Today we welcome a guest blog with a leading cosmetic dentist, Dr. Bruce W. Hartley from the Los Altos area in California. His insights on cosmetic dentistry and procelain veneers are appreciated! He discussed how to have your smile with porcelain veneers last the longest. Here is Dr. Hartley:
With proper care, porcelain veneers can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years or longer.
Maintenance of porcelain veneers is similar to care for your normal teeth. As always, make sure to floss & brush regularly, and see your hygienist 2-3 times per year for a professional cleaning. Although the porcelain itself is well immune to tooth decay, the portion of the tooth under the veneer is still susceptible to cavities. Daily fluoride rinses can protect the susceptible areas of the tooth-porcelain junction.
Over brushing can have a negative effect on the longevity of your veneers. Aggressive brushing or using anything harder than a "soft" bristle brush can cause gum recession. The resulting root exposure doesn't effect the veneer, but it can ruin the esthetic beauty of the overall case. Furthermore, it is recommended to use a non-whitening & non-abrasive tooth paste.
Be careful what you put between your teeth because whatever might crack a normal tooth could also crack a veneer (porcelain can fracture!). Don’t bite fingernails, fast food ketchup or hot sauce packets, metal, pens or any other hard object. It is recommended to use a mouth guard if playing any high intensity sports. Your dentist should provide you a protective night guard to wear while sleeping to prevent damage from night time grinding. The rule of thumb is, you can eat and bite into any and all foods as you would with natural teeth, but always avoid using your veneered teeth as a tool for non-food items!
Apart from proper care, expert installation is very important. Make sure to choose a cosmetic dentist with many years of experience
Bruce W. Hartley, D.D.S. http://www.pccd.net Peninsula Center of Cosmetic Dentistry Los Altos, CA