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Are Porcelain Veneers Permanent?

April 16th, 2007

Porcelain veneers are as permanent as the enamel on your natural teeth—which means that with proper care, porcelain veneers will last for many years but not forever.

The surface of a porcelain veneer is just that: porcelain. Porcelain’s smooth, glasslike ceramic surface makes it impervious to stains. Because porcelain veneers are like glass, their translucent surfaces reflect and refract light much as natural tooth enamel does. This is what makes porcelain veneers appear to be natural teeth.

A porcelain veneer is a wafer thin sheet of porcelain custom made to precisely fit the tooth over which it is placed and bonded. Even though porcelain is brittle, once it has been firmly bonded to your tooth it becomes very strong and durable due because your tooth is supporting it.

However, no porcelain veneer will last forever. With good home care and by using good judgment about what you eat and how you eat it, your porcelain veneers can last more than 10 years. Porcelain veneers can break, which is why you need to be careful about what and how you eat. No cracking ice or biting into other very hard surfaces that could fracture a veneer is allowed!