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How Long Do Veneers Last? Porcelain vs. Composite

Learn about the differences in lifespan between porcelain and composite veneers and how to make your veneers last as long as possible.

Last updated on

July 31, 2023

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How Long Do Veneers Last? Porcelain vs. Composite

Veneers are a great option for transforming your smile. However, they require an investment in both time and money. Understandably, you’d want to preserve them for as long as possible. 

In this guide from Flossy, we’ll go over which factors determine how long your veneers last and what you can do to get them to last longer. Read on for your most beautiful smile yet. 

What Are Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin shells made out of tooth-colored material, such as porcelain or resin. They are custom-made to fit over your teeth. Veneers cover the entire surface of the teeth and can change your natural teeth' natural color, shape, or size. 

Veneers made out of porcelain may be preferred to veneers made from resin. In the first place, porcelain has the same light-reflecting properties as natural teeth, which could give you a more natural appearance. In addition, they resist stains better than resin veneers, making them last longer. 

You can place veneers on all your front teeth to enhance the overall appearance of your smile. Or you can place a veneer on just one tooth with cosmetic damage. Some people may choose to place veneers on the molars (which are not visible) to enhance their function.

Getting veneers usually requires three trips to the dentist:

  1. In the first session, you’ll talk about your aesthetic goals, and your dentist will determine if you’re a good candidate for veneers. 
  2. You’ll have the veneers made to custom fit your teeth in the second session. 
  3. In the third and final session, you’ll have your natural teeth filed down slightly and have the veneers bonded to them. 

Who Should Get Veneers?

If you experience any cosmetic or functional defects in your teeth — such as discoloration, chipping, cracking, or misalignment — then veneers can be used to repair them. They can also be an option if you have teeth with gaps between them.

That said, you don’t necessarily need to have dental problems to get veneers. If you want to enhance the appearance of your smile in any way, then veneers can be the right choice for you. 

How Long Do Veneers Last?

Porcelain veneers can last ten years or longer. If they are cared for properly, they can last as long as 20 years. Not surprisingly, porcelain is the most commonly used material for dental veneers. 

Veneers made from a resin-based composite last slightly less than porcelain veneers. Depending on how well they’re cared for, veneers can last five years. However, resin veneers are less expensive than porcelain, making them less cost-prohibitive to replace.

The veneers listed above usually require prep work on your teeth before they’re applied. Your dentist will generally file down the enamel on your teeth and shape them so the veneers can fit over them. 

Non-prep veneers can be an alternative. They don’t require intensive prep work before installing, which means that the procedure takes less time. These veneers can last anywhere from five to seven years. 

5 Tips to Get Veneers To Last Longer 

  1. Avoid physical damage
  2. Don’t grind your teeth
  3. Pay attention to your oral health
  4. Avoid staining ingredients
  5. See your dentist regularly

How well you take care of your teeth determines the life of your veneers. Here are five tips to make them last as long as possible: 

1. Avoid Physical Damage

Just like your natural teeth, veneers can go through wear-and-tear that can make them last less. To avoid this, make sure that you avoid physical damage to your veneers.

In the first place, try to avoid any kind of trauma, such as through contact sports. Make sure to wear a mouthguard for protection if engaging in such activities.

Last, treat your veneers as you would your natural teeth. This means not opening packages with your teeth, not brushing them too vigorously, and avoiding eating hard foods with your front teeth.

2. Don’t Grind Your Teeth

Over time, you can chip away your veneers if you have a teeth-grinding habit. Wearing a mouthguard at night can help you prevent teeth from grinding when you sleep. It might also help to try relaxation exercises, especially those involving the jaw. Speak to your dentists about solutions to teeth grinding. 

3. Pay Attention to Your Oral Health

Tooth decay can affect you even if you have veneers. While the veneer itself will not decay, the underlying tooth certainly can. This can threaten the life of your veneers.

To prevent tooth decay from happening, brush and floss your teeth twice per day. Flossing is especially important as decay can develop in the margin between the veneer and your tooth’s enamel. If decay develops in this area, the veneer will likely need to be replaced. 

Thankfully, with a proper oral hygiene routine, you can go a long way in preventing tooth decay and extending the life of your veneers for as long as possible. 

4. Avoid Staining Ingredients

Just as with your regular teeth, some ingredients can stain your veneers. Although you can whiten your natural teeth, this isn’t an option for veneers. Instead, stained veneers would need to be replaced. 

Foods that are bright in color have a higher propensity to stain. Fruit such as berries can stain your teeth. Spices such as turmeric are another culprit. And while it’s everyone’s favorite morning drink, coffee has been shown to darken teeth

While cigarettes can’t exactly cause discoloration of the veneers, they can stain the composite that attaches them to the natural teeth. As a result, you may have dark edges around the veneers. 

Of course, there are many reasons why smoking is bad for your teeth, which go far beyond cosmetic reasons. 

5. See Your Dentist Regularly 

You should see your dentist every six months for a dental check-up. Besides checking your teeth and gums for signs of decay, your dentist can observe any changes to your veneers and recommend preserving them as long as possible.

What To Do Next

If you experience teeth discoloration, chipping, or misalignment, then dental veneers can be a great solution for improving your smile. Veneers can be placed on all your front teeth or just one tooth that you would like to fix.

Depending on the material they’re made from, veneers can last five to 20 years. It’s important to:

  • Follow a proper oral hygiene routine
  • Avoid physical trauma and staining
  • See your dentist every six months to increase the life of your veneers

Unfortunately, veneers tend to be considered cosmetic and are generally not covered by insurance. Luckily Flossy can help with that by helping you save up to 50% on procedures, veneers included. Use it instead of insurance or as a supplement to your current policy.

Schedule your consultation today.

Our Sources:

The Success of Dental Veneers According To Preparation Design and Material Type | PMC

The effect of different drinks on tooth color after home bleaching | PMC

Smoking, Gum Disease, and Tooth Loss | Overviews of Diseases/Conditions | CDC

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