How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last? By Dr. Collier on April 23, 2023

porcelain veneer balanced on a finger

If you've considered fixing your smile with veneers, you've probably wondered how long porcelain veneers last. This is a common question for patients. It is also a hot topic these days after a Florida woman recently made headlines after spending big money on veneers, only to have them fall out within one day. 

Sadly, horror stories like this can happen if a dentist isn't qualified or makes errors when performing the procedure. Additionally, not all dentists use porcelain veneers. Some use a less durable material, which shortens their lifespan. And sometimes, even the patient is to blame for their veneers falling out.  

While veneers are built to last a very long time, they aren't indestructible. That is exactly why a patient should research the different types of veneers, choose wisely when selecting a dentist to perform the procedure, and closely follow proper aftercare instructions. Our dental team serving the Memphis and Cordova, TN, area wants to help answer all your questions about how long veneers last and how to make them last longer. 

In this article, we will discuss:

  • What are veneers
  • Why we prefer porcelain veneers over composite veneers and “no-prep” veneers
  • How long porcelain veneers should last
  • How porcelain veneers can become compromised
  • What might cause porcelain veneers to fail prematurely
  • Signs it’s time to replace your veneers
  • Aftercare tips to help maintain your veneers and avoid early replacement
  • What to do if your veneers fall off 

What Are Veneers?

Name a reason you dislike your smile; chances are veneers are the solution. Teeth that are chipped, broken, worn, discolored, uneven, or irregularly shaped can all be corrected with veneers. So can teeth that are too long, too short, or too small. Veneers can even fix tooth gaps and slightly misaligned teeth. Whether it's one or two teeth that you are unhappy with or all of them, veneers are an excellent way to quickly transform your smile. The only thing veneers can't do is replace missing teeth because there needs to be a tooth to attach the dental veneer to. For missing teeth, your best option is dental implants

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are placed over the front surface of your teeth to improve their appearance. Veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry option that can significantly improve the appearance of your teeth. They're durable, long-lasting, and can correct many dental issues. The shells are made from porcelain or composite resin materials. We will discuss the difference between the two materials and tell you why we only use porcelain here at Southern Dental Implant Center in the next section. 

Getting porcelain veneers usually involves multiple appointments, but overall the process is fast and painless. During the first appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth and determine if veneers are the right choice for you. If so, they will take impressions of your teeth to create custom-made veneers that fit perfectly. The second appointment involves preparing your teeth for the veneers. Your dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from the surface of your teeth to make room for the veneers. How much enamel is removed depends on the veneers you choose. They will then place temporary veneers while your custom-made veneers are being created. Finally, in the third appointment, your dentist will bond the veneers to your teeth using a special adhesive. They will then shape and polish the veneers to ensure a comfortable and natural-looking fit.

What is the Average Lifespan of Veneers?

How long your veneers will last depends on a number of factors. First and foremost, your veneers aren't going to last very long if the procedure isn't performed by a qualified, trusted, and experienced cosmetic dentist. Poor technique, improper fit, and low-quality adhesive are common reasons veneers fail. Which isn't the fault of the veneer. Exactly why it is important that you choose the right dentist. 

Dr. Jason Collier has been providing top-quality cosmetic dental care, including the placement of porcelain veneers in the Memphis and Midsouth area for decades. There is a reason people travel from all over the world to see Dr. Collier if they want porcelain veneers, dental implants, dentures, full mouth reconstruction, or any other type of restorative dentistry-– he really is the best when it comes to restoring smiles! 

That said, once you leave our office, you must do your part if you don't want your veneers to last as long as possible or don't want them to fall off. There are many do's and don'ts that you must follow if you have veneers. It is important that you carefully follow aftercare instructions. We will provide some of the most common reasons we see veneers fail, as well as important oral health tips to follow to help your veneers last longer a little further down.

But first, there is another factor that determines the lifespan of your veneers we should mention: the material. Porcelain veneers, no-prep veneers, and composite veneers are the three types of veneers most cosmetic dentists have for you to choose from, and they all have different lifespans.

Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are the most common form of dental veneers and the only material we use here at Southern Dental Implant Center. We prefer porcelain veneers because they are stronger, more durable, and last the longest of all veneers. They also resist stains better than other veneers and look the most natural. On average, porcelain veneers should last 10-20 years. However, many people say their porcelain veneers have lasted over 30 years.

No Prep Veneers
No prep veneers, such as Lumineers and Vivaneers, are another type of porcelain veneer. They have gained popularity recently because they are quick, do not require as much enamel to be removed from the teeth, and are less expensive. Of course, fast and easy comes with some downfalls. No prep veneers aren't as durable as porcelain veneers and don't last nearly as long. On average, no prep veneers last five to seven years.

Composite Resin Veneers
Composite resin veneers are another type of veneer. If you choose composite veneers, some tooth enamel will need to be removed to prepare the tooth, but less than porcelain veneers. This makes the process faster and less expensive, but like no-prep veneers, they will not be as durable or last as long as porcelain veneers. Composite veneers damage more easily and have at least half the lifespan of porcelain veneers, typically lasting only four to eight years.

How To Make Porcelain Veneers Last Longer

While porcelain veneers are a durable and long-lasting solution for cosmetic dental issues, even if you take excellent care of them, they have a lifespan and will eventually need replacement. This is because veneers can become damaged over time from general wear and use. In addition, the adhesive used to bond the veneers to your teeth can break down over time.

However, by closely following proper aftercare and maintenance instructions provided by your cosmetic dentist maintenance, and using the oral health tips below, you can help extend the life of your veneers and enjoy a beautiful smile for years to come.

Oral Health Tips for Porcelain Veneers

Caring for your porcelain veneers is crucial to keeping your smile at its best. You can stay on top of your oral health and prolong the life of your porcelain veneers by following an easy oral hygiene routine.

Follow this advice to prolong the life of your veneers and keep your entire mouth healthy:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day: You can prevent tooth decay by using a proper brushing technique for two full minutes. Be sure to clean your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush. For optimal results, brush your teeth after every meal.
  • Floss daily: Like brushing your teeth, flossing is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Without healthy gums, your teeth have no support structure. Be sure to floss at least once daily, though you are encouraged to floss after every meal.
  • Do not use metal dental cleaning tools: Over-the-counter dental tools can easily scratch porcelain veneers. Dentists are equipped with special tools to clean veneers and other cosmetic dental work. Leave it to the professionals for a proper cleaning.
  • Avoid smoking: Smoking can discolor your existing teeth and increase the risk of gum disease. Treating serious oral health issues may require veneer removal. Consider this yet another good reason to quit using all tobacco products.
  • See your dentist regularly: Having veneers isn't a reason to skip your annual dental exams. You should still see your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and examination. This will not only help protect your oral health but also ensure that your veneers are in good shape. 

What Can Cause Veneers To Fall Off? 

After having porcelain veneers placed, as long as you’ve followed the advice in this article, your teeth should remain in excellent condition for many years. However, similar to other dental restorations, porcelain veneers have the potential to fail.

Also, just like your natural teeth, veneers can be negatively affected if you experience some type of trauma to the mouth and have poor lifestyle habits. The following are the most common reasons veneers fall off:

Tooth Decay
Your porcelain veneers aren't subject to tooth decay, but they depend on healthy teeth to stay attached. Cavities can lead to problems down the line with veneers, including root canal infections. If a root canal is needed on the tooth, the veneer must be removed and replaced with a crown.

Trauma to the Mouth
Blunt force is the bane of veneers everywhere. A stray ball hitting your mouth or a blow to the face can break or detach them. Wear a mouthguard and head or face protection when playing sports or engaging in any potentially dangerous activities.

Poor Diet
Avoid hard foods like hard candies and nuts, and use caution when eating fruits with pits. Sticky foods can also tug on veneers, prying them loose, so be careful with these as well.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Bruxism, or habitual teeth grinding, is another common cause of veneer damage. If you suffer from this condition, ask your dentist about a custom mouthguard at night to protect your veneers and your teeth.

What To Do if Your Veneers Fall Off 

If you experience the unfortunate event of a porcelain veneer falling off or becoming loose, avoid applying any pressure to the affected tooth, and DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REATTACH THE VENEER YOURSELF!! This can cause further damage or compromise the fit of the veneer. 

Place the veneer (or as many pieces as you can if it's broken) in a clean sealed container and call your dentist immediately. They will provide you with instructions on how to keep your teeth safe and determine the best course of action. Chances are you will not want to delay reapplication very long because your tooth will be exposed to air which can irritate the tooth's pulp. 

While it can be alarming to lose a veneer, don't panic. If the veneer is intact and in good condition, your dentist may be able to simply reattach it to your tooth with dental adhesive. However, if the veneer is damaged or broken, a replacement veneer may need to be created.

Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Veneers 

Just like a car needs regular maintenance and eventually needs to be replaced after a certain number of miles, porcelain veneers also have a lifespan.

Here are some top signs that your veneers are reaching the end of their lifespan and might need to be replaced:

  • Your gums are receding or separating from the veneers.
  • The veneers are chipped, cracked, or looking worn down.
  • They feel uncomfortable to wear or don't fit properly.
  • The underlying tooth is decayed.
  • The veneers are stained or discolored.

There will come a time when your veneers need to be replaced. Watch for any of the above signs and schedule an appointment to review your options. 

Schedule a Consultation With a Memphis Area Veneer Specialist 

If you live in the Memphis area and are wondering if porcelain veneers are right for you, the next step is to come in for a complimentary consultation. Give us a call at (901) 235-8334 or go online to schedule your veneer appointment with Dr. Collier today.

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The team at ​Southern Dental Implant Center

​Southern Dental Implant Center

Dr. Jason Collier, our board-certified dentist at ​Southern Dental Implant Center, provides patients in Memphis and the Mid-South area with state-of-the-art dental care using advanced technology. Our doctors are affiliated with many prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • International Congress of Oral Implantologists
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • American Dental Association
  • Tennessee Dental Association
  • Christian Medical & Dental Associations
  • Memphis Dental Society

To learn more about our practice or to schedule an appointment at our Cordova, TN, dental office, contact us online or call (901) 756-0078.

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I have been a patient of Dr. Jason Collier's for many years and have always been treated with the utmost respect and professionalism. His staff is the friendliest dental staff I have ever encountered and I highly recommend this office for any dental needs! Kathleen M.

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