A reasonable question people may ask when considering a cosmetic dental procedure is ‘how long does cosmetic dentistry last?’ If you’re one of those people, watch the video below as Colorado Springs cosmetic dentist, Betty Jo Schope, DDS, answers your questions:
“It depends on, again, what type of care that you are getting. As far as bleaching, say you lighten your teeth. If you never lighten your teeth, as far as studies go that I have read and in my residency program this is actually something that I have reviewed.
If you never worked with bleach again, you know, our teeth get darker as we get older because the middle part of the tooth gets thicker. And, what that is in the dentin. That is what gives our tooth color. The enamel is fairly translucent so you are always just picking up what is underneath.
So, if you lighten your teeth, in five years if you never lighten again, you are going to be back to where you were. Okay? But you are still going to be five years ahead of your age. But that is not how you are going to do lightening. What you are going to do is you are going to brighten to a point where they don’t get any lighter and then just like when you need to get your hair or you need to you know, for women, they need to get their hair colored, or you know, what not, there is a certain period of times that you have to do that to maintain that.
Bleaching is the same thing. Some people, to keep that nice bright smile might lighten once a quarter, every three months or so. Some people, once a year. Some people will just do it before a big event. I am going to lighten my teeth for a day or two right before I go for a wedding or something like that. So, you will always be able to maintain that.
Your biggest investment is going to be just getting the trays made or the initial bleaching if you did something like Zoom or a different type of technique. There are a lot of different ones. That initial one is going to get you to that place where your starting point is but then there will be some follow up.
The follow up is usually just the cost of materials, which is a very nominal fee, really, compared to what the initial investment is. As far as things like veneers and crowns and things like that, it really is very dependent on many things. Just like dental disease is multi-factorial. It has a lot of things factoring into it. How well does that patient brush, how well do they floss, what kind of things are using on their teeth? Is he a fisherman that is trying to break the line off every time they are going fishing? Well, that veneer is not going to hold up to that over time. That is an example.
Are you a nail biter? So, there are things that the patient does. If they have a clenching or a grinding habit. There are just a number of things in that way that can affect. How high is their cavity rate? That can affect whether or not that crown or veneer would need to be replaced. But, if done well, the way we do them where we look at the bite and ensure everything is good.
And, we have a patient that is taking care of things then I would say on average when we look across the board, patients that do veneers or what not, I think the average in the literature and the studies show somewhere between 10-20 years. Fifteen might be a good middle place to say.
But, patients that maybe don’t get that long-term success maybe their things are wearing out in ten years ago, maybe they didn’t have success things looked at as far as the function and was that correct. So, that is on the dentist, okay, to make sure that they are looking at all of those things for you.
So if I was the consumer going out there and wanting to get some veneers, I would be asking you, what all do you look at as far as how you design my veneers? You know, are you looking at my bite and is that going to help it last longer?
Then, for example, on the patient’s side of it then my job with them would be to say, okay, how well are you flossing, how well are you brushing? Are you wearing a night guard if you should be wearing one if you clench or grind your teeth? And I think that we can get things that are much longer and much more successful.
I did a complete reconstruction on my mom almost 20 years ago. Everything held except for one area have we had to replace and that was a bridge that she did never floss. It was too hard, you know? So, that is what we have replaced in 20 years.
So, dentistry can last a long time. I know there are cases out there that are 30 years old, you know. So, I think that it is just all of those factors into it. But, the biggest thing is partnering with my patients on that. Okay, so this is your role in how long this is going to last. This is my role. Together, let’s get long-term success.”