We can address numerous aesthetic issues with veneers, but are these dental restorations a permanent solution? Our dentists in Winnipeg review the purpose of these restorations and factors that impact longevity.
What are dental veneers?
Your dentist can bond these thin, custom-made slivers of tooth-coloured porcelain 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 perceived colour, shape or position of your teeth, leaving you with a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
How long do porcelain dental veneers last?
You'll likely need to have your porcelain veneers replaced at some point. Therefore, they are not considered a permanent procedure. However, if they are properly cared for, porcelain veneers can last a significant length of time - on average, about 15 years. Depending on some key factors, they'll last much longer (20 years or more).
After your veneers have been placed, it will be more important than ever for you to 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 excellent oral hygiene (with daily brushing and flossing) at home and who see the dentist regularly for professional cleanings and exams are more likely to have their veneers last longer.
Any oral health problems and whether they are corrected can also impact longevity. Biting hard objects, bite problems, clenching and grinding can put excessive pressure on your teeth, and therefore your veneers.
Why do porcelain veneers need to be replaced?
Though porcelain is very durable, porcelain veneers can chip, fracture, decay or debond over time. You may also need to replace them if you experience gum recession, as this may cause the veneer to not fit correctly anymore.
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 dental veneers will stand up to everyday chewing, don’t get into the bait of 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 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?
Though dental veneers can be used to address several aesthetic concerns, they are not the right treatment for every dental health issue - or every person. In some cases, other restorations such as dental crowns, dental bonding, teeth whitening or orthodontics may be more effective treatment options.