It's common to have questions if you're considering a smile makeover with veneers. One of the most common questions many cosmetic dentists in Edina, MN, hear is, "How long will my teeth veneers last?"
The answer is different for everyone because a veneer's lifespan depends on several factors. One study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates that, with proper care, porcelain laminate veneers have a 94 percent survival rate over 10 years and can last as long as 20 years.
What Are the Different Types of Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are thin, tooth-shaped ceramic shells customized to cover each tooth's surface perfectly. The material has light-reflecting qualities similar to tooth enamel, so they look natural and blend well with surrounding teeth.
Dentists refer to these as indirect veneers because they are created at a custom dental lab and then placed on your teeth. The one drawback is that teeth must be permanently altered for the veneers to fit comfortably and look natural—this means that wearing veneers is a lifetime commitment.
Composite Resin Veneers
Composite resin veneers are minimally invasive and use tooth-colored filling material that's custom-shaped and shaded to match surrounding teeth. Your cosmetic dentist applies a layer of the material to your teeth, hardens it with a curing light, then applies another layer. This process is repeated until the desired shape and size have been achieved.
Referred to as direct veneers because there is no outside lab involved, this type of veneer is more affordable than porcelain, and your dentist can remove them at any time without damaging your teeth.
However, you would need to replace composite veneers more often, and the material is more susceptible to chipping and staining than porcelain.
How Long Will My Teeth Veneers Last?
While porcelain veneers last as long as 20 years, several other variables affect their longevity:
Your Oral Hygiene Habits
Do you brush at least twice a day for two minutes and floss once? Excellent oral hygiene habits are crucial for any dental work. In the case of dental veneers, removing plaque buildup helps prevent cavities and gum disease.
Both of these conditions put your veneers at risk because your dentist would need to remove them to provide treatment.
Routine Teeth Cleanings and Exams
Your dentist will have recommended a schedule for routine cleanings and exams. Some patients only require one visit annually, and others need to be seen three or four times a year.
These routine preventive appointments enable your cosmetic dentist and hygienist to look for early signs of cavities and gum disease and provide prompt treatment if needed.
The Types of Foods You Eat
If you love munching on nuts, crispy chips, hard candy, or crusty bread, you risk damaging your veneers. All it takes is biting down too hard on these foods to chip or even crack your veneers. Since there's no way to repair a damaged veneer, your dentist would need to replace it.
Dental Trauma and Sports Injuries
Some dental trauma, such as an auto accident, can't be avoided. However, dental sports injuries commonly involve the front teeth, and you can avoid damage to your veneers by wearing a custom sports mouthguard.
Habits Like Nail Biting
Do you bite your nails or open packages with your teeth? Either of these habits is enough to break a tooth, much less a veneer. Dental porcelain is very durable, but the thin nature of veneers makes them extremely vulnerable to breaking under too much biting force.
How Often Do I Need to Replace My Veneers?
Even with excellent care, the outer lifespan for a porcelain veneer is 10–20 years, so there's a chance you will need to replace them at some stage over their lifetime. Additionally, if your veneer cracks or breaks, your cosmetic dentist in Edina, MN, will need to replace it.
You need to replace composite veneers at least every 4–8 years, but since they are more prone to breakage and wear, this depends greatly on how you care for them.
Replacing Porcelain Veneers
The process for replacing veneers is similar to when your original veneers were placed.
Your dentist carefully files away the old veneer, prepares the tooth's surface, and takes a dental impression. A temporary veneer is created to protect your tooth while a dental lab customizes your new veneers.
When the new veneers are received, your dentist will adjust them for fit, cement them securely to your teeth, and polish them to a beautiful sheen.
Replacing Composite Veneers
Removing and replacing composite veneers involves filing away the old material, adding new material, and shaping it to match the tooth's contours. One benefit of composite veneers is that you can choose not to replace them because there was minimal alteration to the tooth structure.
Are You a Candidate for Teeth Veneers?
Do you have questions about veneers or want to see if you're a good candidate? Please call your cosmetic dentist in Edina, MN, to schedule an appointment.