How long do veneers last

Dental veneers are a great way to quickly improve your appearance without having to go under the knife. More importantly, veneers have given so many people a much-needed boost of confidence, easily turning what was once a source of shame into a Hollywood-worthy asset. They have proven over and over again to be the most effective solution for those who have somewhat mild teeth imperfections, such as stains, chips, gaps, and cracks. 

Of course, as does everything, veneers also have an expiration date, no matter what they’re made of (even though the material does play a major role in determining their lifespan, but we’ll get to that later). The burning question is — how long do veneers last? Besides that, what can be done to protect them and therefore make them last longer? The remainder of this article will try to answer those questions. 

How Long Veneers Last And How to Prolong Their Lifespan

Similarly to crowns, an average set of dental veneers should last around 5 to 12 years. After that, you can expect them to start chipping away, break off, or simply lose their brightness. Unfortunately, even if you’re extra careful, there’s no way around this. Your best bet is to redo them when the time comes and secure yourself another 10 years. Still, this procedure is definitely not cheap. Thus, it is in your best interest to postpone it for as long as possible. 

How Veneers Work

The veneer installation procedure depends on the type of veneers you’re getting — traditional or non-prep. Traditional veneers typically take much longer, as the dentist needs to take an impression of your teeth and prepare the veneers. Then, weeks later, they remove a bit of the teeth enamel with the use of local anesthesia and attach the veneers. As their name suggests, non-prep teeth veneers require little preparation. They can be installed fairly quickly and there’s no damage to the enamel. 

Whichever type of dental veneers you opt for, the whole process from start to finish should take around a few days to a few weeks. That seems nothing compared to the 10 worry-free years that they give in return. Even though getting veneers is a bit of an investment, it does pay off in the end. 

Composite vs Porcelain Veneers

Probably the most important factor in determining how long veneers will last is the material they’re made from. There are two common types of teeth veneers — composite and porcelain.

Veneers made from composite resin are more affordable, but there are a few caveats to them. First of all, they deteriorate and get stained much quicker than porcelain ones. They usually last around 4 to 8 years. However, your dentist can easily repair them in case one of them chips or cracks. 

On the other hand, porcelain teeth veneers are more expensive, but they can last almost twice as long as composite veneers. Typically, their lifespan is around 10 to 12 years. Still, some people have reported that they lasted for as long as 20 years! They’re much more durable than composite veneers, as well as more stain-resistant. On the downside, if one tooth chips or cracks, it can’t be quickly fixed. The dentist will need to replace it entirely, which is again a costly procedure.

If you’d like to find out more about the differences between composite and porcelain dental veneers, check out this article from The Journal of Prosthodontics. 

Aside from the material used, there are many other factors that can affect the longevity of your veneers, such as the prior condition of your teeth. There are also a few things that you can do to protect them and prolong their lifespan. 

What You Can Do to Protect Your Veneers

First of all, regular oral hygiene is a must, not just for people with veneers, but for everybody. Make sure you brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss on a regular basis. Also, in case you notice the first signs of decay or any other dental issue, pay a visit to your dentist immediately. Following these recommendations will ensure that your teeth always stay healthy and beautiful. More importantly, it will delay the need for a veneer replacement for as long as possible. On the other hand, not doing so might cause your veneers to break off in just a few years, not to mention the potential health risks. 

Besides proper hygiene, you can also protect your dental veneers by staying away from biting hard foods and surfaces. For example, you might want to take it easy on foods like nuts, hard candies, apples, corn on a cob, or even ice. However, what you really need to avoid is using your teeth as tools to open bottles and stubborn packages. Just one wrong bite could crack your veneers. Furthermore, before doing any kind of sports activity, consider putting on a mouthguard, just in case. And finally, teeth grinding is yet another habit that you should kick if you want your veneers to last.

Lastly, just like any set of teeth, veneers can get stains and change color over time. In light of that, you might want to avoid foods and drinks that stain your teeth. Those include coffee, tea, red wine, soda, soy sauce, curry, etc. 

The Takeaway

To sum up, veneers can last anywhere from 4 to 15 years. However, this number will depend on the type of veneers, your oral hygiene, and your overall level of care for them. 

If you want your pearly whites to last you as long as possible, here’s a quick overview of what you can do. For starters, provided that you can afford them, it’s better to opt for porcelain veneers, as they’re much more durable. Furthermore, make sure you care for them by practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding any circumstances that might cause them to break.