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How Long Do Dental Veneers Last?
The placement of dental veneers is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in dentistry today, and it is not hard to see why. These wafer-thin shells not only improve the shape of teeth, but also the color. Veneers can enhance the smile in a variety of ways and can be completely customized to your exact specifications. Veneers can also add some structure to a chipped tooth.
Those who have damaged, misshapen, gapped, misaligned or discolored teeth can benefit from dental veneers. Veneers are most often used to cover imperfections such as chipped or deeply stained teeth. When these stains do not respond to whitening, veneers can help achieve a more appealing color.
What types of veneers are there?
Generally, there are two main types of veneers that are most commonly used. Both porcelain and composite resin veneers are permanently bonded to teeth. However, the process of placing them, along with the qualities of each material determines the longevity of the veneers.
These veneers are created in a lab and placed over teeth at a later date. Ceramic (also known as porcelain) is a durable, stain-resistant material that has long been used in dental restorative procedures. Porcelain is a glass-based material that mimics both the shine, hardness and translucency of natural teeth.
Porcelain is quite brittle on its own, but when bonded to a tooth, it becomes much stronger. On average, porcelain veneers are known to last about 15 years. Although, if properly cared for, they can last over 20 years.
Porcelain veneers last longer than composite resin veneers. The lifetime of veneers depends on a variety of factors. If the veneer is bonded directly to the dentin rather than enamel, the bond is weaker. Severely damaged teeth sometimes do not have sufficient enamel to support a veneer, and it must be attached directly to the dentin.
Composite resin veneers
Composite veneers are made from a plastic resin material. These are bonded directly to the prepared enamel and created chairside during an appointment. Resin veneers are not nearly as durable nor stain-resistant as porcelain veneers. These are the less expensive option, as they tend to only last up to ten years before needing to be repaired or replaced.
However, composite resin veneers are much easier to fix than porcelain veneers. If damaged, the dentist can fill in the chipped part or worn edge with more composite material, rather than having to replace the entire veneer.
How to make veneers last longer
To make sure veneers last as long as possible, brush them daily after every meal. Carefully floss between the veneers to make sure decay does not occur around the edges. Veneers can become discolored if they are not well cared for each day.
Just like natural teeth, veneers can still get damaged by biting down on hard objects. Avoid sinking teeth into an apple or using front teeth to bite crunchy foods to extend the life of dental veneers.
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