Porcelain veneers are an increasingly popular way to enhance your smile, from disguising a single chipped tooth to completely transforming the appearance of all your front teeth. If you are considering veneers, you may be wondering about how you take care of them and the typical lifespan of veneers. Dr. Mark A. Cruz, dentist in Dana Point, CA explains what to expect with porcelain veneers and what you need to know about preserving their lifespan.
Porcelain veneers are very thin pieces of porcelain that are custom-designed, shaped, and shaded to provide a natural-looking, beautiful smile. They are considered a conservative approach and low-maintenance option for changing the appearance of your smile, and only require a minor amount of enamel to be removed from the surface of the treated teeth prior to being placed. Veneers look, function, and feel like natural teeth so no one will even know you have them.
Veneers have many benefits for patients who are seeking to transform their smiles and are very versatile. Veneers can disguise the following types of issues, among others:
Depending on what has led you to consider veneers, there may be more suitable options such as orthodontic treatment for more severe misalignment or spacing issues with your teeth. Dr. Cruz is highly skilled at evaluating patients’ teeth to determine the best treatment plan for their individual needs. In some cases, issues such as tooth decay will need to be addressed before proceeding with porcelain veneers or other cosmetic treatments.
The lifespan of porcelain veneers varies, depending on several factors described below, but in general, you can expect your veneers will last from 10 to 15 years if you take good care of them. When a veneer has become damaged or worn out, then Dr. Cruz may be able to repair it, or he may need to completely replace it for the best results.
Your daily lifestyle and habits are what will affect the lifespan of your veneers more than anything. Even though a veneer is not a natural tooth material, it is still essential to brush the veneer-treated teeth twice per day, floss daily, and see the dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups. This is because issues such as gum disease and decay in the underlying tooth can still develop, and if they do, you may need to remove the veneer to treat the problem.
In addition to maintaining good oral hygiene, it is important to remember that while veneers are sturdy and bonded with professional-grade materials to your teeth, they can still break. For this reason, you should avoid chewing on hard foods such as ice or inedible items like pencils, pens, or your nails. It is also important to avoid using your teeth as tools, like using them to untie a knot or tear a tag off a new article of clothing.
Similarly, if you play any sports or engage in activities that can result in traumatic injury to your mouth, it is essential that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth. Otherwise, a blow to the mouth can lead to chips or cracks in your veneers. Regularly grinding and clenching your teeth can have a similar effect on your veneers and cause early veneer wear or breakage, in addition to damaging your natural teeth, so if you have symptoms that you grind your teeth at night, we encourage you to talk to Dr. Cruz about a customized nightguard to protect your teeth.
While porcelain is a stain-resistant material, regularly consuming foods and beverages such as tea, coffee, and red wine that will stain your regular teeth can also lead to discoloration on the veneers over time. Using tobacco products can also stain your veneers. Veneers cannot be whitened with normal tooth whitening procedures, so if your veneers become discolored, they will need to be replaced to achieve that pearly white smile again.
Call the dental practice of Mark A. Cruz, DDS to learn more about your options to get the smile you have always wanted! In addition to porcelain veneers, Dr. Cruz offers a variety of cosmetic dentistry options, ranging from tooth whitening, composite resin bonding, tooth-colored fillings, to full smile makeovers. Call our Dana Point, CA office today to schedule your smile transformation consultation at (949) 661-1006!