If you want to improve the aesthetics of your smile and are considering dental veneers, you probably want to know how long do veneers last before you go ahead with treatment. It’s an important question to answer because having this kind of cosmetic dentistry requires your dentist to file some of your natural tooth away before the veneers can be applied. So it is in your interests to have veneers that last for as many years as possible.
What Are Dental Veneers?
Veneers are thin shells or covers that are fitted to the front of your teeth in order to improve their appearance. They are purely cosmetic and are typically applied to the front or more visible teeth in order to address aesthetic issues. On their own veneers are quite fragile but once bonded to your tooth surface, they are strong.
How Long Do Veneers Last?
Veneers can be made from porcelain or composite resin and the different materials can last for different periods of time. Composite resin veneers may last for fewer than ten years while porcelain can last for two decades.
A porcelain veneer procedure takes longer to complete than composite resin because it needs to be made at a dental laboratory. First your dentist will administer local anaesthetic to ensure you are comfortable before removing some of your dental enamel. This is to ensure that the veneers fit well into your mouth with your other teeth. Then an impression will be taken of your mouth, and sent off to a dental technician. It may take two to four weeks for the dental veneers to be crafted by the laboratory. When they have been created you will return to your dentist for the fitting and placement.
How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?
Porcelain veneers are longer lasting than composite resin because they are strong and durable. They are generally favoured by patients and dentists because they look very natural and reflect light in a very similar way to the other teeth in your mouth. With proper care and the necessary dental check ups, veneers made from porcelain may last for 10 to 15 years on average; some have been known to last for as long as 25 years.
Composite Resin Veneers
If you have composite resin veneers, this cosmetic dentistry procedure can be finalised in just one visit because your dentist will create the veneer. Your dentist will apply composite resin layer by layer, and then bond the layers using a light. Once all the layers have been added, your dentist will shape and polish the veneer so it fits in with your other teeth.
How Long Do Composite Resin Veneers Last?
Composite resin dental veneers may last for four to eight years if they are well cared for. Because composite resin is less durable than porcelain it is possible for them to crack or chip.
How Can You Make Your Dental Veneers Last Longer?
There are measures you can take to increase the lifespan of your dental veneers. If you are wearing temporary veneers you should
- Avoid hard foods and substances like biting down on ice or using your teeth to open bottles
- Avoid sticky foods like candies and toffees
- Avoid biting down on crunchy substances like nuts (or opening nutes with your teeth)
In addition, you do need to remember that you still have natural teeth underneath the dental veneers. It is very important that you continue to follow your dental hygiene routine of twice-daily brushing and flossing. You must also visit your dentist twice a year for a professional clean and polish. At your visits your dentist will inspect the condition of your veneers and ensure they remain in good condition for as long as possible.
So, What’s The Best Material For You?
While porcelain veneers may cost more initially they will not need to be replaced as often. By comparison, composite resin veneers may appear to be cheaper in terms of your capital outlay but they will need to be replaced – and when they are, you will lose some dental enamel every time. It is worth having an open discussion with your dentist, who will take your age, lifestyle factors and budget into consideration and make the appropriate recommendations for your cosmetic dentistry needs.
Alternatives to veneers may include
- Teeth whitening if tooth discolouration is a concern
- Bonding to increase the surface area of small teeth
If you have more questions about how long do veneers last it’s best to speak to a professional. Please contact us for an appointment: (03) 8737 9359.