If you’re going to get something done, you want it done well, right? This thought applies to anything you have done to your body, especially when it involves dentistry. That’s why the question of how long veneers last is one commonly asked by patients at our clinic.
Veneers are one of the most popular types of cosmetic dentistry treatments. They fix a multitude of problems, like chips and gaps in your smile or the size of your tooth. They’re affordable and effective, so it’s no wonder they’re so in-demand!
But before you jump on the veneer train, there are a few things you should know about them so you can take care of yours the right way. It’s exciting to finally have the perfect smile you’ve been dreaming of for years. You’ll want to make sure your investment lasts as long as possible!
These tips will guide you along the way as you work with your dentist to perfect your smile.
What’s a Veneer?
Veneers, typically referred to as porcelain veneers, are the solution to dozens of dental concerns. They can take care of multiple cosmetic flaws at once, transforming your smile from one you tried to hide to one you are proud to show off!
Dental veneers are thin, wafer-like shells that cover the front of the tooth – the part that is visible. These coverings are custom-made to match the rest of your smile and look like your natural teeth.
Veneers are used to correct problems with your smile, like:
- Stained teeth that are too discolored to benefit from teeth whitening services
- Crooked teeth or teeth that are misshapen
- Teeth with chips
- Teeth that have been worn down
- Gaps or uneven spaces between the front teeth
Most veneers are made from porcelain, but some are made of composite resin material. You and your dentist will decide which material is better for you, as each has its pros and cons.
For instance, porcelain veneers are strong and durable. They look natural and last a long time. They don’t stain as easily as your natural teeth, either.
Composite resin veneers, on the other hand, are bonded to the teeth. They can be applied in as little as one visit, whereas porcelain veneers require a longer process. Composite resin veneers are usually less expensive and are easy to fix if they end up damaged. Since they’re not as strong as porcelain veneers, they do damage more frequently.
Knowing what to expect during your veneer placement appointment can help you prepare. There is a slight difference in the process, depending on if you choose porcelain or composite veneers.
Porcelain veneer applications follow a process similar to this one:
- The dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from the tooth to make room for the new veneer.
- Once your teeth are prepared for the veneer, a mold (impression) will be made of the prepped area and you and your dentist will decide on a shade of veneer that matches your smile best.
- From there, the mold is sent off to a lab, where the porcelain veneer will be custom-made to match your teeth and shades. You’ll get some temporary veneers while you wait, but this is usually no longer than a few days.
- When you come back for your next visit, your new, custom-made veneers will be placed on your teeth to make sure they fit right. If all goes well, and it should, your teeth will get cleaned, and then the veneer will be bonded on so it lasts.
- You can expect a few follow-up visits while the fit and adjustment of your veneers are evaluated. This is normal! In the meantime, you can eat, drink, and care for your teeth as usual.
Composite resin veneers are slightly different, though. The dentist will prepare or reshape your teeth in one appointment. At the same visit, the veneer can be sculpted and bonded to your teeth using a special light that hardens the material. Once it’s bonded, the veneer will be smoothed and polished so it looks like your natural teeth.
So, while composite resin veneers are faster and easier to apply, the porcelain veneers will last longer, particularly if you take care of them.
Before You Can Have Veneers
To have veneers applied, you must already have healthy teeth and gums. If there is any sign of infection, disease, or decay, the dentist will work with you to design a treatment to get rid of the problem before you start the veneer process.
Another thing to be aware of is that veneers aren’t always the best alternative for people who grind or clench their teeth frequently. If you are a grinder or clencher, it’s possible to break the veneers. A night guard could be the solution to this problem if you want to go ahead with fixing your smile but also keep your veneers in good shape.
In order for the veneer to be placed, you do have to have sufficient enamel on your teeth. A little bit has to be removed for the veneer to have a place to bond to. This can’t be undone once the process starts. If you don’t have enough healthy enamel to remove, you might have alternative options to fix your concerns.
How to Take Care of Veneers
Your veneers are designed to last a long time. Are veneers permanent? Not really. But if you take care of them right, they can be pretty darn close.
Veneers can come loose over time, especially composite resin ones. If that happens, your dentist can fix them or you may need new ones. The damage to your veneers can be avoided with proper care.
Porcelain veneers lifespan are usually the most questioned because they are more expensive than composite resin. The super-thin ceramic covering in a porcelain veneer is bonded to the front of your tooth, and with the investment you’re making, you can be assured that the veneer is designed to last.
You know how strong your natural tooth’s enamel is when it’s healthy? Porcelain veneer is as strong as, or even stronger than, that. Your veneers won’t break when you’re eating something hard, and you don’t have to worry about your favorite sticky treats messing them up.
As with anything, the better you care for your veneers, the longer they will last. This care includes getting regular dental cleanings and exams, as well as your at-home routines.
With proper care and maintenance, your porcelain veneers can last ten to twenty years. It all depends on you.
To ensure a long porcelain veneer lifespan, keep your oral hygiene in good health. Brush and floss regularly, and avoid bad habits like chewing on ice or eating sticky food frequently. Veneers can become stained if you expose them to items that can discolor natural teeth, like coffee, tea, and dark or brightly colored beverages and foods. Tobacco is another bad habit that can discolor your veneers.
Make your veneers last by taking care of them just as well as, or better than, you take care of the rest of your smile. Brush and floss at least twice a day and visit the professionals at Canatella Dental to have regular check-ups.
The better you take care of your teeth, the longer your veneers will last. Avoiding cavities and tooth decay is an essential part in making sure your veneers are worth the time and money investment you put into them!
Things to Remember About Your Veneers
After you get your veneers, it’s easy to get used to them and forget that they’re there. That’s a great thing, but you also need to keep in mind that it’s possible for your veneer to chip or break when exposed to pressure. Things like biting your nails, chewing on ice, or engaging in other bad dental habits need to be avoided now to protect your smile’s investment.
However, it will probably take a few days for you to get used to the feeling of having something bonded to your teeth. This is perfectly normal as you adapt your bite to your veneers and the fixed problem that the veneers corrected. Let the dentist know if, after a few days, your bite still doesn’t seem to be right.
Another very important thing to remember is that teeth with veneers are still susceptible to cavities. Use dental care products that have the American Dental Association’s approval. This shows up in the Seal of Acceptance on the product. Brush and floss regularly with those products, knowing that each one is safe and effective.
Schedule an Appointment Today
At Canatella Dental, we can help you get the smile of your dreams. We offer individually customized treatment plans for everyone, depending on your goals and your oral health situation.
Call today to schedule an appointment and see how we can work together to optimize your smile. You should be proud to show off your pearly whites. If you’re still hiding behind your hand when you laugh, it’s time to see us and get your happy back!