What are porcelain veneers?
Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored porcelain that cover the front surface of teeth. They are designed to improve the appearance of teeth by changing their color, shape, size, or length to give the patient an overall more uniform smile.
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.
Some of the longevity will also depend on the correction of any oral health issues the patient may have that can put excessive pressure on the teeth and veneers. These issues include bite problems, as well as clenching, grinding, and a habit of biting hard objects (like pen lids or fingernails).
Why do porcelain veneers need to be replaced?
Although porcelain is very durable, with time they will begin to experience wear and tear in the form of chipping, breakage, decay, or debonding. They may also need to be replaced if the patient experiences gum recession, as this can cause the veneer not to fit properly anymore.
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’ll also want to find out from your dentist if veneers are covered by insurance. Depending on the situation, veneers may be considered an elective cosmetic treatment. If that’s the case, insurance won’t cover a portion of the cost.
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.