Veneers are a popular option for people looking to improve their smile permanently. As a result, people typically feel better about their appearance and experience a boost in their confidence.
If you’re thinking about veneers, finding out all the information you can beforehand helps you make the most informed decision. One question you should seek the answer to in advance is how long do veneers last? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place.
Keep reading to learn the basics of veneers, including how long they last, who is a good candidate for them, and what the process is like.
Before discovering how long veneers last, let’s start with the basics of what veneers are.
Veneers refer to thin tooth-coloured shells placed on the front surface of your teeth. As you want your veneers to look as natural as possible, these shells are custom-made to fit the shape and colour of your teeth.
Veneers are usually made from porcelain or composite resin and serve purely cosmetic purposes. Veneers are most often used to correct cosmetic issues such as:
- Broken or damaged tooth
- Discoloration that you can’t fix with whitening methods
- Irregular teeth (in size or shape)
The reason that most people get veneers is to improve the overall aesthetic of their teeth. The result should leave you with a natural-looking, beautiful smile. This is the main reason why veneers are usually custom-made for your teeth. You can get veneers on a single tooth, a couple of teeth, or an entire row of teeth for a uniform look.
Getting porcelain veneers involves several steps — even before the dentist puts veneers on your teeth. As the porcelain shells are permanently bonded to your teeth, your teeth must first be prepped for the bonding and ensure that it sticks. Here’s what you can expect from the process.
Getting veneers requires grinding down your tooth structure by removing part of the tooth to allow room for proper placement and bonding. After the reshaping, your dentist takes a mould of your mouth to send to a lab to make your veneers. You can work with your dentist on choosing the right shape and colour to suit your mouth and end up with the perfect set of veneers.
Once your dentist receives your veneers back from the lab, you will set a second appointment to get them placed. This process involves using dental cement and a light beam to harden them. Your dentist may also use other technologies for the bonding process. However, you’re typically ready to show off your new smile once this part is done.
Before answering how long cosmetic veneers last, let’s figure out if you’re a good candidate for veneers.
When it comes to their aesthetic nature, veneers can benefit anyone by enhancing both their smile and confidence. That said, veneers aren’t for everyone, and there may be reasons to consider other options.
If you don’t like your smile and want to enhance it, then dental veneers might be a good choice. However, that doesn’t automatically mean that you can get them. There are a few circumstances where veneers may not work for you, such as gum disease, excessive cavities, and tooth decay. Your dentist will need you to resolve these issues before even considering teeth veneers.
Beyond that, it’s important to note that cosmetic veneers are only for the front surface of your teeth and not your molars. If you’re looking to replace those – especially to improve functionality, you need to consider either crowns or implants.
Other circumstances where dental veneers may not be the best choice for you include:
- If your tooth is excessively chipped
- If your tooth needs to be extracted entirely
- If your tooth is damaged with little dental enamel left
- If you grind your teeth at night
If you’ve decided you are a good candidate for veneers, let’s now answer the big question: how long do veneers last?
Veneers are a large investment for many, but considering how long they last, they’re definitely worth the benefits. With diligent care, veneers can last over a decade.
But once again, how long your veneers last depends on how well you care for them. For example, if you grind your teeth in your sleep, you may damage your veneers and need replacements sooner than you would like. The same goes for injuries. If you become injured in your mouth, your veneers may get loose or even fall out entirely. Porcelain veneers are especially prone to chipping, so you should avoid biting down on hard foods.
What’s more is that since your natural teeth are still beneath your veneers, it’s possible for you to develop cavities in an underlying tooth if you don’t take proper care of your veneers. Cavities would lead to your veneers needing to be redone as they erode the underlying tooth that supports the shell.
The simplest thing you can do is maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly to avoid potential cavities or rotting of your teeth.
Veneers can last over ten years with reasonable care and awareness. If you continue your regular dental hygiene routine, you should be set for over a decade.
Contact us today if you have other permanent veneer-related questions or want to discuss whether veneers are the best option.