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Are Veneers Permanent?

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A young man looks at different shades of veneers in a small hand mirror at the dentist's office

Are Veneers Permanent?

Veneers are a popular cosmetic dental treatment option that can transform the appearance of your teeth in just a few visits to the dentist. Many people are drawn to veneers because they can quickly solve various dental problems, such as discolouration, chips, and misalignment.

Veneers are permanent, though the lifespan of individual veneers can be up to 10 years, depending on their material and your level of dental hygiene care. Your dentist can explain the benefits and limitations of veneers so you can feel confident in your choice.

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells placed on top of existing teeth to improve their appearance. They are typically made from either composite resin or porcelain.

They can be used to change the colour, shape, size, or length of teeth, addressing a range of concerns, including:

  • Chips
  • Cracks
  • Gaps
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Discolouration

Veneers are tailor-made to fit each patient and bonded to the tooth’s front surface.

A dentist showing a female patient her new veneers

How Are Veneers Applied?

Getting veneers typically takes multiple appointments, but the process begins with a consultation. During the consultation, your dentist examines your teeth to determine if you are a suitable candidate for veneers. Your dentist may not recommend veneers if:

  • You have tooth decay or gum disease
  • Too much of the tooth is missing, necessitating a crown
  • There is not enough enamel to attach the veneer
  • You grind or clench your teeth

This consultation is also an opportunity for you to tell your dentist what you want to achieve with veneers.

After the consultation, your dentist can prepare your tooth by removing a thin layer of enamel to create room for the veneers. Once the enamel is removed, your dentist takes an impression of your teeth to create the personalized veneers that will be attached to your teeth. In some cases, they may place fragile temporary veneers as you wait for the permanent veneers to arrive.

Once your permanent veneers have arrived, the bonding process is usually quick and simple, taking a couple of hours to complete. After the bonding, your dentist may ask you to bite down gently to check if your teeth are correctly aligned. Once you are satisfied with the outcome, your dentist polishes your veneers, and you are all set.

The Benefits of Veneers

Veneers are a practical solution to improve the appearance of teeth that are cracked, chipped or damaged. Porcelain veneers are also stain-resistant, meaning they can keep their white, shiny appearance for a long time.

Additionally, veneers are less invasive than other procedures, such as crowns, making them a preferred option for many people.

How Long Do Veneers Last?

Veneers are a relatively permanent treatment option, meaning they cannot be removed once placed. However, they are not expected to last forever. The lifespan of your veneers depends on various factors, including the materials used, your oral hygiene habits, and how well you care for your teeth.

Veneers are sturdy and can withstand normal biting and chewing, but they can still be damaged by hard objects or excessive force. If you have a habit of grinding your teeth or biting your nails, for example, your veneers may not last as long as they would for someone who avoids these habits.

Porcelain veneers are generally considered more durable than resin composite veneers, with an average lifespan of 10 years, though 1 study found veneers that lasted as long as 20 years

Composite veneers, on the other hand, tend to be less expensive but also less durable, with a lifespan of 5–7 years on average.

Caring for Your Veneers

Once your veneers are attached to your teeth, you must properly care for them to help them last for a long time. Simply give veneers the same level of care as your natural teeth, plus a bit extra.

  • Brush twice daily with a soft-bristled brush and floss to prevent plaque buildup and decay
  • Avoid chewing on ice, pens, fingernails, or other hard objects
  • Chew using the back molars rather than your front teeth
  • Cut up hard foods to make them easier to chew
  • Consider a mouthguard if you play sports or grind your teeth at night
  • Do not use your teeth to open packages
  • Make regular visits to your dentist for check-ups and cleanings

Invest in a Future of Bright Smiles

Veneers can be an amazing solution to aesthetic issues affecting the look of your teeth. While veneers are designed to last many years, they are not expected to last forever and require proper care and maintenance to stay in good condition.

The team at Dentistry on Danforth can help you care for your veneers to keep them vibrant. With the right approach, veneers can be a long-lasting and effective investment in improving your smile’s appearance.Request a consultation today and explore the exciting world of veneers.

Written by Dr. Kostas Papadopoulos

Dr. Kostas Papadopoulos received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Toronto in 1992 after completing 3 years of biochemistry and the 4-year program in dentistry. He enjoys continuing education and has attended numerous rehabilitative and cosmetic dentistry programs, including courses taught by Dr. John Kois.

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