What are porcelain veneers?
Thin, custom-made shells of tooth-coloured porcelain, veneers cover the front surface of teeth. They are intended to improve the appearance of teeth by altering their colour, shape, size, or length to create a more uniform smile for the patient.
They can be used in combination with other cosmetic dental treatments, like teeth whitening or bonding, in a full-mouth dental makeover.
How long do porcelain veneers last?
Porcelain veneers usually last for about 15 years on average, but they can last much longer (20 years or more) in some cases, depending on some key factors.
The longevity of veneers is affected by how well cared for they are. Patients who maintain good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) at home and who visit the dentist on a regular basis for professional dental cleanings and checkups are more likely to keep their veneers for longer.
A portion of the veneers' durability will also depend on the patient's ability to address any oral health issues that place excessive pressure on the teeth and veneers. These problems include bite issues, clenching, grinding, and the habit of biting hard objects (like pen lids or fingernails).
Why do porcelain veneers need to be replaced?
Even though porcelain is extremely durable, it will experience wear and tear over time in the form of chipping, breaking, decay, and debonding. If the patient experiences gum recession, they may also need to be replaced, as this can cause the veneer to no longer fit properly.
Who is a good candidate for veneers?
If you are unhappy with the look of your smile, you may be wondering if dental veneers are the right choice for you.
They’re not the best solution for seriously damaged teeth. Crowns are probably a better option for those situations. But veneers may be a good option if your teeth are:
You should also ask your dentist whether veneers are covered by insurance. Depending on the circumstances, veneers may be considered a cosmetic procedure of choice. If so, insurance will not cover a portion of the expense.
Talk to your dentist about the best options for you, your budget, and the look you want to achieve. You may even want to ask if there’s a way to see a digital image of what your smile might look like with veneers.
How do I know if porcelain veneers are right for me?
Porcelain veneers are durable cosmetic dental restorations that can improve the appearance of your smile. However, they are not the right treatment for every person, or for every dental health problem. In some cases, other restorations like dental crowns, dental bonding, orthodontics or teeth whitening may be more effective treatment options.