Dental veneers can help with a variety of cosmetic issues, but are they a long-term solution? Our Calgary dentists discuss the purpose of these restorations as well as the factors that influence their longevity.
What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are thin, tooth-coloured slivers of porcelain that your dentist bonds to the front of your teeth. 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 considered permanent. However, if properly cared for, porcelain veneers can last a long time - typically 15 years on average. They can last much longer depending on a few key factors (20 years or more).
Maintaining an excellent oral hygiene routine will be more important than ever after you've had veneers placed. Because the longevity of your veneers is determined by how well you care for them. Patients who practise good oral hygiene at home (brushing and flossing daily) and go to the dentist on a regular basis for professional dental exams and cleanings are more likely to have 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?
Despite the fact that 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 could include:
Wearing a mouthguard while playing contact sports
Trauma to the mouth (such as a collision with another person or object) can fracture or fall off dental veneers. This is why, if you participate in contact sports, you should wear a mouthguard to protect your restorations.
Avoiding sticky, 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 give your dentist the opportunity 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 for every person. Other restorations, such as dental crowns, dental bonding, teeth whitening, or orthodontics, may be more effective treatment options in some cases.