Dental veneers can address a number of aesthetic issues, but are they a permanent solution? Our Winnipeg dentists review the purpose of these restorations and the factors that affect longevity.
What are dental veneers?
Your dentist adheres veneers, which are thin, tooth-coloured porcelain slivers, to the front of your teeth. They are bonded to your teeth with composite resin cement, producing a surface that closely resembles natural teeth in appearance and feel.
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 for about 15 years on average. Depending on some key factors, they can last much longer (20 years or more).
It will be more important than ever to maintain excellent oral hygiene after veneers have been installed. This is due to the fact that the durability of your veneers depends on how well you maintain them. Patients who maintain good oral hygiene at home (brushing and flossing daily) and who visit the dentist regularly for professional dental exams and cleanings have veneers that are more likely to last longer.
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?
Even though porcelain is extremely durable, porcelain veneers can eventually chip, fracture, decay, or debond. Additionally, you may need to replace them if you experience gum recession, as this may cause them to no longer fit properly.
Caring for dental veneers
There are a few things you can do to extend the life of your veneers. As previously stated, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is the best way to ensure that your veneers remain in excellent condition. Examples include:
Wearing a mouthguard while playing contact sports
Mouth trauma (such as a collision with another person or object) can cause veneers to crack or detach. If you play contact sports, it is essential to wear a mouthguard to protect your dental restorations.
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 regular dental exams, not only does your dentist have the opportunity to perform an essential deep cleaning on your teeth, but they will also examine the condition of your veneers and treat any issues before they become severe.
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 veneers can be used to address a variety of aesthetic concerns, they are not appropriate for every dental health issue - or for every individual. In certain instances, other restorations, such as dental crowns, dental bonding, teeth whitening, or orthodontics, may be more effective than fillings.