One thing that keeps many people from going ahead with a smile restoration using porcelain veneers is the fear that they won’t last very long. This is because people hear the word, “porcelain,” which for many years has been used metaphorically to describe things that are fragile. But porcelain veneers are actually made of an advanced ceramic that is not only beautiful, it’s very durable as well.

Mature couple enjoy a walk on the beach together

What Porcelain Means

Porcelain comes from the name of the original ceramic of this type made by the Italians. It comes from the Latin for cowrie shells, porcella, because the material had the same lustrous transparency and fine white color as the shell.

Since the first porcelain, numerous ceramics have been developed that all have the same lustrous character, but aren’t all made of the same material. Some of them are fragile, but many of them are very strong.

So when we refer to “porcelain” veneers, we’re saying that they’re white and translucent like tooth enamel, not that that they’re made of a certain kind of ceramic.

The Performance of Porcelain Veneers

Today, porcelain veneers are made of a highly durable ceramic that can withstand the biting forces most people use every day. Studies have shown that porcelain veneers will last for a decade or more in your mouth. Here is a summary of several studies testing the survival rate of porcelain veneers:

  • Fradeani, M (1998) 6 years follow-up, 98.8% survival rate
  • D’Arcangelo, C (2011) 7-year follow up, 97.5% survival rate
  • Dumfahrt H and Schäffer, H (2000) 10 year follow-up, 91 % survival rate
  • Beier, US, et al. (2012) 94.4% survival at 5 years, 93.5% at 10 years, and 82.9% survival at 20 years (estimated from an average follow-up of 11 years)

These studies all show similar results, with more than 90% of porcelain veneers in place, intact, and still looking great ten years after they have been placed.

Maximizing the Life of Your Porcelain Veneers

The studies showed not only that overall porcelain veneers are highly durable, but also that some circumstances tend to lead to porcelain veneer failure, including:

  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Placement on a non-vital tooth (one with a dead root)
  • Bonding to dentin (the layer of tooth below the enamel)

To make sure you get the maximum lifetime out of your porcelain veneers, make sure you work with a neuromuscular dentist who can evaluate your bite to determine whether you are likely to damage veneers.

At Beyond Exceptional Dentistry in Savannah, Georgia, we place porcelain veneers using the most advanced techniques available, which includes ensuring you are a good candidate and will receive long-lasting results.

Please contact Beyond Exceptional Dentistry today to talk about using porcelain veneers to reshape your smile.