Are Veneers Permanent?

Thinking about getting veneers? You probably have some questions, so here's what you need to know. 

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that can cover stained, chipped, or crooked teeth to improve their appearance (via the American Dental Association). They are made by a dental technician and consist of porcelain or resin-composite materials that are the same color as teeth (via Healthline). Veneers only cover the surface of the teeth and aren't the same as implants, which replace the whole tooth, or crowns. Veneers are considered a cosmetic procedure, and therefore usually aren't covered by insurance.

There are two types of veneers: traditional veneers and no-prep veneers. Traditional veneers require grinding down the tooth structure and in some cases, removing some of the tooth past the enamel. This is irreversible and can be painful. No-prep veneers on the other hand, require minimal alterations to the teeth. According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, traditional veneers last up to 10 to 15 years and cost between $925 and $2,500 per tooth, while no-prep veneers last 5 to 7 years and cost $250 to $1,500 per tooth.

How to care for veneers

Unlike other dental procedures, recovery from getting veneers put in is not very long. There is no need to avoid certain foods or drinks after the appointment (via Medical News Today). Your dentist will schedule a follow up to check that the veneers have stayed in place and to address any questions or concerns the wearer may have.

While veneers have a shelf life, there are certain precautions you can take that may help them last as long as possible. These include avoiding chewing on hard objects like your fingernails, pens, or ice, and never using your teeth to break open packages. You may also want to avoid chewing with your front teeth and harder foods should be chewed by the back teeth only. To do this, it may be easier to cut up hard food into smaller pieces. Always wear a mouthguard if you're playing sports and if you grind your teeth at night, wear a retainer or splint to prevent damage to your veneers.