Porcelain veneers are one of the most popular ways to improve smiles and mask dental flaws as they’re quite durable and can last over a decade with the proper care. Taking care of porcelain veneers helps them last as long as possible, but eventually most veneers require replacement due to oral changes, injury or natural wear.
Caring for porcelain veneers
How a patient cares for their porcelain veneers determines how long or short the cosmetic treatment lasts. Proper care includes practicing good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day and visiting the dentist for exams and cleanings every six months or more often as required. To lengthen the life span of porcelain veneers, patients should avoid bad oral care habits including:
- Chewing on pens, pencils, ice or other hard objects that can chip veneers
- Not brushing and regularly flossing, leaving them vulnerable to decay and cavities
- Skipping regular dental exams and cleanings
- Brushing too hard, which can damage dental enamel and dislodge veneers
Replacing porcelain veneers
Whether it’s due to improper care of just the passage of time, porcelain veneers may require replacement. Reasons dentists suggest that porcelain veneers require replacement include:
- Placement occurred 10-15 years ago, and they’re worn
- Facial injury that damaged or broke veneers
- Decay on the back of the teeth that requires removal of veneer and treatment before replacement
- Damage such as a crack or fracture from chewing on hard objects
- Natural tooth color changes from stains or whitening that make the veneers stand out from other teeth
- Loose veneer that has a collection of bacteria and plaque between veneer and natural tooth
All of the above reasons make it imperative that porcelain veneers receive a replacement. When it’s not just for cosmetic appearances but also due to an issue with the natural tooth, waiting to replace a veneer can lead to more severe oral health issues that compromise the strength of natural teeth. Porcelain veneers are a relatively easy way to improve a patient’s smile and to need them replaced isn’t something that should cause concern. Patients can retain the beauty of their smile even as they transition to new porcelain veneers, and it’s an opportunity to correct any issues they may have realized while living with the initial veneer.