Are Dental Veneers Permanent? What You Should Know Before Receiving Them

20 March 2023
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Dental veneers are one of the most innovative cosmetic dentistry procedures there are. The process manages to be both simple and incredibly effective. When a tooth is misshapen, discolored, or has another cosmetic flaw, all a dentist needs to do is bond a veneer to the outward-facing side of the tooth. The porcelain veneer is shaped and colored like a perfected version of the tooth that it's attached to. Whatever the flaw was, it's now safely concealed. But do these benefits last forever?

The Structure of the Tooth

Anyone who decides to get dental veneers needs to realize that they'll always need dental veneers—even though the veneers themselves will occasionally change. Why are you always going to need veneers once you've made the initial decision? It's because your dentist must prepare your teeth for veneers, and this preparation work changes the structure of the tooth. 

Surface Enamel

Typically, a dentist must shave a fractional amount of a tooth's surface enamel off to accommodate a veneer. The amount of removed enamel corresponds to the width of the dental veneer. This makes sure that the tooth (with its veneer) isn't excessively thick, and this is crucial for your comfort and general dental health. A tooth needs its enamel for protection against decay and other corrosive forces. However, the veneer will perform the role of dental enamel—protecting the tooth from deterioration while still performing its primary role (transforming the appearance of the tooth). 

Reduced Enamel

Once a person's dental enamel has been reduced, it won't grow back. As such, the tooth will now always need some type of dental restoration to protect its inner structure. A porcelain veneer will last for around ten years (and twenty years isn't unheard of). But when the veneer becomes tarnished due to daily wear and tear, it must be replaced. A new veneer is standard, yet the tooth could conceivably receive a dental crown (fitted around the whole tooth, instead of just its outward-facing side). Dental bonding, or the application of tooth-colored dental resin to the tooth's surface, is another possible alternative. Without a restoration, the tooth's lack of dental enamel will quickly become a problem. This is why dental veneers are a permanent choice.

You can keep your dental veneers pristine for as long as possible by just brushing them as you do with your natural teeth. But when their time is up, you'll need new veneers or another acceptable dental restoration to keep your teeth healthy.

To learn more about porcelain veneers, contact a cosmetic dentist in your area.