A common way to address gaps in between teeth and other irregularities is to apply veneers. While they correct many irregularities, they don’t last forever.
What are veneers?
Veneers can alter a tooth’s shape, size and color so they can assist with stained, decayed, broken, chipped crooked or poorly aligned teeth.1 The material with which veneers are made varies, but most veneers are made of porcelain or resin.
A dentist may recommend porcelain constructed veneers depending on your needs. Porcelain veneers are custom fit, helping to target your specific needs.2 The benefits of porcelain veneers include:3
- Natural looking construction
- Stain resistant
- Long lasting
Because they’re custom fit to your mouth, porcelain veneers are more expensive.4 For this reason, some opt to go with the composite resin veneers instead.
Composite resin veneers
Composite resin veneers have long been a common way to correct gaps and other oral issues. Direct composite veneers are applied to the mouth directly after prep. Indirect composite veneers are created outside of the mouth with resin and then applied.5
Despite not lasting as long as porcelain veneers, composites do have their perks:6
- Less expensive than porcelain veneers
- Usually applied and fitted in a single dentist visit
- Easier to fix when damaged
How long do veneers last?
Although veneers don’t last forever, the process of placing veneers is often an irreversible process. That’s because a thin layer of tooth enamel is removed to fit the shell when it’s placed.7
The life of a set of veneers depends on the material. On average, porcelain veneers can last 25 years, with composite veneers lasting closer to seven to 10 years. Despite their longer lifespan, composite veneers can be touched up and easily fixed, whereas porcelain veneers are more likely to need replacing when damaged or compromised.8
How to care for veneers?
Some care for veneers depends on whether they are porcelain or composite. For the most part, the proper way to care for veneers is universal. The most crucial thing to remember is to avoid chewing tough things like ice, pencils or other hard objects.9 Because veneers are so thin and fragile, even chewing ice at the bottom of a soft drink can be enough to break their shell.
Keeping up with proper dental care habits at home can also help keep veneers in proper condition.10 Because veneers are tinted to match the whiteness of your untreated teeth, regular brushing ensures they stay properly aligned.
If you’re considering veneers to help with issues that have developed from poor oral care habits, veneers aren’t a saving grace. In fact, most dentists won’t agree to pursue veneers for your teeth if they are not healthy.
What to do about damaged veneers
Be careful with your veneers, if not for your teeth, then for your wallet. Most veneers are not covered by dental insurance. So, on top of the cost of dental insurance, you could have to pay up to $2,000 per tooth.11 If they are damaged, then you should schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible.
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Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice. It is not dental care advice and should not be substituted for regular consultation with your dentist. If you have any concerns about your dental health, please contact your dentist's office.