Dental veneers are a fantastic cosmetic treatment for a variety of common dental concerns. Patients with chipped, stained, or uneven teeth often consider veneers to improve the appearance of their smiles, but before they move forward with the procedure, they want to know how long veneers last and how they can make their investment last. Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are thin shells that are affixed to your teeth to hide minor aesthetic imperfections and give you a more attractive smile. Some patients only require one or two veneers, while others choose to have a full set of veneers placed on all of the teeth that show when they smile. Even if you only need a single veneer, it can make a dramatic difference in your overall appearance!
There are three popular types of veneers: porcelain veneers, composite veneers, and instant veneers. Porcelain veneers are considered the gold standard because they are the most durable and natural looking. These types of veneers are made with thin layers of porcelain to give them a realistic appearance, similar to how teeth have layers of dentin and enamel.
Composite veneers are made of a resin material and cost less than porcelain veneers, but they do not last as long and don’t have the same natural appearance as porcelain. Instant veneers come in pre-made sizes, which reduces the time and cost involved in getting veneers, but they do not last as long as other types of veneers, nor do they look as realistic since they are not custom-made.
How Long Different Types of Veneers Last
While we can provide you with a rough estimate of what to expect for how long your veneers will last, these are simply average lifespans. With exceptional care, veneers can last longer, but it’s also possible that they might not last as long, either due to poor oral hygiene habits or because of an accident or injury.
- Porcelain veneers – Porcelain veneers have an average lifespan of 10 years, but with proper care and maintenance, they can last up to 20 years.
- Composite veneers – The typical lifespan of composite veneers is about three years. They don’t last as long as porcelain veneers because they’re prone to discoloration and the resin material isn’t as durable as porcelain, requiring more frequent replacement.
- Instant veneers – There are a number of types of instant veneers; some claim to last as long as porcelain veneers, with an average lifespan of 10 years and up to 20 years with good care. For no-prep veneers, you can expect about a five year lifespan.
Making Your Veneers Last Longer
Good dental hygiene is important if you want to ensure that your veneers last a decade or more. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss at least once a day. Go to your dentist every six months for professional dental cleanings and evaluations to ensure that your veneers are in good shape.
Wear a mouthguard to protect your veneers if you participate in contact sports. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw at night, you'll need a night guard to protect your veneers from damage. Don't bite down on hard things like ice or nuts, and don't open packages or bite your nails with your teeth. By following these tips, you can prevent unexpected damage to your veneers.