Dental veneers are an excellent option for correcting a wide range of cosmetic issues. In fact, it’s their versatility that makes them such a popular treatment because they can improve a number of different aesthetic concerns in a single procedure. Patients with chipped, stained, or uneven teeth often consider veneers to improve the appearance of their smiles, but they wonder: how long do veneers last? There are a few different factors at play in answering this question.
Understanding Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are thin shells that are bonded to your teeth to mask cosmetic flaws. Some patients just need one or two veneers, while others may want a full set of veneers for all of the teeth that show when they smile for a complete smile makeover. You don’t need a full set of veneers to make a difference in your smile, though—even a single veneer on a chipped or darkened tooth can offer a dramatic transformation and improve a patient’s self-esteem.
Porcelain veneers, composite veneers, and instant veneers are the three most common types of veneers. Because they are the most durable and natural-looking, porcelain veneers are considered the gold standard. Just like your natural teeth, which have thin layers of enamel, porcelain veneers are made with thin layers of porcelain. This gives porcelain veneers their realistic luster.
Composite veneers are made with a resin material; this makes them less expensive than porcelain, but also less natural looking. These veneers are also prone to stains, particularly for patients who drink coffee, tea, and other staining beverages. Instant veneers are pre-made, which reduces the time and cost involved in getting veneers, but they don’t have the natural appearance of porcelain veneers either since they’re not custom-made for your unique facial features and proportions.
How Long Different Types of Veneers Last
While we can give you an approximate estimate of how long your veneers will last, keep in mind that these are just averages. Veneers can last a long time if cared for properly, but they may not last as long if you have poor dental hygiene practices or if you have an accident or injury.
- Porcelain veneers – Porcelain veneers have a 10-year average lifespan, but it’s not uncommon for them to last up to 20 years or more for patients with impeccable dental hygiene.
- Composite veneers – Composite veneers average a three-year lifespan. Because they're prone to stains and the resin isn't as durable as porcelain, they need to be replaced more frequently. Although cheaper to start, in the long-term, composite veneers will end up costing more because of this.
- Instant veneers – Instant veneers have a few different manufacturers, some of whom claim that their products last as long as porcelain veneers. In our experience, you can expect an average five-year lifespan with most instant veneers.
Making Your Veneers Last Longer
If you want your veneers to last a decade or longer, good dental hygiene is key. Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, and floss at least once a day. You’ll also need to visit our office every six months for a professional dental cleaning and exam.
If you participate in contact sports, wear a mouthguard to protect your veneers. Use a night guard to protect your veneers if you grind your teeth or clench your jaw at night. Don't bite down on hard objects like ice or nuts, and don't use your teeth to open packages or bite your nails. These are all simple tips to help you get the most out of your veneers.