Dental veneers are able to address a number of aesthetic issues that affect your smile, but are they a permanent solution? Here, our Kelowna dentists review the purpose of these restorations, and factors that affect longevity.
What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are thin and custom-made slivers of tooth-coloured porcelain that our dentist will bond to the front of your teeth. This is done using composite resin cement, creating a surface that both looks and feels like a natural tooth.
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 likely need to be replaced at some point and are therefore not considered a permanent procedure. However, id properly cared for, porcelain veneers can last a significant length of time – usually for about 15 years on average. Depending on some key factors, they can last much longer (20 years or more).
After you have had your veneers placed, it will be important that you maintain your oral hygiene routine. The longevity of your veneers will depend on how well you care for them and the rest of your smile. Patients who are able to maintain diligent and thorough at-home hygiene routines and who regularly visit their dentist for exams and cleanings are more likely to have veneers that 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?
While porcelain is quite durable, veneers can chip, fracture and decay over time, debonding from the tooth. You may also need to replace your veneers if you ex[perinece gum recession, since this may cause the veneer not to fit correctly anymore.
Caring for dental veneers
There are a few things you can do to make your veneers last as long as possible. As mentioned, continuing an excellent oral health care practices is the best way to ensure your veneers stay in great condition. This can include:
Wearing a mouthguard while playing contact sports
The trauma suffered in the mouth such as from running into another person or object can cause dental veneers to crack, fracture or fall out of your mouth. This is why it’s important to wear a mouthguard to protect your restorations if you play contact sports.
Avoiding sticky, hard foods or using your teeth as tools
While your dental veneers will stand up to everyday chewing, don’t get into the bait of 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 attending your regularly scheduled dental exams you will not only allow your dentist the chance to give your teeth a critical deep clean, but they will also take the time to check the condition of your veneers and treat any issues early before they have a chance to become worse.
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 several aesthetic concerns, they are not the right treatment for every dental health issue - or every person. In some cases, other restorations such as dental crowns, dental bonding, teeth whitening or orthodontics may be more effective treatment options.