Veneers are made of very strong material (usually dental-grade porcelain) that’s bonded to your natural teeth, so they should last between 10 and 20 years. It’s possible for one or more of your veneers to chip or come off with facial impact or eating very hard foods, but as long as you take care of them you should get plenty of life from your veneers! You should also be wary of things that could damage your veneers, like nail biting, pen chewing, and teeth grinding.
No, unfortunately you can’t! Whitening gels work really well on your natural teeth, but the porcelain veneer material doesn’t respond to them. Because your veneers are matched to the shade of your other teeth, if you were to have them whitened, you’d end up with your natural teeth being a different shade to the ones with veneers on them. You can get your teeth whitened before you get veneers, which means the veneers can then be matched to the shade of your teeth for a more natural appearance.
To prepare your teeth for veneers, we need to shave down your natural teeth that are being treated to remove the enamel, which allows the veneers to fit on top of the tooth to match the size and shape of your other teeth. We also don’t recommend veneers for people who have poor gum health, because the veneers can come off if the tooth underneath develops a cavity. You also need to keep your teeth and gums healthy and visit your dental hygienist regularly to help you maintain your new dental veneers and overall oral health.
Composite veneers, also known as ‘direct’ veneers, are coatings applied to the teeth in a single dental visit. They usually last between five and seven years before they need to be replaced. E.max ceramic veneers, also known as ‘indirect veneers’, are coatings which are custom-made to fit your teeth, so they require two dental visits for the procedure: One to prepare your teeth and take a custom mould, and a second to fit the veneers following manufacture in a dental laboratory. E.max veneers cost more than composite veneers, but when looked after correctly, they last for at least 10 to 15 years – and sometimes even longer!