Dental veneers are an excellent cosmetic solution for a wide range of aesthetic issues. Patients who have teeth that are chipped, stained, or misshapen are often interested in veneers to improve the appearance of their smiles, but before booking their procedure, they want to know how long veneers last and how they can maximize their lifespan. Here’s what you should know.
About Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are thin shells that are applied directly onto your teeth, masking imperfections to create a more beautiful smile. Some patients only need one or two veneers, while others opt for a complete set of veneers on all of the teeth that are visible when they smile. Even if you only need a single veneer, it can make a dramatic difference in your appearance.
The most common types of veneers are porcelain veneers, composite veneers, and instant veneers. Porcelain veneers are considered the gold standard, as they last the longest and look the most realistic. Real teeth are made with layers of enamel and these types of veneers are made with thin layers of porcelain, giving them a natural appearance. Composite veneers are made with resin and they are less expensive than porcelain veneers, but don’t last as long and aren’t quite as realistic. Both porcelain and composite veneers are created custom for each patient, but instant veneers are not.
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How Long Different Types of Veneers Last?
As with any dental restoration, we can offer average lifespans to help you know what to expect, but your results may vary. Here’s how long each type of veneer usually lasts:
. Porcelain veneers – The average lifespan of porcelain veneers is 10 years, but it’s not uncommon for them to last up to 20 years with good care and maintenance.
. Composite veneers – Composite veneers last an average of 3 years. Their lifespan is shorter because, unlike porcelain veneers, they can stain over time, and the material they’re made from isn’t as durable and therefore, higher maintenance.
. Instant veneers – There are a number of different brands of instant veneers and some claim to last as long as porcelain veneers, with an average of 10 years or up to 20 years with proper care. We think an average of 5 years is more accurate for these types of no-prep veneers.
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What Can Affect the Lifespan of Veneers?
With dental veneers, several factors can affect the lifespan of the type of veneer you choose. Let’s take a closer look at what can affect longevity.
. The state of your teeth prior to installation. According to some dentists, the state of your teeth prior to getting a veneer may affect the lifespan.
. Veneer materials. Porcelain and no-prep veneers last longer than composite veneers. However, these options are more expensive, so you’ll have to weigh the cost against the expected lifespan.
. Your dental hygiene. Good oral hygiene really matters. Twice-daily brushing and daily flossing are crucial to prolonging the lifespan of veneers. It’s also important to have dental checkups and cleanings every 6 months.
. Mouth protection. If you play a contact sport, be sure to wear a mouthguard to protect your veneers from chipping or breaking.
. Tooth grinding. Grinding your teeth can put excessive pressure on your veneers. If you’re prone to grinding your teeth when you sleep, wear a nighttime mouthguard to protect your veneers.
. Using your teeth as tools. Don’t use your teeth to try and open objects that you can’t open with your hands or other tools.
. Care with hard foods. Avoid biting down on foods like hard candies, ice, or nuts.
Making Your Veneers Last Longer
How can you get the most out of your veneers? Having healthy teeth to begin with helps, and good dental hygiene is even more important. You’ll need to brush for two minutes twice a day and floss well at least once a day. See your dentist every six months for professional dental cleanings.
If you’re active in sports, wear a mouthguard to protect your veneers. Similarly, if you clench your jaw or grind your teeth at night, you’ll need a night guard to protect your veneers from becoming damaged. Don’t bite down on hard foods like ice or nuts and don’t use your teeth to open packages or bite your nails.