Dental veneers are a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that allows you to transform the appearance of your teeth. Patients suffering from severe discoloration, chipped or broken teeth, wide gaps, or are simply displeased with the shape and size of their teeth can have them replaced with porcelain shells that attach to the front exterior of their teeth.
Veneers are incredibly durable and easy to maintain. Covering up cosmetic imperfections has never been easier. The procedure is straightforward and relatively quick. It is also a much more cost-effective cosmetic treatment in comparison to dental crowns and Invisalign.
To bond the veneers to your teeth, a small amount of tooth enamel needs to be removed. Traditional porcelain veneers are .5 mm thick and to prevent your veneers from jutting out in the mouth, we remove the same amount (.5 mm) of natural tooth enamel before adhering the veneers to your teeth.
This allows the veneers to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding teeth. However, when your enamel is shaved down, it is a permanent alteration that cannot be reversed. If you decide later on that you no longer want veneers, you will still have a thinner enamel that needs to be covered.
An alternative to veneers is an ultra-thin version of these porcelain shells, known as lumineers. While they are more translucent and thinner, this means they can be bonded to your teeth without removing any of your natural enamel.
Lumineers are only .2 mm thick and easily blend in with your natural teeth with minimal to no prep work. While these may be less suitable for severely discolored or chipped teeth, they are a good option for those who are hesitant to make a lifetime commitment.
While the alteration to your enamel is permanent, the actual veneers are not. They are only temporary and need to be replaced after a certain amount of years. How long veneers will last depends on if you opt for porcelain or composite resin veneers.
Porcelain is more durable than composite resin and has a longer lifespan of about 7-15 years. Composite resin is more prone to chipping, breaking, and staining so it has an estimated lifespan of 4-8 years.
Once your veneers have reached the end of their lifespan, you will need to have them replaced. If you decide on lumineers instead of veneers, these have the longest lifespan, lasting for up to 20 years.
To increase the longevity of your veneers or lumineers, despite what material they’re made from, there are some guidelines to follow. A list of things you want to avoid include:
To protect your veneers and maintain good oral hygiene, it’s important to regularly brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Be gentle when brushing your teeth and use a non-abrasive toothpaste.
Visit your dentist every 6 months to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar and keep an eye on the condition of your veneers. Using a fluoride mouthwash once a day will help reduce bacteria and wear a mouthguard at night if you grind your teeth or while playing contact sports.
For a beautiful, straight, and bright new smile, try porcelain veneers at Priti Naik, DDS. Contact us today at (703) 288-1800 or schedule a consultation online with Dr. Priti Naik to find out if you’re a suitable candidate for dental veneers or lumineers.