Cosmetic Dentistry 101 – How Long Do Veneers Last?
Almost every patient that comes to see me about getting a beautiful smile sooner or later asks “How long do porcelain veneers last?” This is a very valid question everyone should ask, but let me answer it here for everyone as a reference.
Porcelain veneers, or porcelain laminates, are very thin but become bonded to the outside surface of your tooth, permanently. If the veneer is bonded to the enamel, the strong outside layer of your tooth, then we achieve a bond that is so strong that the porcelain would fracture before the bond would break.
Then some patients always say: “My friend has veneers and some of them just popped off”. Well, if that happens then the veneers were not bonded on correctly. I can honestly say I have only seen this happen once about 10 years ago on a patient in California that I worked on, and the reason the veneer popped off was because there was a manufacturers error in one of the bonding solutions. We corrected it and it never happened again. So if veneers are coming off then there is a problem with the bond, usually.
To really give a better answer to “How long do veneers last?” I usually describe how veneers fail.
Veneers today are made out of incredibly strong porcelain. This porcelain is bonded to the tooth structure, as we discussed, permanently. So, the only way to “break” the veneer would be via an accident like a fall, or biting on a fork. Anything that would break your natural teeth will break the veneer. Secondly, veneers need to function properly. If you grind or clench your teeth then you need to wear a nightguard. People wear teeth down to nothing by grinding all night long. Also, teeth can break from grinding. Porcelain veneers have the same limitations as real teeth.
As we age our gum tissue recedes a little. This will expose the edge of the veneer. This is normal aging and would happen with normal teeth as well. If the veneer was blended in color wise at the gumline then it will look very natural. But, if you have super white veneers then the darker root surface will show up and it will stand out a little more.
Lastly, you still need to brush and floss or decay will creep around the veneers just like regular teeth.
That is it. So veneers, if done correctly and maintained correctly can last decades. I am personally getting ready to do my veneers, so you all can watch me go through the process as well!
I hope this helps.