Porcelain Veneers - Longevity and care.
How long will porcelain veneers last?
There are no hard and fast rules about how long you can expect your porcelain veneers to last. You can certainly expect that they will remain cosmetically pleasing and structurally sound for many years, but it is unrealistic to expect that they will last forever.
What should you do to take good care of your porcelain veneers?
A) Practice good oral home care.
Just as with any tooth, your veneered tooth should be brushed and flossed thoroughly on a daily basis. Ask your dentist for specific recommendations but, in general, any non abrasive toothpaste which contains fluoride should be suitable.
By practicing good oral home care you can help to minimize the chance that decay will form on those aspects of your tooth that are not covered by the veneer. Additionally, thorough plaque removal will help to ensure that the level of the gum line on your tooth will not recede in response to gum inflammation (gingivitis or periodontitis) that has been caused by dental plaque. Since in most cases the edge of a porcelain veneer will end right at the gum line, if you allow any gum recession to occur the cosmetic appearance of the veneered tooth can be spoiled.
B) Avoid exposing your porcelain veneers to excessive forces.
Porcelain veneers are not intended to have to withstand heavy forces or sharp impacts. You should avoid biting your fingernails or biting on hair pins, bottles, ice, or any other hard items because doing so can break or dislodge a veneer. If you engage in sporting events you should wear an athletic mouthguard.
C) Avoid clenching and grinding your teeth.
People who clench and grind their teeth (dentists use the term "bruxism" to refer to this activity) can easily chip or break their porcelain veneers because of the heavy forces generated by these actions. If you know that you do brux, or if your dentist finds evidence of your bruxing behavior in the appearance of your teeth, you must control this activity during your waking hours. For protection when you are sleeping, your dentist should fabricate a plastic night guard for you to wear.
D) Minimize staining influences.
Porcelain veneers are a great improvement over other types of cosmetic dental bonding by the fact that their surface is very resistant to staining. The Achilles heal of porcelain veneer technique, however, is that the veneer is bonded onto your tooth using cement which is capable of picking up stain over time. It is possible that a veneer itself will still have a nice appearance but at its edges, where the cement holding the veneer in place exists, staining will have occurred, thus spoiling the overall cosmetic appearance of the tooth.
Good home care, meaning keeping plaque and debris from accumulating in the area of the edged of your porcelain veneer, can help to minimize the potential that the veneer's cement will stain. Also, avoid an excessive exposure to tea, coffee, red wine, colas, and tobacco products.