How Long Do Veneers Last and What to Do If One Breaks at Home?

Dental veneers are tooth-colored shells that cover the front surface of your teeth to conceal cosmetic imperfections and restore a beautiful smile to your face. Dental veneers are a permanent procedure, designed to give you a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. With that said, even with the best care in the world, a set of veneers isn’t designed to last forever, and will eventually need replacing.

In this article, we’ll look at the average lifespan of dental veneers and what to do in the unlikely event that they get damaged or break at home.

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    How Long Do Veneers Last?

    Porcelain veneers

    Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin laminates made from porcelain that are attached to the front of your teeth. They have an excellent durability, and well-maintained can quite easily last between 10 to 15 years, possibly even longer.

    This durability is one of the biggest advantages of porcelain veneers, Porcelain veneers are also extremely resistant to stains and less likely to break and chip than composite veneers. This makes porcelain veneers an extremely popular option, although they are more expensive than composite veneers.

    Composite veneers

    Made from a synthetic mixture of resin (plastic) and glass, composite veneers are applied to the tooth one layer at a time. One of the biggest advantages of composite veneers is their affordability. On the other hand, composite veneers tend to be less durable and more prone to chipping than porcelain veneers. However, unlike porcelain veneers, if your composite veneers chip, you can usually get them fixed.

    The average lifespan of composite veneers is anywhere from 4 to 8 years.

    For more information on how to look after your veneers, see this article >> 7 Tips for Looking After Your Veneers 

    Before After
    Before After

    How Do I Know When to Replace My Veneers?

    Your veneers look dark and stained

    The first hint that your veneers may have seen better days is their dull color. Dentists attach veneers to your teeth using dental cement. This bonding material makes them stay in place for years; however, with time the cement usually gets darker. As a result, the darkened cement will start to show through your veneers. The use of abrasive oral hygiene products, such as a hard-bristled toothbrush, for extended periods of time can make tiny scratches appear on the veneers. These can harbor food particles and plaque on the small crevices. They can also cause the veneers to lose their color.

    Your veneers are damaged

    Although dental veneers can last a long time, they’re not indestructible. Chewing hard foods or grinding your teeth can cause veneers to chip or crack. Your veneers may also feel rough around the edges. In this case, contact your dentist to see if your veneers need repair or replacing.

    You see a gap between the gums and veneers

    Lack of proper dental hygiene and gum disease can result in “receeding gums”, which can cause a space to develop between your veneers and your gums. Although veneers are unlikely to make this worse, you should get this look into by your dentist. Remember that you’re still susceptible to gum disease even when you have veneers, so practicing good oral hygiene is important.

    You feel uncomfortable wearing your veneers

    Sometimes when veneers aren’t correctly fitted for your teeth, they might overhang and interrupt your natural bite. It is normal for veneers to feel a bit sensitive at first, but they should feel comfortable to wear after the first week or two. If this is not the case, visit your dentist as soon as possible to fix any possible issues.

    You have decayed teeth

    Under normal circumstances, your teeth should not develop cavities behind your veneers. However, in some cases tooth decay can still occur even when you have veneers. For example, if you don’t floss regularly, bacteria can build up between the gaps in your teeth, ultimately causing cavities to develop. Patients with poorly fitted veneers may also be susceptible to cavities behind their veneers. Having regular dental check-ups is the key to ensuring good oral health and extending the lifespan of your veneers.
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    What if My Veneers Get Damaged or Fall Off?

    Although dental veneers can last a very long time, they can sometimes fall off due to a number of reasons. The adhesive bonding used to attach veneers to your natural teeth can get weaker over the years, causing veneers to come loose and even fall off. Tooth decay, teeth grinding, or lack of proper dental hygiene are other reasons why veneers can get damaged.

    If you experience one or several of your veneers falling off, follow the steps below:

    • Step 1 – If a veneer falls off or breaks, do not try to put it back on yourself. Instead, collect the detached veneer (or pieces) and place it in a clean container. If the veneer is in one solid piece, your dentist may be able to put it back in place.
    • Step 2 – Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can.
    • Step 3 – While waiting for your dentist appointment, be careful when eating hot or cold foods, as your exposed tooth may be extra sensitive.
    • Step 4 – You can use a thin layer of dental wax on the surface of your tooth if necessary until you see your dentist. This may help ease tooth sensitivity.
    • Step 5 – If the veneer is in good condition, your dentist may be able to clean and reattach it. However, any veneer that can’t be reattached must be replaced.

    In a Nutshell

    Although veneers are highly durable and made to last a long time, they do not last forever. Taking good care of them and having a good oral hygiene routine are key to extending the lifespan of your veneers. To get the gorgeous smile you’ve always dreamed of, speak to Dr. Lily at Bangkok Dental Spa. She is a highly rated porcelain veneers expert in Bangkok, with over 30 years of experience in cosmetic dentistry. She is committed to working closely with her patients and going the extra mile to give them the one-to-one attention they deserve. Dr. Lily and her team will create a custom treatment plan for you to get the smile you’ve always wanted.