Are Veneers Permanent?

Veneers are effective at covering up discoloration, cracks, and other imperfections in the teeth, but the permanent nature of the procedure warrants some serious consideration before committing. Read on in this blog from Clermont Family Dentistry to find out how long veneers last, what makes the procedure permanent, and if there is a reversible alternative.

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are shells made of porcelain or composite resin that cover the outside layer of your teeth, known as the enamel. Veneers are used to cover up imperfections in the teeth such as discoloration, cracks or chips, large gaps, and misaligned or irregularly shaped or sized teeth. 

Veneers are tooth-colored and stain resistant so they look very natural and are a great long-term alternative to teeth whitening. While veneers look very natural, they are a cosmetic treatment used to improve or enhance the appearance of your teeth. Your veneers will improve your smile in the way you want them to.

How Long Do Veneers Last?

Composite resin veneers last for an average of 4-8 years, but porcelain veneers can last for 7-15 years. Porcelain is a more popularly used material for veneers because it is stain-resistant and more durable than composite resin. 

You can extend the lifespan of your veneers by practicing good oral hygiene and protecting your veneers from damage and stains. Those who suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding) would not be considered a good candidate for veneers because of the increased risk of wearing down or breaking the veneers. 

At the very least, you should wear a nightguard when you sleep if you grind your teeth. Other forms of damage can occur from using your teeth as tools or chewing on hard foods or ice. Be gentle with your teeth and clean them with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Limit your consumption of staining foods and drinks, or drink through a straw. 

If your porcelain veneers become cracked, chipped, or damaged, they will need to be completely replaced. However, composite resin veneers can typically be repaired if they have minor chips or cracks. Getting regular dental cleanings can keep your veneers white and in good condition.

How Do Veneers Permanently Alter Your Enamel?

Veneers are thicker than your natural teeth, so to make them blend in and prevent the veneers from bulging out in your mouth, a proportional amount of enamel is removed from the teeth. Veneers are .5 mm thick, so to prepare your teeth for the veneers, we will file down your enamel by .5 mm. 

While the veneers will cover your enamel for as long as you have them, it is important to know that enamel does not grow back and this alteration to your enamel is permanent. 

Since veneers need to be replaced after a certain amount of years, you should be sure that you can commit to veneers in the long term. Aside from cosmetic concerns, thin enamel is more susceptible to damage, sensitivity, and cavities (when uncovered).

Is There an Alternative?

Yes, there is an alternative to veneers known as lumineers. These are like ultra-thin veneers because they have a thickness of .2 mm. Because lumineers are so thin, they usually don’t require any preparation of your enamel. Lumineers are reversible because they don’t require permanently altering your natural enamel. 

If you decide you no longer want lumineers, you can have them removed and your natural teeth will look the same. However, they may not be suitable for everyone. The thin material also means that they are less apt at covering noticeable cosmetic problems like severe discoloration.

Porcelain Veneers at Clermont Family Dentistry

Porcelain veneers are a durable cosmetic solution to damaged, discolored, chipped, or crooked teeth. Improve your smile today at Clermont Family Dentistry. Contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mundi Buechele and find out if porcelain veneers are right for you.

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