Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are attached to the front of the teeth to cover up cracks, chips, discoloration, or other issues. Veneers are a popular cosmetic dental treatment to restore a white and straight smile and to protect damaged teeth. If you’re considering getting veneers, you may wonder how long they last. Once the porcelain coverings are applied, they’re a lifetime commitment, so it’s important to know what to expect.
How Long Veneers Last?
Unfortunately, veneers don’t last a lifetime. If you take good care of them, they should last between seven and 15 years. There are some reports of veneers lasting over 25 years, but most people have their veneers for about 10 years before they need to be repaired or replaced.
Porcelain veneers are strong, but they’re vulnerable to all the same damage as natural teeth. Just like your natural tooth enamel can experience wear and tear over time, veneers can and will get worn out. Poor dental hygiene and habits like ice chewing or teeth grinding can wear out veneers faster, but even the best-kept veneers will become damaged eventually.
Whenever you eat, you put some pressure on the veneers. Over time, the protective coating can wear down, and the veneers can become more resistant to cracks, chips, or stains. As the veneers weaken, it becomes easier and easier to accidentally damage them.
What Happens When Veneers Wear Out?
If you notice a crack or chip in your veneer, you should visit your dentist to have it repaired. In many cases, minor damage can be repaired without needing to replace the entire veneer. Your dentist will probably use a composite bonding material to repair the crack or fill in the chip.
If the veneer is severely damaged or the tooth underneath shows signs of decay, your dentist will have to replace it. During this procedure, your dentist will take off the veneer and remove as much of the bonding material as they can. Then, they’ll take an impression of your tooth to create a new veneer. When the new veneer is ready, your dentist will attach it just like the original veneer.
How to Make Veneers Last Longer
Even if you take perfect care of your veneers, they probably won’t last a lifetime. However, you can definitely lengthen their lifespan by following good dental hygiene habits. Keeping your mouth clean is the best way to make your veneers last. You should brush your teeth for two minutes twice per day and floss at least once per day. Just like with natural teeth, bacteria and plaque can build up on veneers, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. These issues can damage your natural teeth and can shorten the lifespan of your veneers. Flossing is especially important when you have veneers because plaque can easily build up on the ridge where the veneer meets the enamel.
There are some bad habits you should break to help your veneers last longer, too. Nail biting is a common habit, but it can weaken your veneers over time and eventually make them crack or chip. Chewing on ice can have the same effect.
Teeth grinding is another bad habit that can damage your veneers, but this habit can be hard to break, especially if you grind your teeth in your sleep. The most common signs of teeth grinding during sleep are headaches or jaw pain upon waking and tooth sensitivity. If you have a tooth grinding problem, you should visit your dentist to discuss treatment options. The pressure from the grinding can wear out the veneers as well as your natural tooth enamel, so some people wear special mouthguards at night to prevent damage.
To keep your veneers nice and white, you should rinse out your mouth with water after eating or drinking, especially if you consume something sugary or acidic. Veneers are typically coated with a stain-proof resin, but they can become stained if the resin is damaged. You should also stop smoking to keep your veneers looking as bright as possible. If your veneers are in good condition, smoking shouldn’t affect them. However, the smoke can stain the composite that’s used to attach the veneers to your teeth, so you might develop a brown or yellow tinge around the edges of your teeth.
Dr. Marc Lazare is a board-certified dental expert who provides a variety of treatments, including veneers in New York. Dr. Lazare is well regarded by his peers, recognized as an authority on Cosmetic Dentistry and known by many as ‘Dentist to the Stars’. His client list includes top-notch celebrities such as Liza Minnelli, Gina Lollobrigida, Cindy Adams and Neil Sedaka, and even Jill Zarin and Sonja Morgan from the Real Housewives of New York.