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.
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.
Laminates are routinely used to fix:
canaltreatment; stains from certain drugs or excessive
fluoride, or large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth
craters or bulges
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
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:
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
as a mouth guard. Impacts to the face can easily result in cracked or chipped laminates.
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.
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.
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.
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
Remember, dental laminates are not and excuse to slack on regular oral hygiene. Treat
them well and they will return the favor.