on two key aspects: the quality of the placement procedure and the materials employed. A well-executed veneer procedure involves a multitude of steps, each requiring meticulous precision and craftsmanship from the dental professional.
From the initial consultation and diagnosis to the preparation of the tooth and the application of the veneer, every step must be expertly managed to ensure optimum results. High-quality materials, on the other hand, play an equally crucial role.
For instance, porcelain, a commonly used material, is renowned for its durability and resilience, closely mimicking the natural tooth enamel’s properties.
Placement or Position in the Mouth
An often overlooked yet critical factor affecting the longevity of dental veneers is their placement within the oral cavity. Teeth experience different levels of pressure and wear based on their location and function, which can impact veneer durability. For instance, veneers affixed to molars, responsible for significant chewing and grinding actions, may face more strain compared to those placed on incisors. As such, understanding the role and demands of each tooth can provide insights into the potential durability of the veneers placed on them.
Oral Hygiene Practices
Maintaining good oral hygiene can significantly influence the lifespan of dental veneers. Regular brushing and flossing are instrumental in removing plaque and preventing tooth decay, which could undermine the veneer’s stability.
Furthermore, professional dental cleanings help preserve the health of the surrounding gums and teeth, which provide the essential support for the veneers. It’s important to remember that while the veneer itself may be resistant to decay, the underlying tooth isn’t, making oral hygiene a vital component in veneer longevity.
An individual’s lifestyle also plays a considerable role in determining the lifespan of dental veneers. Regular consumption of hard or acidic foods, for example, could potentially damage the veneer or cause it to wear down more quickly.
Involvement in contact sports or other physical activities without appropriate mouth protection may also increase the risk of chipping or breaking the veneers. Furthermore, habits such as teeth grinding can exert excessive pressure on veneers, potentially reducing their lifespan. Therefore, being mindful of these lifestyle choices and making necessary adjustments can greatly enhance the durability of dental veneers.
Expected Lifespan of Dental Veneers
Lifespan of Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers, the gold standard in veneer materials, offer impressive durability and stain resistance. They are expected to last anywhere between 10 to 20 years or more, given they receive the appropriate care and maintenance.
The natural strength and resistance of porcelain, along with its ability to replicate the aesthetics of natural teeth, make porcelain veneers a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing choice for those seeking to enhance their smile.
Lifespan of Composite Veneers
Composite veneers, while offering a more economical solution, may not last as long as their porcelain counterparts. Generally, they may last between 5 to 10 years with proper care.
They are made from a resin material that is more prone to staining and does not possess the same level of durability as porcelain. However, composite veneers can be repaired more easily than porcelain, providing a certain level of convenience for minor damages or wear.
Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Dental Veneers
It’s crucial to realise that the longevity of dental veneers doesn’t solely depend on the materials used or the dentist’s skill. The lifestyle choices and oral hygiene habits of the individual wearing them also come into play. Adhering to good oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing daily and visiting the dentist for regular check-ups, can help extend the life of your veneers.
Additionally, it’s beneficial to limit the intake of hard and staining foods and beverages, such as coffee, wine, or certain fruits like blueberries, that can cause veneers to discolour over time. For those who partake in contact sports or have a habit of grinding their teeth (bruxism), the use of a custom mouthguard can be a game-changer. This protective shield can prevent potential damage to the veneers and protect your investment.
Lastly, adopting a balanced lifestyle, including a healthy diet and regular exercise, contributes to your overall oral health, indirectly impacting the lifespan of your veneers.
What Happens When Veneers Need to be Replaced?
Over time, even with meticulous care, dental veneers may need to be replaced. Wear and tear, chipping, cracking, or discoloration are common reasons for replacement.
The process typically involves removing the old veneer, preparing the tooth surface, and placing a new veneer. While this may sound simple, it’s crucial to note that tooth preparation often involves removing a thin layer of tooth enamel, which does not regenerate.
Therefore, once you choose to get veneers, you must commit to the maintenance and potential replacement of these cosmetic additions throughout your life.
Dental veneers offer a promising solution for those looking to revamp their smile. They can last for many years, particularly when made with high-quality materials like porcelain, meticulously placed by skilled dental professionals like our team at Spires Oral & Dermal Care, and are well-maintained through good oral hygiene practices and prudent lifestyle choices.
However, it’s crucial to be well-informed and understand the commitment involved in getting dental veneers, including their maintenance and eventual replacement. With the right care and precautions, veneers can serve as a durable and appealing option for achieving the radiant smile you’ve always dreamed of.
Contact our team today to help you choose the veneer solution that fits your smile!
Dr. Anne Gormley is a highly experienced dentist who has been practising for over 30 years after graduating from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne School of Dental Sciences in 1991. She is also a facial aesthetic clinician, having obtained the Level 7 PGCert in Non-surgical Facial Aesthetics in 2019 from Northumbria University. She received her MFGDP(UK) qualification in 1996 from the Royal College of Surgeons, completed an Open University module in Paediatric Dentistry from Bristol University and finished a one-year part-time course in implant surgery and prosthetics. Dr. Anne has worked in the Restorative Department of the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Orthodontic Department in the Waveney Hospital.
Dr. Anne specialises in cosmetic dentistry, with a particular interest in Align, Bleach, Bond (ABB). This technique involves straightening the teeth using Invisalign, followed by teeth whitening treatments and composite bonding and veneers. She loves enhancing facial features with non-surgical aesthetic treatments such as dermal fillers, botulinum toxins (also known as “Botox”) and Profhilo. In addition, Dr. Anne also specialises in crown, bridgework and ceramic veneers.