Rye Smiles for Life
10614 Warwick Avenue, Ste A, Fairfax, VA 22030
I recently had a patient express concern about the future costs of maintaining the full mouth reconstruction she was contemplating. She understood that veneers have a life expectancy of about 10 years, and she wondered whether she should expect to face replacement costs equal to the extensive costs she was preparing to spend on her new smile.While my concerned patient was correct that the national average life expectancy for porcelain veneers is 10 to 12 years, this statistic includes loss of veneers due to periodontal disease, tooth loss for unrelated reasons, decay and aesthetic reasons, such as recession of gums, exposing darker colored tooth structures. There is no real reason for well-cared-for mature veneers to fail. We have veneers that are 25+ years old, put in with 25 year old technology. These long-lived veneers look like they were just put in. Occasionally they will fracture when the forces of occlusion (the bite) are unfavorable, or the forces change and become unfavorable, and when they encounter immovable objects, bobby pins and the like. We take great care to make the bite comfortable and free of destructive interferences. Most of our crowns and veneers far outlive the national average. I would expect a crown or two to be lost or require replacement within the first month to six months after placement in a full mouth reconstruction case. But these are the norm for complex cases requiring multiple restorations made simultaneously, and I replace these free of charge. Following these “growing pain” adjustments to a new set of teeth, I expect the porcelain work to last a long, long time. At the ten year mark, you might expect one or two to require some work or replacement, certainly not the whole set of teeth. Our cements today are fantastic. If we do a great job fitting and adjusting, and if you do a great job keeping them clean, coming in for regular preventive maintenance, and if you stay away from swinging doors, peanut brittle, and bobby pins, together we will continue to bring the national average way up!
Any dentist can supervise the maintenance of your veneers. From time to time adjustments in the occlusion may be required. If you do need work some day, you will want to be extremely careful in selecting a qualified dentist. We have many patients who have regular maintenance visits with their local dentists, but they come back to us to have any work done.