Porcelain veneers are thin shells that are attached to the front surfaces of teeth resulting in an immediate smile transformation.
Individually built for each patient, these cosmetic enhancements closely resemble the appearance of natural dental enamel.
Dentists use veneers for an impressive number of cosmetic corrections, ranging from teeth whitening to orthodontic adjustment.
Because of their lifelike appearance and broad range of functions, porcelain veneers rank among the most trusted and popular procedures in cosmetic dentistry.
But the veneers are not free, and they are not appropriate in all cases, which is why DentArana would like to introduce you what makes a good candidate for veneers and how to take care of them to assure maximum lifespan. The good news is that they are relatively inexpensive and if properly maintained will generally last between 10 and 20 years before needing replacement.
The first question to answer is what can veneers achieve, and for whom are they a good option.
Ceramic veneers can be a good choice for anyone whose teeth are relatively sound but unsightly due to:
- Slight discolorations
- Unattractive spacing
- Cracked enamel
- Excessive or insufficient length
- Crooked placement
- Unsightly stains
- Moderate decay
However, veneers are not for everyone. And if you are a poor candidate, it may be partly because veneers will not last a long time in your mouth. Poor candidates on the grounds of longevity include people who:
- Tend to grind their teeth. The tooth-grinding habit known as bruxism can exert as much as 500 pounds of pressure on dental work, and the fact that it happens during sleep makes it impossible to consciously control. Since veneers are as thin as a sheet of paper, the damage caused by bruxism could be extensive.
- Are afflicted with numerous severe dental caries. When cavities become sufficiently deep, they can extend entirely through the enamel and into the dentin. Teeth that have lost a great deal of enamel are poor candidates for veneers.
What does the research say on dental veneer longevity?
A study in 2013 concluded, “When bonded to enamel substrate, porcelain veneers have a very high 10-year survival rate that may approach 95%. Clinical heterogeneity is associated with differences in reported survival rates.”
Which, basically means, treat your veneers well and they can easily last longer than a decade!
Helping veneers last
There’s not a lot you can do to dramatically extend the lifespan of veneers because they aren’t meant to be a permanent, maintenance-free fix. Nonetheless, you can make sure that your veneers don’t have an unnaturally short lifespan by treating them well. After all, veneers can be a significant investment in your dental health and appearance – making them last lets you get you your money’s worth out of them.
Here are some ways to properly care for your veneers.
- Follow good oral hygiene practices. Cleaning your mouth is a must in order to avoid stains and keep your natural teeth healthy too. Brush at least twice a day using a toothpaste recommended by your dentist. Don’t forget to floss and make sure you see your dentist for semi-annual checkups and cleanings.
- Wear oral protection in contact situations. If you’re playing a contact sport be certain you have a mouth guard in place. Blows to the jaw and face can result in cracked or chipped veneers, so a custom-fitted mouth guard is a good investment.
- Don’t use your teeth as tools. Everyone has used their teeth as a replacement for scissors or to loosen a knot, but this one of the most dangerous habits when it comes to your teeth. And it’s even more dangerous for veneers, which are very thin. Using teeth as tools invites germs and is a guaranteed way to chip a veneer.
- Deal with bruxism. Do you grind or clench your teeth while sleeping? This is bruxism, and you should talk to your dentist about it, whether you’re getting veneers or not. Allowing bruxism to go untreated may not crack your veneers, but it will likely reduce their lifespan, and the solution could be as easy as a nighttime mouth guard.
- You can eat almost anything with veneers, but don’t be ridiculous. Anything that applies torque to your veneers may cause them to break. Porcelain is a glass, and it tends to shatter if bent.
So, there you go. Follow that advice and you and your veneers should share a long, happy, life.
DentArana is your partner in health
DentArana provides Family Dentistry in Arana Hills. Our goal is to make quality dental care affordable, and help you achieve maximum oral and overall health! DentArana can help you with all your dental needs, from clean and scales to bridges and dentures. We offer late and Saturday hours!
Cosmetic Dentistry, Smile Make-over and Orthodontics.