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Home / Blog / FAQs / How Long Do Composite Veneers Last?

How Long Do Composite Veneers Last?

Medically reviewed by Dr Minoo Ghamari  / Jun 11, 2024  
Medically reviewed by Dr Minoo Ghamari  
Jun 11, 2024  
How Long Do Composite Veneers Last?

Composite veneers are a popular cosmetic dental treatment for people who want to improve their smile, and we know how important a perfect smile is to self-confidence! They use thin shells of composite resin that fit over the tooth to improve its appearance, and you are in control over whether you want a complete smile makeover or just a few teeth fixing.

There are two main types of veneers you can choose from - porcelain veneers and composite veneers. Porcelain veneers, as you might imagine, are made from porcelain. Composite veneers, which we're focusing on today, are made from a tooth-coloured resin material. But what do you need to know about them before choosing to undergo this procedure? Keep reading to find out.

What are composite veneers?

Getting veneers is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that can be used for a number of reasons, such as covering fractured teeth or improving the colour of your smile. They can also be used to alter the position of your teeth or fix the surfaces of your worn teeth from grinding. Or, some people simply get veneers to become more confident with their teeth.

It doesn't matter what your reasoning for choosing composite veneers is; the procedure is often the same. A thin layer of resin material covers the natural teeth without grinding back the tooth enamel, and the resin can be moulded directly onto your tooth. This allows the veneers to keep your smile looking more natural and healthier, and you don't have to worry about your teeth being carved into small stumps.

What can you fix with composite veneers?

You can fix a number of dental issues with composite veneers, other than just the appearance of your teeth. While it's an excellent cosmetic procedure for people who are self-conscious of their smile, it can also be used to fix chips and stains on the teeth, crooked positioning, and gaps in your smile. The composite material makes your smile look more natural because rather than replacing your teeth with new casing, it simply covers your existing teeth. This makes it an excellent option for people who might only have minor issues with their teeth that need fixing, rather than needing an entire set to be replaced.

What do composite veneers involve?

The procedure of getting composite veneers is quite long winded, but it shouldn't be painful as long as your dentist is trusted and familiar with the process.

The first step is for your dentist to clean your teeth thoroughly to make sure they're ready for the application process. They might have to remove a tiny layer of your enamel to help the composite resin stick to your teeth better, but they should talk this through with you beforehand to make sure it's something you're comfortable with.

Now that your teeth are ready and prepped for the resin, the process will depend on whether you're getting direct or indirect veneers.

Direct veneers

When direct veneers are being used, your dentist will often need to etch the enamel on your natural teeth to improve the connection between the resin and tooth. Once this is done, they'll apply a special glue to help the composite resin stick to your teeth before laying very thin layers of material onto the surface of the tooth.

Once one tooth is covered, the dentist will then cure the resin with a light to harden it quickly before moving onto the next tooth.

Benefits of direct veneers include the fact that both you and your dentist can work together to pick the perfect colour for your veneers. Your dentist can even mix resin colours to create a natural hue.

Indirect veneers

Indirect veneers are made slightly differently, with your dentist preparing the tooth surface before taking a mould of your mouth. The veneers will then be made outside your mouth before your teeth are etched and the veneers are attached with a specific adhesive. The bonding agent will help the veneers stay in place.

The glue is cured with a light so that the teeth bond securely onto your teeth. Once the teeth are in place, your dentist cleans up the stray edges and polishes everything to perfection.

Some people find indirect veneers more convenient because the process of attaching the veneers is quicker and less invasive. However, some people find that indirect veneers feel thicker than direct alternatives.

How long do composite veneers last?

As long as you look after your composite veneers properly, you might be surprised at how long they last. Dental veneers last between five and seven years on average, which is an impressive amount of time as long as you experience no breakage or loss. However, this is still considerably less time than porcelain veneers, which can last for between ten and fifteen years.

To make sure your composite veneers last for (hopefully) as long as possible, follow our expert advice:

  • Use a soft bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day to keep the resin looking its best without scratches

  • Regular flossing will help keep the between spaces clean and free of plaque buildup

  • Avoid foods and drinks that have the potential to stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, tobacco, and red wine, and rinse with water if you do consume any of these things

  • Limit the amount of acidic foods you eat, as these can weaken the enamel holding the composite veneers to your teeth

  • Wear a nightguard if you're known for teeth grinding, as this can prevent you from wearing down both your natural teeth and dental veneers over time

  • Make sure you continue with your biannual dental visits to make sure your veneers remain strong and that any issues are addressed as quickly as possible

At your regular dental visits, they'll be able to inform you when they believe your veneers need to be replaced sooner. There is no guarantee that they'll last for the full seven years, but utilising our above tips might help you to prolong their lifespan.

Composite veneers vs porcelain veneers: which is best?

Composite and porcelain are the two types of veneers, and they both come with their individual benefits and drawbacks. But what are they?

For starters, and perhaps one of the most important comparisons, is that composite veneers are cheaper than porcelain, so they're often preferred by people who are watching their budgets. The application process of composite veneers is also often shorter, which appeals to people who might be anxious about sitting in the dentist's chair.

However, porcelain veneers are made from a stronger material and therefore are less likely to chip, with an average lifespan of ten to fifteen years compared to composite veneers' five to seven years. Porcelain veneers are also more natural-looking, and they can fix stained teeth and crooked teeth better than composite veneers can.

People tend to opt for composite veneers when they have smaller problems to fix, such as aesthetic issues, misshapen teeth, discoloured teeth, and other defects. Porcelain veneers are better suited to larger issues that need fixing when the budget isn't an issue.

Factors affecting the lifespan of composite veneers

While composite veneers can last for up to eight years with proper care and attention, there are some factors that might affect how long composite veneers last. Keep reading to learn what you need to be aware of before looking after your composite veneers.

Your teeth before installation

Some dentists believe that the state of your teeth before the composite veneers are attached will affect their lifespan. For example, if you have a history of teeth grinding or poor dental hygiene your teeth might be weakened and therefore more difficult for your veneers to remain bonded for its entire lifespan.

Lifestyle and pre-existing oral hygiene habits

The way you use your teeth will determine how long dental veneers last. For example, if you use your teeth as tools or have a habit of eating hard foods and continue to do so after your composite resin veneers are fitted, your veneers might last for a shorter period of time.

How much does composite veneers cost?

Dental veneers aren't inexpensive, so the cost is certainly something to consider beforehand. While composite resin veneers tend to be cheaper than porcelain veneers, they're still quite expensive depending on how many teeth you need fixing. On average, composite veneers can cost between $250 and $1500 per tooth.

Most insurance companies don't cover cosmetic dentistry procedures, but if your tooth is broken or damaged, they might cover part or all of the cost. However, if it's purely for cosmetic reasons, you'll likely need to front the cost.

Final thoughts

Many people with composite resin veneers are thrilled with how they can fix a number of issues such as discolouration, crooked teeth, and chips. They can last between five and eight years depending on your habits and oral hygiene. It is essential that you use a dentist that you trust with your veneers, as this will affect both the look of your new smile and the lifespan of the bonding. Make sure you shop around before choosing your dentist, and make sure you weigh up the pros and cons of composite and porcelain veneers!

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