Porcelain is an incredibly strong and functionally reliable treatment. Used for plates, bathroom fixtures, and other items that must be strong enough for frequent use but should also look and feel appealing.
For dental veneers, porcelain offers remarkable results. Translucent enough to accept shading, porcelain also reflects light in the same way as natural tooth enamel, enabling veneers to produce a strong and beautiful smile that, when cared for properly, may continue to show flawless results for decades.
Porcelain Veneers Do Not Last Forever
Porcelain is stain resistant, durable, and strong. It can be shaded to the exact color of the teeth it is treating as well as those adjacent, helping to ensure a flawless result. Once placed, dental veneers look, feel, and behave like natural tooth enamel. Porcelain veneers are not, however, designed to last forever.
Most dental veneers have a life expectancy of 10+ years. While it is possible for veneers to last longer, you should plan on having veneers replaced at least once during your lifetime. During your routine visits for cleaning and examinations, each veneer is checked for strength and integrity. When needed, they can be replaced one at a time to help ensure a consistently attractive smile.
Prep vs. No-Prep Veneers
If you choose a no-prep option like Lumineers®, the process is reversible. These types of veneers can be removed from the teeth without replacement or additional services. No-Prep veneers are not as thick as traditional dental veneers and will not be able to address all of the same issues, but for good candidates, these options are often attractive.
Traditional porcelain veneers require tooth preparation through enamel contouring before placement. This allows the veneers to fit perfectly into your smile. Once removed, enamel cannot grow back. The enamel removed for the placement of your veneers will require treated teeth to have veneers or dental bonding from that point forward.
Due to their thickness, these types of veneers can address even the most complex and pronounced cosmetic imperfections.
Making Dental Veneers Last
The most effective way to keep your porcelain veneers strong and attractive is through proper daily care. Veneers are scratch resistant, but not scratch-proof.
You should brush your teeth after every meal and snack. Aim for two minutes each time you brush and consider switching to an electric toothbrush that will more effectively remove debris and plaque from the teeth. Veneers should be brushed just like your natural teeth.
Flossing is important, but be careful not to pull on the string. Gently glide a clean section of floss in between both treated and untreated teeth to help prevent infections in the teeth and gums that can impact veneer longevity.
If you choose to rinse with a mouthwash, select one that does not have alcohol. Alcohol can eventually erode the bonding that holds veneers in place, allowing them to come loose or fall out.