How long do dental laminates last?

How long do dental laminates last?
February 21, 2020  | IN UNCATEGORIZED

If your teeth are decaying, stained, or you have an uneven bite; dental laminates can be

the solution you’re looking for. Made of a thin material covering each tooth, laminates are an excellent option to

restore your naturally beautiful smile and give you the appearance you want.

However, although laminates are made of cemented dental

materials, they aren’t indestructible. How long do laminates last? That depends largely on how you care for them.

Let’s look closer at the makeup of these versatile oral care tools.

What are dental laminates?

Dental laminates (also called porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of

tooth – colored material specifically designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. The

shells are bonded to the front of the teeth to change their color, shape, size, or length.

Dental laminates are made from porcelain or resin composite materials. Porcelain

laminates resist stains better than resin and more closely match your teeth’s natural color.

How are dental laminates used?

Laminates are routinely used to fix:

  • Discolored teeth from root

    canal treatment; stains from certain drugs or excessive

    fluoride, or large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth

  • Teeth that are worn down, chipped or broken
  • Misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped teeth with

    craters or bulges

  • Teeth with gaps between them

What is the procedure for dental laminates?

Getting a dental veneer usually requires three dental visits—one for an initial

consultation and two to make and apply the laminates. The process can accommodate a single tooth or many at the same


The laminate procedure is composed of diagnosis and treatment planning, preparation, and


How long do dental laminates last?

Dental laminates generally last 7 to 15 years, after which they would need to be

replaced. Porcelain laminates are sturdy and can last 10 to 15 years with proper care. Occasional cosmetic repair or

replacement may be needed, depending on the type of wear or damage incurred. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual

to protect laminates in order to extend their lifespan.

For example, the same habits that can damage your natural teeth can shorten the life of

laminates. Laminates can chip and crack like natural teeth, so biting down on hard foods or chewing on the end of a

pen or similar can damage a laminate’s surface. Laminates are susceptible to staining as well and dentists recommend

avoiding excessive exposure to coffee, wine or tea.

Dental laminates are not meant to be a permanent, maintenance-free fix but you can get

the most out of them by treating them well. Here are some effective ways to properly care for laminates:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene practices to avoid stains and

    keep your natural teeth healthy. Brush at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste with cleaning silica

    similar to what dentists use. Remember to floss and make regular visits to your dentist for


  • If you play a contact sport, wear oral protection such

    as a mouth guard. Impacts to the face can easily result in cracked or chipped laminates.

  • Don’t use teeth as tools. We are all guilty of using our

    teeth instead of scissors to open a stubborn package or loosen a knot, but it’s a very dangerous habit. Not

    only does it invite germs, but it’s a great way to chip a veneer and dramatically shorten its life.

  • Do you grind or clench your teeth when you sleep? This

    is called bruxism and while it generally will not crack laminates, they won’t last as long. A nighttime

    mouth guard can be a simple fix.

Is special care required?

Dental laminates do not require any special care, aside from following good oral hygiene

practices including brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash. Porcelain laminates resist stains

but your dentist may recommend avoiding stain-causing foods and beverages.

What about alternatives?

If you are not completely sold on dental laminates, alternatives are available, including

bondings and crowns. However, laminates are an excellent intermediate option, especially well-suited to

individuals interested in changing the shape of their teeth in smaller increments but not enough to require a full

crown procedure.

Remember, dental laminates are not and excuse to slack on regular oral hygiene. Treat

them well and they will return the favor.