Dental veneers have become a popular choice for people who want to change the appearance of their smiles. These thin laminates bonded to the front of teeth can cover up stains, chips, cracks, gaps and other aesthetic concerns to help people show the smile they want to.
While veneers are designed to last longer than some other cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening, they can be subject to wear and tear over time and may need to be replaced after a number of years. Their lifespan largely depends on the material they're made from and how well you take care of your veneers and the teeth supporting them.
To be a candidate for dental veneers, your mouth first needs to be healthy and free from problems such as tooth decay or gum disease. Your dentist will give you a thorough oral health assessment to check for signs of these problems, which can affect the success of veneer treatments.
You may not be suitable for veneers if your teeth are too thin or there isn't enough enamel remaining. In these cases, your dentist may recommend an alternative treatment such as dental crowns. You also won't be a candidate for veneers if you have the habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, as this can cause them to break.
Your dentist will make sure you understand the possible risks and complications associated with veneers so you can make an informed decision about your treatment and your health.
There are two main types of dental veneers: those made from porcelain (ceramic) that are bonded to the teeth and those made from a composite resin applied directly to teeth surfaces. Both options have their pros and cons that can make them suitable for different people, including a difference in their lifespan.
Porcelain veneers tend to last longer than composite veneers, as they're stronger and more resistant to staining. A summary of evidence by the British Dental Association in 2014 found that porcelain veneers had a long-term survival rate between 64% and 100% over 16 years, with survival rates being higher for shorter timeframes. Failure can occur when veneers detach from the tooth or get damaged.
By contrast, composite veneers were found to have a lower and more variable survival rate of 25% to 86% over two to three years, with most failures happening within the first year. There were no long-term clinical studies available for composite veneers. Compared to porcelain, these veneers are more vulnerable to damage, wear and staining, but they may also be repaired more easily.
To get the best results from your new veneers, you should choose a qualified and experienced dentist and follow their advice. This may include:
To find out whether veneers are right for you, book a consultation with our dentists at Sydney CBD Dental on George Street.
 Canadian Dental Association. Bonding & Veneers [Online] 2009 [Accessed October 2018] Available from: http://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/procedures/bonding_veneers/
 British Dental Association. Bonded composites versus ceramic veneers [Online] 2014 [Accessed October 2018] Available from: https://bda.org/dentists/education/sgh/Documents/Bonded%20composites%20versus%20ceramic%20veneers%20.pdf