Dental veneers can address a number of aesthetic issues, but are they a permanent solution? Our the Okanagan Valley dentists review the purpose of these restorations and factors that affect longevity.
What are dental veneers?
Your dentist can bond dental veneers - thin, custom-made slivers of tooth-coloured porcelain - to the front of your teeth with composite resin cement. This creates a surface that looks and feels much like natural teeth do.
Veneers can help change the perceived position, colour or shape of your teeth, leaving you with a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
How long do porcelain dental veneers last?
Porcleain veneers will likely need to be replaced at some point. Therefore, they are not considered a permanent procedure. However, if cared for properly porcelan veneers can last a significant length of time - usually for about 15 years. By paying attention to some key factors, you may be able to make them last much longer (20 years or more).
After dental veneers have been placed, maintaining an excellent oral hygiene routine will be more important than ever. That's because how well you care for your veneers can determine their longevity. Patients who maintain good oral hygiene (with daily brushing and flossing) at home and who see the dentist regularly for professional dental cleanings and exams are more likely to have their veneers last longer.
Having oral health issues corrected can also help your veneers last longer. Biting hard objects, clenching or grinding your teeth and problems with bite can put excessive pressure on your teeth, and therefore your veneers.
Why do porcelain veneers need to be replaced?
Though porcelain is very durable, porcelain veneers can chip, fracture, decay or debond over time. You may also need to replace them if you experience gum recession, as this may cause the veneer to not 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
Trauma to the mouth (such as a run-in with another person or object) and cause dental veneers to fracture or fall off. 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 you attend your regular dental exams, you not only allow your dentist the opportunity to give your teeth an essential deep clean, but they will also take the time to check the condition of your veneers and treat any problems early before they have a chance to fully develop.
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.