You no longer have to be a Hollywood celebrity to have bright, nearly flawless teeth. Thanks to advancements in dental technology, veneers have become popular aesthetic options for people from all walks of life. Veneers are thin, custom-made shells bonded to the front surface of your teeth to improve their colour, shape, or size.
The longevity of veneers depends on various factors. Depending on their material, a well-cared-for set of veneers could last up to 10 years. Fortunately, your dentist has the education to help you maintain your new smile.
What Are Veneers?
Essentially, veneers are thin shells designed to cover the front surface of a tooth. They’re typically made of porcelain or resin composite materials, which are both strong, durable, and capable of mimicking the natural look of teeth. Veneers can be used to address a variety of dental issues, including:
- Crooked teeth
- Gaps between teeth
Benefits of Veneers
One of the most significant benefits of dental veneers is that they offer a long-lasting, relatively low-maintenance solution for dental imperfections. They require no special cleaning or maintenance beyond regular brushing and flossing, though you’ll need to treat them with care.
Plus, your dentist will scan your teeth and create models for a custom fit. With this advanced scanning technology, we can fit each patient’s unique tooth shape and colour to provide a natural, seamless look that blends in with the rest of your teeth.
Making Your Veneers Last
The primary factor in how long veneers last is the material used. Porcelain veneers are more expensive but stronger, less likely to stain, and can last an average of 10 years or longer. Some patients have even reported porcelain veneers lasting as long as 20 years. Composite veneers, on the other hand, are less expensive but can last between 5–7 years.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
The best way to prolong the lifespan of your veneers is to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, and floss at least once daily.
Keeping your teeth clean reduces the risk of plaque buildup, which can eventually lead to decay or gum disease. Unfortunately, if you do develop gum disease, it could cause the veneer to loosen or fall off.
Avoid Chewing Hard Things
Dental veneers are designed to be durable, but they’re not indestructible. Avoid chewing hard foods like popcorn kernels, hard candy, or nuts. Biting into these hard objects could damage or even break the porcelain. Instead, opt for softer foods.
If you’re a nervous chewer, gnawing on pencils or biting ice may also increase the risk of cracks or chips in your veneers.
Protect Your Teeth from Grinding
Grinding your teeth at night can cause significant damage to your veneers. This habit is called sleep bruxism, and it can be hard to know if it’s affecting you. While it’s more common in children, 3–8% of adults are believed to have sleep bruxism. Eventually, this grinding or clenching may cause chips, fractures, or even detach the veneers.
Fortunately, your dentist can look for signs of grinding. If we suspect you may damage your veneers during the night, you could get a custom-fitted mouthguard. This protective device helps prevent damage to your teeth and veneers while you sleep.
Get Regular Checkups
Besides oral hygiene, regular dental checkups and maintenance contribute to the longevity of veneers. During these appointments, your dentist can inspect the veneers’ condition and their bond with the teeth. Possible signs of damage or wear and tear can be addressed before they become a more significant problem.
What Is the Dental Veneer Process?
The veneer process typically involves 2–3 visits to the dentist. During the first visit, your dentist will evaluate your teeth and discuss your desired results with you. After this assessment, we will scan your teeth.
We’ll then prepare the tooth surface by removing a small portion of the enamel and shaping it for the permanent veneer. In some cases, your measurements will be sent to a dental lab, where the veneers will be custom-made. This can take a few weeks, so in the meantime, you can wear temporary veneers to protect the prepared teeth.
However, with CEREC technology, it’s possible to measure and make veneers in a single appointment. The computer software can scan a full-colour model of your teeth without needing to undergo dental impressions. The 3D miller will then carve your personalized veneers from a ceramic block that matches your teeth colour.
A dentist can even use a combination of these processes, sending measurements to a lab and using the 3D printer to make well-fitting temporary veneers. In this case, once the permanent veneers are ready, you can return for the second visit, during which your dentist will apply them to your teeth using a special adhesive.
We may need to make minor adjustments to ensure a proper fit and bite, but once the veneers are in place, they should look and feel just like natural teeth. We can show you how to care for them, but you may need to come in for a follow-up visit to check on how the veneers are functioning.
Bringing Out Your Smile
Veneers are a fantastic option for those seeking to improve the appearance of their smile. With proper care and maintenance, your veneers could last 5–10 years and, in some cases, even longer.
At Hometown Dental, we’re committed to providing you with quality dental care. Our experienced team uses innovative technology to make custom veneers that match your natural smile.If you’re considering dental veneers or have any questions about the procedure, don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your options. We’d love to work with you to create a beautiful, lasting smile you can be proud of!