Crafted from a beautiful porcelain material, veneers are an excellent way to restore beauty to imperfect teeth. Porcelain veneers can be used to improve the appearance of a single tooth, several teeth or all of the teeth that show when smiling.
Although porcelain is strong and durable, veneers don’t last forever. While they don’t have an expiration date, per se, they aren’t meant to be a permanent solution. Certain factors can affect how quickly veneers wear down and need to be replaced.
Below, Dr. Robert Milner, a cosmetic dentist serving Mission Viejo and beyond, explains how long porcelain veneers typically last, and what you can do to extend the lifespan of your veneers.
The Average Lifespan of Porcelain Veneers
On average, veneers that fit well and are properly cared for last an average of 10 years. Veneers are designed to withstand the normal forces of biting and chewing without cracking or chipping. They can be brushed and flossed normally and don’t require special upkeep outside of how you would care for a natural tooth.
For all of their benefits, veneers are not indestructible. They can wear down from chronic tooth grinding or clenching, or break from chewing on a hard item like shells, ice or pen caps. They can also become damaged if the underlying tooth structure develops decay.
Extending the Life of Your Veneers
When making the investment in cosmetic dentistry, it’s understandable that you want to enjoy your results as long as possible. To keep your veneers looking great and feeling strong, you should do the following:
- Protect your teeth from injury. If you play contact or collision sports, wear oral protection. A custom-fitted mouth guard can protect your veneers (and natural teeth) from a sudden blow to the mouth.
- Address tooth grinding/clenching. If you know that you grind or clench your teeth at night, wear a custom-fitted mouth guard while you sleep.
- Practice good oral hygiene habits. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day to prevent cavities. See your dentist at least every six months for a professional cleaning and check-up.
- Don’t subject your teeth to excessive force. Refrain from biting, chewing or gnawing on hard items like pen caps, pencils, ice, shells or bones. Try to avoid biting your nails or using your teeth as you would a pair of scissors.
For more information about preserving the beauty and integrity of porcelain veneers, feel free to reach out to Dr. Milner. Contact our Mission Viejo dental practice today.