Veneers are an excellent, cost-effective cosmetic dental treatment that can transform the appearance of your teeth. No matter if you suffer from tooth discoloration, chips, cracks, or if you’d like to alter the size or shape of your teeth, veneers are a long-term solution that look and feel natural.
However, patients often hear a lot of misinformation about veneers in Fairhope and become confused about what to expect from the procedure. Considerations like whether or not they are permanent are something that you should know about before making such a commitment to altering your teeth. Read on to learn more about how long veneers last, if they’re permanent, and what other options there are.
Why the Veneer Procedure Is Permanent
When we say veneers are permanent, you must understand what we mean by that. Once you have veneers placed on your teeth, they won’t last forever. However, you will always need them to cover your teeth once you go through with the procedure.
Porcelain veneers last on average for about 10-15 years, after which you’ll need to have them replaced. The reason veneers are considered a permanent procedure is because we need to file down .5 mm from your natural tooth enamel in preparation for bonding the veneers.
This allows your Fairhope cosmetic dentist to fit the veneers over your teeth without them sticking out. Since this alteration to your enamel is irreversible, meaning the enamel will never be restored, you will need to keep them covered for the rest of your life. This may mean replacing your veneers a few times in your life depending on your age and how you care for them.
Longevity of Veneers
When getting into the nitty-gritty of veneer lifespan, it depends on a few factors. Most importantly, the type of veneer material you choose. Porcelain veneers are more common than composite resin because they are more durable and last longer.
While porcelain will last for 10-15 years on average, many patients enjoy these veneers for up to 20 years. In contrast, composite resin veneers are much more prone to chipping and breaking, leaving you with an estimated lifespan of 4-8 years.
The next consideration is your lifestyle and oral hygiene. It should go without saying that even though you’re getting cosmetic shells bonded over your teeth, you’ll still need to practice good oral hygiene.
You’re still susceptible to developing tooth decay and gum disease if you don’t regularly brush and floss, which can jeopardize your veneers and your overall teeth. You’ll need to avoid wear and tear and staining.
Don’t smoke, consume staining foods and drinks, eat hard, crunchy, or chewy food, or use your teeth to bite objects or open packages. Veneers are not suitable for patients who grind their teeth.
Alternatives to Permanent Veneers
There is an ultra-thin version of porcelain veneers known as lumineers. What makes these veneers special is that they’re reversible and long-lasting. Lumineers can last for up to 20 years and because the material is so thin, they don’t require shaving down your enamel.
This means, should you choose to no longer want them, you can have them removed without any problem. Your natural teeth will be unaltered, so lumineers aren’t a permanent life-long commitment.
However, they’re not as effective at covering up severe discoloration and other dental imperfections, because these issues can show through the ultra-thin material. They are also not as durable as traditional veneers, which can increase your risk of damage or breakage.
Correct Your Smile in the Long Term With Veneers
Deciding to get veneers isn’t a decision you should take lightly. You should be fully committed to maintaining your veneers, having them routinely replaced as needed, and understanding that they are a permanent and irreversible procedure.
If you’re sure that veneers are the right option to cover up your dental imperfections, contact us at Living Oaks Dental today. We’ll schedule a consultation with Dr. Gene Brabston to assess your eligibility as a candidate for veneers.