Composite veneers are a popular cosmetic dental treatment that can transform your smile. They are thin shells made of tooth-colored resin material that are bonded to the front surface of your teeth. Composite veneers are an affordable and less invasive alternative to porcelain veneers, but a lot of our clients always ask what happens to composite veneers after 5 years?
In this article, we will answer all your questions about composite veneers and their longevity. We will also provide you with tips on how to take care of your composite veneers to ensure their long-lasting beauty and functionality.
What Are Composite Veneers?
Composite veneers are thin shells made of tooth-colored resin material that are placed on the front surface of the teeth to improve their appearance. They are custom-made to fit the individual's teeth and can correct various cosmetic dental issues such as discoloration, chipped, or uneven teeth.
The composite material is sculpted and shaped to match the desired tooth shape and size, then hardened using a special light. The process is usually completed in a single visit to the dentist's office, making composite veneers a more affordable and convenient option than porcelain veneers.
Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, are made from thin, custom-made shells of porcelain that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. The procedure involves removing a thin layer of the tooth's enamel to make room for the veneer, then taking impressions of the teeth to create a precise fit. The porcelain veneers are then fabricated in a dental laboratory, a process which usually takes a few weeks. Once completed, the veneers are bonded to the teeth using a strong dental adhesive.
How Long Do Composite Veneers Last?
Composite veneers typically last between 5 to 7 years, but their lifespan depends on several factors, such as the patient's oral hygiene habits, the quality of the materials used, and the expertise of the dentist who placed them. Proper care and maintenance can help extend the lifespan of composite veneers.
One of the main factors that can affect the lifespan of composite veneers is the patient's oral hygiene habits. Poor oral hygiene can lead to the buildup of plaque and tartar, which can cause decay and gum disease. If left untreated, these conditions can weaken the bond between the composite veneer and the tooth, leading to premature failure. Patients with composite veneers should maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine that includes brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and regular dental checkups and cleanings.
Another factor that can impact the longevity of composite veneers is the patient's diet. Foods and beverages that are high in sugar and acid can increase the risk of decay and erosion, which can compromise the integrity of the veneer. Patients with composite veneers should avoid consuming sugary and acidic foods and drinks in excess, and should rinse their mouth with water after eating or drinking to help neutralize the pH levels in their mouth.
Lastly, the overall dental health of the patient can also affect the lifespan of composite veneers. Patients with pre-existing dental conditions, such as bruxism (grinding of the teeth) or malocclusion (misaligned bite), may put more stress on their veneers, causing them to fail sooner. Patients with these conditions may need to wear a nightguard or undergo orthodontic treatment to help preserve their veneers.
What Happens to Composite Veneers After 5 Years?
After 5 years, composite veneers may begin to show signs of wear and tear, such as chipping, cracking, or staining. This is because composite material is not as durable as other restorative materials such as porcelain or metal, and it may not be able to withstand the daily wear and tear of biting and chewing for an extended period.
Additionally, the bond between the composite veneer and the tooth may begin to weaken over time, leading to separation or detachment. This can occur due to factors such as poor oral hygiene, bruxism (grinding of the teeth), or trauma to the mouth.
Patients with composite veneers may also experience changes in the color or appearance of their restorations after 5 years. Composite material can stain or discolor over time, particularly if the patient consumes dark-colored foods or drinks, or if they smoke.
Can Composite Veneers Be Repaired?
If your composite veneers are damaged or worn down after 5 years, they can be repaired or replaced. A skilled cosmetic dentist can repair small chips or cracks in the veneers by adding more composite material to the affected area. If the veneers are severely damaged, they may need to be replaced entirely.
Replacement typically involves removing the old veneer, preparing the tooth surface, and applying a new composite veneer. While composite veneers are typically less expensive than other restorative options, the cost of replacement can still be significant, and patients should budget accordingly.
How to Care for Composite Veneers?
Proper care and maintenance can help extend the lifespan of your composite veneers.
Here are some tips on how to take care of your composite veneers:
- Brush and floss regularly to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar.
- Avoid consuming staining foods and beverages such as coffee, tea, and red wine.
- Do not use your teeth as tools to open packages or bottles.
- Wear a mouthguard if you participate in contact sports.
- Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings to monitor the condition of your composite veneers and address any issues before they worsen.