Dental veneers are able to address a number of different aesthetic issues in your smile. But, are they a permanent solution to these problems? Here, our Smithers dentists review the purpose of these restorations and the factors which can influence their longevity in your mouth.
What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are thin, custom-made slivers of tooth-coloured porcelain that your dentist bonds to the front of your teeth. They are bonded to your teeth with composite resin cement, creating a surface that looks and feels much like natural teeth do.
Veneers can help to change the way your teeth appear to be shaped and coloured, providing you with a reimagined smile.
How long do porcelain dental veneers last?
Veneers made from porcelain will likely have to be replaced at some point. Because of this, they aren't considered a permanent procedure. However, if you properly care for them, veneers can last quite a while: often about 15 years. Depending on some factors, veneers can last even longer than that, up to 20 years or more!
After you've had veneers placed, it will be more important than ever that you maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine. That's because the longevity of your veneers depends on how well you care for them. Patients who maintain good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing daily) at home and who visit the dentist regularly 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 problems, biting hard objects, grinding and clenching can put excessive pressure on your teeth, and therefore your veneers.
Why do porcelain veneers need to be replaced?
Although porcelain is quite durable, veneers can chip, decay, fracture or debond with your teeth over time. They may also need to be replaced if your gums recede, since this may cause your veneer to no longer fit your smile properly.
Caring for dental veneers
There are a few things you can do to make your veneers last as long as possible. As mentioned, continuing an excellent oral health care practices is the best way to ensure your veneers stay in great condition. This can include:
Wearing a mouthguard while 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. This is why it’s important to wear a mouthguard to protect your restorations if you play contact sports.
Avoiding sticky, hard foods or using your teeth as tools
While your porcelain veneers will stand up to everyday chewing, make sure you don't make a habit of using them to rip open packages or chew on ice. This will increase your risk of craking, debonding or loosening your veneers.
Attending your regular 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 they will also take the time to check the condition of your veneers and treat any problems early before they have a chance to fully develop.
Practicing excellent oral hygiene
You know the drill - brush twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss at least once per day. Tooth decay is a common cause of failure of dental veneers.
Are porcelain veneers right for me?
Although dental veneers can be used to address a number of different aesthetic concerns, they aren't the right treatment for every dental health issue. In some instances, restorations like dental bonding, dental crowns, orthodontics or teeth whitening may be more appropriate treatment options for your specific oral health issue.