Dental veneers can address a number of aesthetic issues, but are they a permanent solution? Our Ottawa dentists review the purpose of these restorations and the factors that affect longevity.
What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are very small, precisely crafted pieces of porcelain that are tooth-coloured that your dentist bonds to the front of your teeth. They are attached to your teeth using composite resin cement, resulting in a surface that resembles natural teeth in both appearance and texture.
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, if properly cared for, porcelain veneers can last a significant length of time – usually about 15 years on average. Depending on some key factors, they can last much longer (20 years or more).
Maintaining a superb oral hygiene routine will be more crucial than ever after you have veneers inserted. That's because how well you take care of your veneers will determine how long they last. Veneers are more likely to last longer for patients who practice good oral hygiene at home (daily brushing and flossing) and who visit the dentist frequently for checkups and cleanings.
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?
Porcelain is very resilient, but over time porcelain veneers can chip, fracture, decay, or lose their bond. If you experience gum recession, you might also need to get new ones because the old ones might no longer fit properly.
Caring for dental veneers
There are a few things you can do to extend the lifespan of your veneers. As previously stated, the best way to make sure your veneers stay in great condition is to maintain excellent oral health care practices. This may consist of:
Wearing a mouthguard while playing contact sports
Dental veneers can break or come off as a result of mouth trauma (such as a collision with another person or object). For this reason, 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
The risk of chipping, loosening, or breaking your dental veneers is increased by chewing ice or using them to rip open packages, even though they can withstand normal chewing.
Attending your regular dental appointments
By going to your routine dental checkups, you give your dentist the chance to deep clean your teeth, which is very important. They will also take the time to examine your veneers and address any issues before they have a chance to worsen.
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 the failure of dental veneers.
Are porcelain veneers right for me?
Although there are a number of aesthetic issues that can be resolved with dental veneers, not everyone is a candidate for this treatment. In some instances, more effective treatment options may include dental crowns, dental bonding, teeth whitening, or orthodontics.