One of the many benefits of porcelain veneers is that there is no downtime involved. Patients may experience some slight sensitivity, but they can typically return to work or any other regular daily activities immediately following the placement of their veneers. There are, however, certain actions we recommend to preserve your beautiful smile long term. Dr. Neil L. Starr can provide detailed porcelain veneers aftercare instructions after their placement at our Washington, DC office.
Porcelain Veneers Lifespan
The average lifespan of porcelain veneers is 10 years. With proper care, however, you can expect your veneers to last closer to 20 years. Below are some suggestions for maintaining your oral health and aesthetics long term.
Good Oral Hygiene Habits
While the veneers themselves are resistant to decay and disease, your underlying teeth and gum tissues are not. You must continue practice good habits of brushing your teeth twice per day and flossing daily. You should also continue scheduling and attending your dental exams and cleanings twice per year. This allows Dr. Starr to monitor the underlying structures and tissues for early signs of decay and damage. He can also monitor the veneers themselves for damage.
Untreated gum disease could cause the gums to begin receding. If the gums recede, the edges of the veneers become visible, which leads to an unnatural look. Underlying tooth decay can also result in the need for porcelain veneers replacement. Maintaining good oral health is critical to ensuring the longevity of your veneers.
Avoid Excess Force
Porcelain is strong, but not entirely resistant to damage. Just as chewing on ice cubes or your fingernails can damage your natural teeth, the same can cause damage to porcelain veneers. Additionally, patients with bruxism (those who grind their teeth at night) are at greater risk of causing significant damage to their veneers and teeth. Dr. Starr recommends patients with bruxism get a custom-made oral appliance. A custom night guard can protect the teeth and veneers from damage caused by the force of bruxism.
Unlike our natural teeth and certain other dental materials, porcelain is stain resistant. Unfortunately, the dental cement needed to hold the veneers in place is not. If the cement becomes stained, the edges of the veneers can look yellowed. To prevent this unnatural look and preserve the whiteness the veneers provide, Dr. Starr recommends patients limit their consumption of:
- Red wine
- Tomato sauce
- Tobacco products
Schedule a Consultation
Porcelain veneers are not right for everyone. The best way to determine if porcelain veneers and the care they require are right for you is to contact our office for a consultation. After meeting with you and thoroughly examining your teeth and gums, Dr. Starr can determine if porcelain veneers are the right cosmetic solution for you. For most patients, porcelain veneers aftercare requires little more than continuing to practice the good oral hygiene habits you may already have.