How Long Do Dental Veneers Last?

Posted on: 14 March 2016

If you want to improve the look of a tooth or a few teeth, your dentist may talk to you about dental veneers. These thin pieces of dental material are placed on top of a tooth's surface and can be a good way of improving the cosmetic appeal of teeth that don't look so good. For example, a veneer can make a slightly crooked tooth look straighter and can cover over internal staining that can't be easily removed. How long can you expect a veneer to last?

Material Matters

Veneers are typically either made from a composite resin or a ceramic substance like porcelain. Resin veneers are usually off-the-shelf products; porcelain veneers take a little more work because they are custom fitted to your teeth.

The type of veneer you choose will affect its potential lifespan. This is partly due to the quality of the materials used to make the veneer and to the difference between off-the-shelf and custom fitting. For example, a veneer that is specifically shaped to match your tooth exactly may give a better fit and last longer.

According to OralB Australia, you can expect a composite veneer to last from 5–7 years. A porcelain veneer has an average life of between 10–15 years and may last longer if you take good care of your teeth generally.

Warning: The potential longer life of a porcelain veneer comes at a cost. According to Dental Guide Australia, the average cost of a single porcelain veneer is around $1,200–$1,300. The average cost of a composite option is between $480–$500.

Damaging Factors

The average life of a veneer on paper may be different to what you get in real life. For example, if you have an accident and the veneer gets damaged, you may need to have it replaced.

Oral habits may also reduce how long a veneer lasts. For example, if you bite your nails or chew on pencils using a tooth with a veneer on it, the stress on the veneer may damage it over time. Also, if you grind your teeth, your dentist may not recommend a veneer as a viable solution.

Your eating habits may also impact the veneer's durability. Although veneers may be good at dealing with stains, they can sometimes become discoloured. Your dentist may warn you to restrict your intake of coloured drinks such as red wine, tea and coffee to extend the life of the veneer.

Warning: Before deciding to have veneers put on your teeth, you should talk to your dentist about what might happen if you decide you don't want to keep using veneers. Typically, dentists have to remove some enamel from the tooth to fit a veneer snugly, making this a permanent solution. You may not be able to simply have the veneer removed and go back to the way things were before you had it fitted.