Dental veneers can help with a variety of cosmetic issues, but are they a long-term solution? Our Coquitlam dentists discuss the purpose of these restorations as well as the factors that influence their longevity.
What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are thin, custom-made slivers of tooth-coloured porcelain that are bonded to the front of your teeth by your dentist. They are bonded to your teeth with composite resin cement, resulting in a surface that resembles natural teeth in appearance and feel.
Veneers can help to change the perceived position, shape or colour of your teeth, leaving you with a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
How long do porcelain dental veneers last?
Porcelain veneers will almost certainly need to be replaced at some point, so they are not regarded as a permanent procedure. On the other hand, they can last a long time if properly cared for – on average, about 15 years. They can last much longer depending on a few key factors.
Maintaining an excellent oral hygiene routine will be more important than ever after you've had veneers placed. This is because the longevity of your veneers is determined by how well you care for them. Patients who practice good oral hygiene at home (brushing and flossing daily) and go to the dentist regularly for professional dental exams and cleanings are more likely to have their veneers last longer.
The resolution of any oral health issues will also have an impact on longevity. Bite issues, biting on hard objects, grinding and clenching can all put undue strain on your teeth and, as a result, your veneers too.
Why do porcelain veneers need to be replaced?
Even though porcelain is extremely durable, porcelain veneers can chip, fracture, decay, or debond over time. You may also need to replace them if you have gum recession, as this may cause the veneer to no longer fit properly.
Caring for dental veneers
There are a few things you can do to extend the life of your veneers. As previously stated, maintaining excellent oral health care practices is the best way to ensure your veneers remain in good condition. This can include things like:
Wearing a mouthguard while playing contact sports
Dental veneers can fracture or fall off as a result of trauma to the mouth (such as a collision with another person or object). This is why, if you participate in contact sports, you should wear a mouthguard to protect your restorations.
Avoiding sticky or hard foods or using your teeth as tools
While your dental veneers will withstand normal chewing, avoid chewing ice or using them to rip open packages as this increases the risk of chipping, loosening, or breaking them.
Attending your regular dental appointments
When you go to your regular dental exams, you not only allow your dentist to give your teeth a thorough cleaning, but they will also check the condition of your veneers and treat any problems before they become serious.
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?
Though dental veneers can be used to address a variety of cosmetic issues, they are not appropriate for every dental health issue - or every person. Other restorations, such as dental crowns, dental bonding, teeth whitening, or orthodontics, may be more effective treatment options in some cases.