Dental veneers are one of the most popular and effective cosmetic options in existence for those who wish to enhance the look of their smile or improve their overall oral comfort. But what happens to them a little further down the line? Whether you’re looking into the possibility of having veneers applied for the first time or you’re the current owner of a set and wish to discover what may happen to them in the future, Harley St Smile is on hand to tell you all you need to know about their lifespan.
What are dental veneers?
The field of cosmetic dentistry offers a huge number of options that can help to improve the look and general health of your teeth, and veneers – whether porcelain or composite resin – constitute one of the most effective and popular. A dental veneer is a slim but durable sliver of material that covers the front surface of the tooth and can be delicately shaped and adjusted to match the look and colour of the rest of your smile. People opt for veneers to solve a number of problems, including tooth discolouration and teeth that have gaps, are misshapen, broken or uneven, or even create problems with their eating, speech or “bite” (how the teeth and jaws fit together).
How do I get veneers fitted?
If you feel that dental veneers are the correct option for you, the first step is to approach a trusted and experienced cosmetic dentist for a consultation. If they agree that you are a good candidate for the procedure, you can then book appointments to receive your veneers. The process usually consists of two short visits to your dentist. Your first appointment will involve the specialist taking a mould of your teeth to help create the shape of your desired veneers. Then your teeth will be prepared for the rest of the process. A very small amount of enamel will be removed from each to ensure that the veneers fit perfectly, and you may be sent away with a protective temporary set to wear until your next appointment. You should only have to wait between one and two weeks for your new veneers to be ready, and then you can attend your second appointment. When you visit the second time, your veneers will be carefully applied using dental cement, then given any necessary final reshaping and a finishing polish. Neither of these appointments should last for longer than an hour, and you should feel no pain throughout the entire process. If your teeth are particularly sensitive, or you suffer from dental phobia, you may require local anaesthetic or sedation.
How long will my new veneers last?
The average set of veneers should remain in good condition for a decade, though some sets have been known to last up to twenty years! To ensure excellent longevity for your own veneers, it’s important to maintain a good regime of dental hygiene, much as you should for your natural teeth. Veneers are sturdy and less likely to stain than real teeth, but it is still possible for them to discolour or erode, so it’s vital that you take good care of them to allow them to last for as long as possible.
Can I have my veneers repaired or replaced?
While your new veneers should cause you no trouble at all for the first ten years or so, it is always possible for accidents to happen. Similarly to natural teeth, veneers can chip as a result of an impact. If this happens to you, there is no need to be concerned. Most cosmetic dentists have lengthy experience of repairing porcelain or composite veneers, so all you need to do is arrange an appointment straight away. Similarly, should you feel that your veneers are coming towards the end of their life, you can contact your dental specialist to have them replaced straight away. Keeping regular appointments with your dentist after having your veneers applied can ensure that any rare early problems can be spotted should they occur, and signs of aging or decreased functionality will be picked up as and when they appear.