If you’ve been wanting a smile makeover, you’ve probably been considering veneers. Porcelain veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry procedure. Veneers get custom-fit and applied over your original teeth after they get shaved down in order to:
- Provide improved aesthetics
- Make it easier to eat and chew
- Restore teeth once enamel has deteriorated
While veneers are a popular, long-lasting solution for a new smile, they don’t last forever (contrary to popular belief). So, how long do veneers last? We’re breaking down the lifespan of veneers and more below!
How Long Do Veneers Last?
When people refer to “veneers,” they’re most commonly referring to porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers typically last between 10-15 years before needing replacement. You may also hear about composite veneers or “composite bonding.” Composite bonding lasts closer to 5-8 years, although some people get a good 10 years out of it with proper care.
To help your veneers last as long as possible, follow these tips:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush
- Floss at least once a day (ideally after every meal!)
- Avoid biting into hard food such as hard candies that could crack your veneers
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid eating staining foods and drinks, like red wine, coffee, or certain curries
- Wear a mouthguard if you grind your teeth at night (a condition called bruxism)
- Visit the dentist regularly for professional cleanings
- Don’t use your teeth to open bottles or packages
Why Do Veneers Need to Be Replaced?
There’s a common misconception that porcelain veneers are a permanent procedure. And while the shaving down of your original teeth is permanent, porcelain veneers don’t last forever.
Since veneers aren’t natural teeth, they don’t come with the built-in strength that natural teeth have. Veneers are susceptible to regular wear and tear over time. After 10 or more years, veneers may become damaged, and the edges may wear down. More extreme damage may include cracks or breaks in the veneers.
As veneers begin to wear down, you can experience some physical discomfort, and they may start to look less polished and aesthetically pleasing, which is why you’ll need to get them replaced.
Common signs that it’s time for a dental veneer replacement include:
- Your veneers are stained.
- The cement used to bond the veneers starts visibly darkening.
- Your veneers are pulling away from your gums, causing a gap.
- The edges of your veneers are worn down, cracked, or chipped.
What Are Porcelain Veneers Best For?
Porcelain veneers are most commonly used for cosmetic dentistry purposes when people want to change or improve the aesthetic of their smile. As long as you have healthy gums and good bone structure, you could be a good candidate for veneers. However, a good dentist will always walk you through all of your options so that you can make an informed decision.
Beyond cosmetics alone, veneers help address the following dental issues:
- Uneven smile
- Bite issues
- Tooth crowding
- Spacing issues
If you have very large gaps in your teeth, your dentist will likely advise you to pursue orthodontic work first to remove the gaps and help align your bite. You can decide if you still want veneers after getting braces. Additionally, you may not be the best candidate for veneers if you have a very small jaw. This is another case where orthodontics may be recommended first.
What’s the Difference Between Composite Bonding and Porcelain Veneers?
Although porcelain veneers are the most popular, there are different types of veneers and cosmetic dentistry procedures to choose from. The next most popular smile makeover method is composite veneers, or, more accurately, composite bonding.
The two biggest differences appear in how each method is installed. Porcelain veneers require your dentist to shave down your original teeth in order to attach individual tooth-shaped veneers on top. Composite bonding, on the other hand, is a composite resin material that gets added to your existing teeth to fix chips or close gaps. With bonding, your original teeth go untouched.
Porcelain veneers last longer (up to 10-15 years) and are recommended for larger smile transformations, while bonding lasts for 5-10 years and is best suited for smaller areas.
Composite bonding is typically a shorter procedure, while veneers likely require two office visits. In both procedures, your dentist will choose the appropriate tooth color for a natural appearance.
Both cosmetic procedures wear down over time, and regular brushing and flossing help them last longer.
If you’re not sure which cosmetic procedure is best for you, visit your dentist to get professional advice. If you only want to improve a few teeth and keep your original teeth untouched, then bonding could be the right choice. But if you want a more extensive smile makeover that lasts longer, porcelain veneers may be the better option.
Keep in mind that veneers are usually more expensive than cosmetic bonding, and insurance likely won’t cover either procedure if they’re for purely cosmetic reasons.
You Deserve to Love Your Smile
Whether or not you have veneers, oral hygiene is vital to make sure your teeth are healthy and last for a long time. If you’re interested in getting porcelain veneers or composite bonding in Minnesota, Wayzata Dental is the team to call!
We’ll walk you through all your options and make sure you end up with a result that helps you absolutely love your smile. Ready to learn more? Give us a call!