Veneers are a cosmetic dental solution that improve the appearance of your teeth. They are most often used in smile makeovers where the individual has stained or discolored teeth that are not responding to professional whitening treatments. Veneers can be used to help improve the spacing between the teeth by eliminating gaps, and they can be used to hide small chips and improve the appearance of excessively worn teeth. 

Dental veneers are typically made out of porcelain and with good care, they are estimated to last at least ten years. 

Let’s take a look at dental veneers in detail, how long they last, and whether they could be the right choice for you.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are the most popular veneer material. Porcelain veneers closely match the appearance of natural teeth and give the best visual results. They are also resistant to staining, long-lasting and durable, and they make a great choice for most people.
Porcelain veneers are more expensive than veneers made of composite resin, but every tooth in your mouth doesn’t need a veneer. Since these are designed to improve the appearance of your smile, you may only need veneers on your most stained, chipped or worn teeth. Most commonly, veneers are placed over the front eight teeth.

What Are the Alternatives to Porcelain Veneers?

In addition to porcelain, you can choose composite veneers or no-prep veneers. Composite veneers are made out of a resin and cost less than porcelain veneers. However, they typically only last about five years.

No-prep veneers, like Lumineers, are a low-prep option made from ultra-thin laminate. While other veneers require significant tooth preparation and tooth surface removal, no-prep veneers are less invasive and faster to install, because they don’t involve excessive filing and drilling.

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

While dental veneers don’t last a lifetime, you can expect your porcelain dental veneers to last 10 years or longer with proper care. In some instances, porcelain veneers have been known to last up to 20 years. In general, most people can expect their veneers to last between 5 and 20 years, depending on the material and oral care routine.

  • Porcelain Veneer longevity – 10 to 15 years
  • Composite Veneer longevity – 5 years or longer
  • No-Prep Veneer longevity – 10 to 15 years

Why Do Porcelain Veneers Need Replacing?

Porcelain is durable, but it is not impervious to wear and tear over time. Porcelain can break, chip, and stain, just like natural teeth (although porcelain veneers stain differently than natural teeth).

Poor habits, such as biting on hard objects or consuming dark staining drinks, can reduce their lifespan.

Receding gums can lead to staining (a thin brown line) and bacteria buildup around the glue line of the veneers. 

Changes in bite can loosen the bond with veneers when teeth start shifting around while the natural teeth under the veneers can also suffer tooth decay and tooth loss.

Tips to Make Porcelain Veneers Last Longer

To make your veneers last a long time, our dentist recommends perfecting your oral care routine and being mindful about what you eat and drink.

Red wine, nuts and candy - foods to avoid with veneers.
  • Avoid eating exceptionally hard foods that may damage the porcelain of your veneer.
  • Reduce the amount of darkly colored drinks and foods that you consume and remember to rinse your mouth with water after consuming stain-causing foods and drinks. See our guide to eating and drinking with porcelain veneers.
  • Don’t grind your teeth and take steps to prevent teeth grinding at night.
  • If you smoke, now would be a good time to quit. Nicotine can stain your veneers, just like it can your teeth.
  • Remember to visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings.
  • Maintain a healthy dental routine of brushing twice and flossing once daily.

Replacing Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are considered permanent, meaning once you get porcelain veneers, you will always need veneers. This is because in order to install your veneers a small portion of the tooth’s enamel surface is removed. This is to ensure that you get the best bond between your natural tooth and the veneer. Since the enamel does not grow back, you will always need to have a veneer over the tooth.

If you do happen to crack a veneer or one comes off, or it’s eventually time to replace them, a new veneer will need to be bonded to your tooth. The process for getting a replacement veneer is similar to getting your original veneers. 

If at any point a new veneer cannot be placed on the tooth, you’ll likely need a crown.

Are You Ready for Porcelain Veneers?

If you’re looking to improve the appearance of your teeth and feel better about your smile, porcelain veneers may be the right choice for you. Our dentist at Bunker Hill Dentistry in Houston, Dr. Le, can answer all your questions about veneers and determine if you’d make a good candidate.

Learn more about getting porcelain veneers at Bunker Hill Dentistry

You can also learn more about living with veneers by reading our Caring For Veneers Guide and eating with veneers article.