Dental veneers are a fantastic solution for a variety of cosmetic issues. Patients with chipped, stained, or malformed teeth often consider veneers to enhance the appearance of their smiles, but they want to know how long veneers last and how to care for them before moving forward with the procedure. Here’s what you should know.
About Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are thin shells that are placed directly on your teeth to hide cosmetic flaws and give you a more attractive smile. Some patients only need one or two veneers, while others want to have a full set of veneers placed on all of the teeth that show when they smile. Even if you only need a veneer for one tooth, it can make a significant difference in your facial appearance.
Porcelain veneers, composite veneers, and instant veneers are the most popular types of veneers. Porcelain veneers are the gold standard because they are the most durable and natural looking. These types of veneers are constructed with thin layers of porcelain to give them a realistic look, similar to how real teeth are made with layers of enamel. Composite veneers are made of resin and are less costly than porcelain veneers. However, they do not last as long and do not look as natural. Instant veneers, unlike porcelain and composite veneers, are not customized for each patient, which makes the process faster, but the results are not as realistic as those of porcelain and even resin.
How Long Different Types of Veneers Last
There’s no way to predict exactly how long your dental veneers will last, because there are a number of different factors at play, which means results can vary. These are typical lifespans for each type of veneer:
Porcelain veneers – Porcelain veneers will last about 10 years on average, but with proper care and maintenance, they can last up to 20 years or even longer.
Composite veneers – Composite veneers usually have a three-year lifespan. They don’t last as long as porcelain veneers because they stain more easily and the material they’re made of isn’t as durable, requiring more maintenance.
Instant veneers – Instant veneers are made by a number of different manufacturers, and some claim to last as long as porcelain veneers, with an average lifespan of 10 years and up to 20 years with good care and maintenance.
Making Your Veneers Last Longer
What are the best ways to maximize the lifespan of your veneers? Beginning with healthy teeth is a good start, and being diligent with your oral hygiene habits will help too. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss at least once a day. Schedule professional dental cleanings every six months to keep your teeth healthy and ensure that your veneers are in good shape.
Wear a mouthguard to protect your veneers if you participate in sports. Similarly, if you grind your teeth or clench your jaw when you sleep, you’ll need a night guard to keep your veneers from breaking. Don’t bite or chew on hard foods like ice or nuts, and don’t bite your nails or open packets with your teeth.