Dental veneers can address a number of aesthetic issues with your smile, but are they a permanent solution? Here, our Slave Lake dentists review the purpose of these restorations as well as any factors that may affect their longevity.
What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are thin, custom-made slivers of tooth-coloured porcelain that your dentist bonds to the front of your teeth. They are bonded to your teeth with composite resin cement, creating a surface that looks and feels much like natural teeth do.
Veneers can help change the perceived positions, colour and shape 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, id 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).
After you have had your veneers placed, it will be more important than ever that you maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine. This is because the amount of time your veneers last in your smile is dependant on how well you care for them. Patients who are able to maintain good oral hygiene at home and who regularly visit their dentist are more likely to have their veneers last much 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?
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 that you can do to make your veneers last as long as possible. As mentioned, continuing good oral hygiene at home is the best way to help ensure that your veneers stay in great condition. This may 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 attending your regular dental exams, you not only give your dentist the chance to give your teeth a deep clean, but they will also be able to take the time to check the condition of your veneers and treat any problems early on before they have had 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?
While dental veneers can be used to address several different aesthetic concerns, they aren't the right treatment for all dental health issues. In some instances, there are other restorations which will be better suited to your smile, including teeth whitening, orthodontics, crowns, bridges, or bonding.