Most people have dental veneers to improve the appearance of their teeth and smiles. The cosmetic effect can be dramatic, with changes in shape, form, size and colour all contributing to a beautiful makeover.
The best thing to do after you have your veneers placed is to sit back and enjoy them. Veneers are very hardy yet at the same time need to be respected when biting on anything that would chip natural enamel. Natural enamel can be repaired by bonding, whereas veneers are made from porcelain and cannot be repaired.
After your veneers are placed you should have your dental practitioner supply you with a night guard, just in case you grind your teeth at night. This will protect your tooth veneers while you sleep.
Dental veneers are not done on patients with high decay risk, so if your dentist or specialist prosthodontist recommends veneers as a treatment option for you, you can be assured that you are a low-risk caries patient. Also, porcelain dental veneers have been shown to resist decay, providing you brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and regularly use a fluoride mouthwash.
Another reason decay rates are lower with veneers is that they are in the front of the mouth, making them easier for the patient to clean and self-check. Who wouldn’t notice black/brown stains of decay on their front teeth?
In the unlikely event that you do experience decay after a tooth has been veneered, the decay will be easy to fill with tooth-coloured bonding if the veneer is relatively new. In older veneers it would be best to replace the veneer.
In the absence of decay, the average lifespan of a dental veneer is ten years, ranging up to 25 years. People usually have veneers replaced for cosmetic reasons, such as colour changes in their remaining natural teeth or gum recession exposing the joint between the veneer and the tooth – both of which commonly occur with age.
Maintaining six monthly oral hygiene appointments will help keep your plaque levels and decay rates low.