“How long do veneers last?” is, by far, the most common question asked when comparing different dental cosmetic and smile enhancement options.
And it’s not surprising, with the cost of veneers ranging from $850 per tooth for composite bonded veneers, up to $2500 to $3500 per tooth for porcelain veneers, you’re going to want to know how long your new smile is going to last.
In this article, we’ll look at the common lifespan and durability of different veneers according to material type and provide definitive information around how long you can expect your veneers to last.
What are teeth veneers?
Dental veneers are a popular restorative, cosmetic treatment procedure designed to improve the look of your smile. Veneers can be used to treat a range of other common dental issues including:
- Stained teeth
- Size and shape of teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- (Minor) alignment and appearance issues
- Aesthetic improvement of fillings/old bonding
In most cases, veneers are placed over the ‘upper teeth’ which are most visible when talking and smiling. The number of veneers fitted will depend on the unique goals of the patient, budget, and the desired outcome.
At a minimum, some patients may get one or two ‘bonded’ veneers to correct the appearance of chipped or broken teeth. On the other end of the spectrum, some patients may opt for a complete (top and bottom teeth) smile makeover that overhauls the appearance of all teeth.
What are the different types of veneers?
There are two main types of veneers – composite veneers (otherwise known as bonded veneers) and porcelain veneers.
Composite/bonded veneers are made from a bonded resin material that is applied and sculpted directly on the surface of the teeth. Bonded veneers require minimal preparation work and can be completed in a matter of one or two visits to the dentist – depending on the number of veneers that you are getting.
Composite veneers are less costly than porcelain veneers and have a shorter lifespan, as well as being more prone to normal dental wear patterns that include stains, chips, and discolouration over time.
Benefits of composite bonded veneers
- Minimal prep work required
- Fast turn around and treatment
- Cheaper than porcelain veneers
Disadvantages of composite bonded veneers
- More prone to staining
- More likely to chip
- Do not last as long as porcelain veneers
Porcelain veneers are custom made “shells” that are designed to be bonded to the surface of your teeth. Depending on the level of work required, porcelain veneers can require more prep work (although not to the extent that you may see on TikTok! - see our guide on prep work). Porcelain veneers are designed and sculpted using 3D technology to achieve your ‘perfect smile’ before being applied directly to the tooth and bonded in place.
Because Porcelain veneers are designed and then applied to the teeth, they allow greater room for customisation in terms of colour, shape, and overall appearance. Patients also enjoy the added benefit of being able to preview their smile before the veneers are applied to the teeth.
Benefits of porcelain veneers
- Natural look and feel
- Low maintenance
- Less likely to stain than composite
- Customisable & preview options to ensure perfect smile
Disadvantages of porcelain veneers
- Time to complete is longer
- Upfront cost is higher
- May require more prep work
How long do veneers last for?
How long veneers last will depend on the material that you choose, as well as the quality of materials that are used, skill of the cosmetic dentist, and aftercare.
The truth is, veneers can last anywhere from a few years to more than a decade depending on the material used and how they are cared for.
Porcelain and composite veneers have very different life spans so it’s important to create that distinction. As a rule of thumb, Porcelain veneers will last for 10 to 15 years, whereas Composite bonded veneers will last for 4 to 8 years.
What influences the lifespan of teeth veneers?
The biggest influence behind how long veneers last for is the type of material that you choose.
Comparing porcelain veneers and composite veneers for longevity is like comparing apples to oranges. Whilst the end outcome from each treatment is similar (a brighter, more confident smile), they are a completely different material and not comparable when it comes to expected lifespan and longevity.
With that said, just like your natural teeth, the way that you care for your veneers (including regular dental check-ups, good oral hygiene) will have an impact on how they look and how long they last.
Regular dental check-ups and brushing, as well as avoiding food and drinks such as dark sauces, red wine, coffee, and other staining food & drink will all help to improve the expected lifespan of your dental veneers.
Comparing composite & porcelain veneers durability & costs
Comparing the costs and lifespan of composite & porcelain veneers means considering the upfront costs versus the expected longevity.
As a good rule of thumb, porcelain veneers cost around 2-3 times more than composite/bonded veneers, however, they also last for around 2-3 times longer.
In terms of the cost vs. value equation, composite and porcelain veneers offer a similar value proposition, however, the higher upfront costs associated with porcelain veneers means that they can be prohibitive for many.
So then, there you have it, a definitive answer to one of the most common question in cosmetic dental - how long do veneers last?
The truth is, there is a myriad of different factors that will influence the lifespan of your veneers. From material type to aftercare, and your pre-existing smile – it’s important to consider all of these things when determining how long you can expect your veneers to last for.
For an accurate quote and estimated lifespan of veneers for your unique smile, get in touch with our team of experienced cosmetic dentists and find out how our cost-effective composite and stunning, natural Picasso Porcelain Veneers® options in Melbourne, Sydney, or the Gold Coast can work for you.
Chronic maker of bucket lists and makeover dreams. Currently ripping through another mystery novel and most likely multitasking.