Dental veneers are an excellent cosmetic solution for a wide range of aesthetic issues. Patients who have teeth that are chipped, stained, or misshapen are often interested in veneers to improve the appearance of their smiles, but before booking their procedure, they want to know how long veneers last and how they can maximize their lifespan. Here’s what you should know.
About Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are thin shells that are applied directly onto your teeth, masking imperfections to create a more beautiful smile. Some patients only need one or two veneers, while others opt for a complete set of veneers on all of the teeth that are visible when they smile. Even if you only need a single veneer, it can make a dramatic difference in your appearance.
The most common types of veneers are porcelain veneers, composite veneers, and instant veneers. Porcelain veneers are considered the gold standard, as they last the longest and look the most realistic. Real teeth are made with layers of enamel and these types of veneers are made with thin layers of porcelain, giving them a natural appearance. Composite veneers are made with resin and they are less expensive than porcelain veneers, but don’t last as long and aren’t quite as realistic. Both porcelain and composite veneers are created custom for each patient, but instant veneers are not; for this reason, we do not recommend them.
How Long Different Types of Veneers Last
As with any dental restoration, we can offer average lifespans to help you know what to expect, but your results may vary. Here’s how long each type of veneer usually lasts:
- Porcelain veneers – The average lifespan of porcelain veneers is 10 years, but it’s not uncommon for them to last up to 20 years with good care and maintenance.
- Composite veneers – Composite veneers last an average of 3 years. Their lifespan is shorter because, unlike porcelain veneers, they can stain over time, and the material they’re made from isn’t as durable and therefore, higher maintenance.
- Instant veneers – There are a number of different brands of instant veneers and some claim to last as long as porcelain veneers, with an average of 10 years or up to 20 years with proper care. We think an average of 5 years is more accurate for these types of no-prep veneers.
Making Your Veneers Last Longer
How can you get the most out of your veneers? Having healthy teeth to begin with helps, and good dental hygiene is even more important. You’ll need to brush for two minutes twice a day and floss well at least once a day. See your dentist every six months for professional dental cleanings.
If you’re active in sports, wear a mouthguard to protect your veneers. Similarly, if you clench your jaw or grind your teeth at night, you’ll need a night guard to protect your veneers from becoming damaged. Don’t bite down on hard foods like ice or nuts and don’t use your teeth to open packages or bite your nails.