How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last? - Smile Stories

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

Porcelain veneers are a popular cosmetic treatment if you want to cover stained, chipped, misshapen or crooked teeth. In some cases, they may be the best way to disguise gaps between your teeth. They can help you achieve a natural-looking, dazzling smile and give you a new sense of confidence. But, like many you may be wondering, are they permanent? How long do porcelain veneers actually last? 

Porcelain veneers are designed to be a long-lasting solution for several issues with your front teeth including staining and chipped or crooked teeth and they can last at least 15 to 20 years.  However, their lifespan depends entirely on how well you look after them and your oral hygiene.

Within this blog post, we will be exploring the factors that affect the lifespan of porcelain veneers and how you can maintain the integrity of your dental veneers.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin, custom-made shells of porcelain that are bonded onto the front surface of the tooth. You could think of them as false nails for teeth – but they last longer than a couple of weeks. 

They provide a fast and effective solution and a long-lasting result.

Historically this treatment required dentists to remove the surface of the tooth. Times have changed and here at Smile Stories we only use ultra-thin veneers and little or no tooth reduction is made. Your teeth remain intact, and because we don’t remove any tooth surface there is better adhesion and longer survival. 

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

In our experience and has been confirmed by numerous scientific studies – porcelain veneers can last between 15 and 20 years. But if you take good care of them, they could last even longer.  

What Can Affect Porcelain Veneers’ Lifespan?

As we’ve already outlined, the lifespan of porcelain veneers can be 15-20 years depending on how well you look after them and how you use them. As with many dental treatments, different factors can reduce how long porcelain veneers may last. Factors that reduce longevity are discussed below. 

Poor Oral Hygiene

Good dental hygiene really matters and can prolong the survival of your porcelain veneers. Studies have shown that porcelain veneers fail due to oral health issues which can be avoided with good oral hygiene. It has been shown that around

  • 6% of veneers fail due to tooth decay
  • 13% fail due to complications with gum disease. (Bona)

By developing and maintaining good oral hygiene you can prevent tooth decay and gum disease and maintain the longevity of your veneers. 


Grinding your teeth whilst asleep or during the day can damage your porcelain veneers just like it can your natural teeth. The pressure caused by grinding can cause your veneers to become cracked or chipped. They can also loosen or fall off due to continuous pressure. 

A mouth guard or relaxation techniques may help reduce the pressure and damage to the veneers.  

Injury / Damage

Excessive pressure from blows to the mouth during contact sports such as hockey, boxing, and rugby as well as using your teeth to open bottles or tear tape can cause damage to your porcelain veneers. Just like with tooth grinding these pressures can cause the veneers to become chipped, cracked fall off. 


Several changes take in your mouth over the decade or so that you are wearing porcelain veneers. These changes can affect how your veneers fit as well as the aesthetics. These changes may make you want to have them refitted to suit your mouth. 

Changes which can take place include:

  • Tooth movement – as we age the teeth can start to drift for a number of reasons. These changes can mean that the veneers do not fit anymore.  
  • Unveneered teeth change colour – the colour of porcelain doesn’t change colour over time but your natural teeth do. They will become darker or in some cases translucent. The veneered teeth will stay bright white whilst the surrounding teeth change. This can be a major problem. 
  • Gums recession– As your gums start to recede any stains on your natural teeth as well as the darker tooth root become visible and prominent. As these stains become visible it may make you self-conscious.
  • Staining – porcelain is resistant to staining but over the years the dental cement used to secure the veneer to your tooth can become stained by tea, coffee, red wine or tobacco. If the cement is at an exposed edge the staining can become visible affecting the aesthetics. This staining is called marginal discolouration and studies have found that it affects 20% of placed veneers. 
  • Extreme Temperatures – 3 different materials are bonded together to fit the veneer, tooth enamel, porcelain veneer and dental cement. They all expand and contract at different rates when exposed to the same temperature. After many years the veneer can crack or break.

The Dentist

Your dentist’s experience and skills can play a significant role in the survival rate of your veneers. Dentists who are not skilled or trained in fitting porcelain veneers can incorrectly prepare your teeth causing the veneers to have reduced longevity. 

The highly trained and skilled cosmetic dentists here at Smile Stories are some of the best in the country at fitting porcelain veneers.  

How To Maintain Your Porcelain Veneers

Veneers require the same care as your other teeth. This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Cleaning the interdental spaces daily with floss, single tufted toothbrushes or interdental brushes
  • Attending regular dental check-ups and hygienist appointments
  • Avoid food and drinks which will stain the cement or surrounding teeth
  • Avoid biting down on hard foods like ice, nuts or sweets
  • Make good lifestyle choices and stop bad habits – eg. nail biting, opening bottles and other things that put excessive pressure or extreme temperatures 
  • Wear a mouth guard to protect veneers against bruxism
  • Wear an athletic mouthguard if playing contact sports

In Summary

Porcelain veneers are used to disguise imperfections in your smile. They are strong and durable. With proper care, they can last 15-20 years. There are many factors which can affect how long they last including using a reputable cosmetic dentistry clinic, like Smile Stories in the UK. 

If you’re interested in having porcelain veneers fitted why not book a free consultation and discuss your smile requirements with us? 


Can Porcelain Veneers Crack With Time?

Yes, time can weaken the veneers and they can crack. 

Can Porcelain Veneers Last 30 Years?

If you look after them it’s possible. Most dentist quote 10-15 years as time can cause many changes in your mouth which could cause the veneers to become damaged, fall off or become unaesthetic.  

Do Porcelain Veneers Break Easily?

No, porcelain veneers do not easily break. They are strong and durable but if you apply excessive force to them like using your teeth to open bottles they could break. 

What Makes Veneers Last Long?

Looking after your oral health and porcelain veneers will make them last a long time. 

When Should You Change Your Porcelain Veneers?

There is no definitive point when you should change your porcelain veneers but you may find that over time they need replacing due to changes in your gums, the position and colour of your teeth, or marginal discolouration. 

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