Veneers are thin, custom-made shells designed to cover the front surface of teeth. They are made from resin composite or porcelain and improve the appearance of your teeth by altering their colour, shape, size, or length.

Veneers are bonded to your teeth and can effectively fix issues like discolouration, chipped or broken teeth, misalignment, and gaps between teeth. They offer a durable and natural-looking solution for achieving a brighter, more uniform smile.

If you’re considering getting veneers, keep reading to learn all about them before you make your final decision.

What Types of Dental Veneers are Available?

What are the different kinds of dental veneers available

Types of dental veneers

There are two types of veneers to choose from: porcelain and composite. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but both are excellent choices.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers look almost exactly like your natural teeth, so they’re a great choice for anyone wanting cosmetic improvement. Porcelain is also resistant to stains, giving these veneers a long-lasting brightness. While they are tough and long-lasting, they are the more expensive of the two options.

Composite Veneers

These are made of composite resin, which is more affordable and easier to repair if something happens to your veneers. However, they are not as strong or durable as porcelain veneers, and they are not as close visually to your natural teeth. Resin also isn’t quite as stain-resistant, so they may dull or discolour over time.

How Do Veneers Work?

How do dental veneers work Dental veneers treatment procedure

Veneers are placed directly onto your natural teeth, successfully covering up things like skew teeth, chipped teeth, or discoloured teeth. Here’s the full dental veneer procedure:

1. Dentist Consultation and Planning

Your dentist will first assess your teeth and your goals, to make sure you’re a good candidate for veneers. They may also take impressions or X-rays of your teeth during this examination, depending on the condition of your teeth.

2. Tooth Preparation

As veneers are bonded directly onto your teeth, your dental professional will remove a tiny amount of enamel from the front surface of your teeth to make space. It’s usually less than a millimetre.

3. Impression of Teeth and Veneers Manufactured

Your dentist will then take new impressions of your teeth. These impressions are sent to a dental laboratory, where your veneers will be custom-made to fit.

4. Temporary Veneers

In the meantime, your dentist may place temporary veneers to protect your newly prepared teeth while you wait for your permanent veneers to arrive.

5. Bonding Veneers to Teeth

When your custom-made veneers are ready for bonding, you’ll go back to get them fitted. Once the dentist has approved their colour and fit, they’ll clean your teeth and “etch” them – roughing up the surface a little to help create a good bond.

A special kind of cement is applied to the inner side of each veneer, which is then placed onto your tooth. The dentist uses a harmless light beam to harden the cement, leaving you with functional veneers.

6. Follow-Up for Adjustments

Your veneers should be good to go, but you may need to schedule a follow-up appointment with your dentist to double-check that your veneers are working as they should.

Benefits of Veneers

Benefits of veneers

Pros of dental veneers

Veneers are a good cosmetic option for many reasons, including:

Enhanced Aesthetics

Veneers can significantly improve the appearance of your teeth by covering imperfections like chips, cracks, and uneven edges. They are custom-made to match your natural teeth, giving you a seamless and natural-looking smile. This transformation can boost your confidence and make you feel more comfortable showing off your teeth in photos or around people.

Fix Tooth Discolouration

Veneers are highly effective at concealing stubborn tooth discolouration that doesn’t respond well to traditional whitening treatments. They can mask stains caused by various things, including coffee, tea, wine, smoking, medications, or even genetic conditions. By providing a bright, uniform colour, veneers can help you achieve a radiant smile that looks naturally healthy!

Less Invasive Than Some Other Options

Compared to other dental restoration procedures, like crowns or dental implants, veneers are minimally invasive. Removing a small amount of enamel is a conservative procedure, which preserves your natural tooth structure with less discomfort and a quicker recovery time.

Are there Risks or drawbacks for Dental Veneers?

Veneers may not be the right choice for everyone. Being aware of the drawbacks upfront can help you decide if they are the best choice for you.

Not Reversible

Although veneers are just a thin shell, they are not reversible due to the enamel that’s been removed from your tooth surfaces. Once you have veneers, you have them forever. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that you’ll need to take good care of your teeth so they have minimal chance of breaking or needing repair.

Possible Sensitivity or Discomfort

While your dentist will only remove a small amount of enamel, if you have sensitive teeth may experience some discomfort and increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks. It’s often temporary.

May need replacing in future

Dental veneers, while durable and long-lasting, are not permanent solutions. Over time, they may need to be replaced or repaired due to various factors:

Natural Wear and Tear

Like natural teeth, veneers are subject to daily wear and tear. Biting, chewing, and even speaking put stress on veneers. Over the years, this can cause them to wear down, chip, or crack. While high-quality veneers are designed to be resilient, they can still deteriorate over time.

Staining and Discolouration

Although porcelain veneers are highly resistant to stains, composite resin veneers are more prone to discolouration. Food, drinks, and lifestyle habits like smoking can stain your veneers over time. The natural teeth surrounding the veneers may also change colour, leading to a mismatch. When this occurs, veneers may need to be replaced to restore a uniform appearance.

Gum Recession

Gum recession can expose the edges of veneers. This is when the gum tissue gradually moves back away from the teeth. This exposure can lead to aesthetic issues and increase the risk of decay at the gum line. As gums recede, it may become necessary to replace the veneers so they continue to look natural and protect the underlying teeth.

Damage from accidents or Injuries

Accidents or injuries can cause veneers to crack, chip, or become dislodged. Depending on the extent of the damage, the affected veneers may need to be repaired or replaced to restore your smile.

Changes in Oral Health

Changes in oral health, like cavities, gum disease, or other dental issues, can affect the integrity of veneers. If the tooth structure beneath a veneer becomes compromised, the veneer may need to be removed and replaced after addressing the underlying problem. Regular dental check-ups are essential to monitor and maintain oral health, so veneers remain intact and functional.


As you age, the overall structure and appearance of your mouth can change. Teeth can shift, wear down, or become more brittle, influencing how veneers fit and function. In some cases, the veneers may no longer align properly with the rest of the teeth, so replacement might be the best option.


Veneers might be a simple and non-invasive option, but they can be pricey. They’re usually charged per veneer, which can be anything from $250 to $2,500+, depending on your location and your exact needs. The more veneers you need, the more expensive it’s going to end up being.

Who is Eligible for Veneers?

Dental veneers are suitable if you:

  • Have Healthy Teeth and Gums: You should not have any serious dental issues like decay or gum disease. Any existing problems need to be treated before veneers are applied.
  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: If you want to maintain good-looking veneers, you need to commit to regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups.
  • Have Sufficient Enamel: Enough tooth enamel supports the bonding of veneers.
  • Are Looking for Cosmetic Improvement: If you’re looking to enhance the appearance of their teeth due to discolouration, chips, cracks, or minor misalignment you’re an ideal candidate.
  • Don’t Grind Their Teeth: People with bruxism (teeth grinding) might not be suitable unless they use a mouthguard to protect the veneers.

Who Shouldn’t Get Veneers?

Veneers might not be suitable if you:

  • Have Poor Oral Health: If you have untreated tooth decay, gum disease, or other serious dental issues, you’ll need to address these problems first.
  • Don’t Have Enough Enamel: If there’s not enough enamel for the veneer to bond properly, veneers may not be a viable option.
  • Have Severe Misalignment or Bite Issues: Significant orthodontic issues might require braces or other treatments instead of veneers.
  • Grind Their Teeth: People who grind or clench their teeth are at a higher risk of damaging veneers, making them less suitable candidates unless they use a mouthguard.
  • Have Unrealistic Expectations: Veneers aren’t a miracle solution, and they require maintenance. People who are expecting miracles won’t be a good candidate for this kind of cosmetic dentistry.
  • Have Significant Tooth Damage or Weakness: Severely damaged or weak teeth might need crowns rather than veneers for proper restoration and protection.

How Much Do Veneers cost?

Porcelain veneers generally cost between $1,200 and $2,500 per tooth, while composite veneers cost between $250 and $1,500 per tooth. The overall cost of your veneers depends on how many you get and if they’re porcelain or composite resin veneers. It’s worth noting that composite veneers are more cost-effective, but may not last as long as porcelain veneers.

Extra costs may include consultation fees, potential preparatory treatments, and follow-up visits. It’s essential to consult your dentist for an accurate quote tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.

How Long Do Veneers Last?

Veneers can last many years, but it depends on how well you look after them. On average, porcelain veneers can last between 10 and 15 years with proper care. Composite veneers aren’t as long-lasting, averaging between 5 and 7 years with good maintenance.

Caring for Your Veneers

How to take care of your dental veneers Dental Veneers Maintenance and Aftercare

Proper care is essential to maintain the longevity and appearance of your veneers. By following a few simple guidelines, you can make sure your veneers stay in excellent condition for as long as possible.

Regular Brushing and Flossing

Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching the veneer surface. Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles between your teeth and veneers. Consistent brushing and flossing help prevent decay and gum disease, which can compromise the integrity of your veneers.

Avoiding Hard or Sticky Foods

Avoid biting into hard foods like ice, hard candies, and nuts, as these can chip or crack the veneers. Sticky foods like caramel and toffees can also be a risk, by pulling at the veneers and possibly causing them to detach from the teeth. Opt for softer food options and cut hard foods into smaller, more manageable pieces to reduce the risk of damage.

Going for Regular Examinations

Visit your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and examination. During these visits, your dentist will check the fit and condition of your veneers, making sure they stay securely bonded and free of damage. Picking up possible issues early can prevent bigger problems down the line and extend the lifespan of your veneers.

What are the alternatives to Veneers?

If veneers aren’t suitable for your dental needs or preferences, there are several alternatives that can help improve the appearance and function of your teeth. Here are some common options:

Teeth Whitening

If you’re concerned with tooth discolouration, professional teeth whitening can be an effective and less invasive alternative. This procedure involves using bleaching agents to lighten the colour of your teeth, giving you a brighter smile without altering the tooth structure.

Dental Crowns

Crowns, also known as caps, cover the entire tooth and can be made from porcelain, metal, or a combination of materials. They’re ideal for teeth that are severely damaged or weakened, providing both cosmetic improvement and structural support. Crowns need more tooth reduction than veneers but provide a more robust solution for damaged teeth.

Orthodontic Treatments

For misaligned teeth, orthodontic treatments like braces or clear aligners can effectively straighten teeth over time. While this option takes longer, it addresses the underlying alignment issues without the need for getting rid of enamel, which is needed for veneers.

What are Veneers FAQs


Can you whiten your Veneers?

No, veneers cannot be whitened once they’re in place. Veneers are made from porcelain or composite resin, materials that don’t respond to traditional teeth whitening treatments. These materials are designed to be stain-resistant, maintaining their colour over time. However, this also means they cannot be lightened with bleaching agents.

If your natural teeth become whiter than your veneers due to whitening treatments, or if your veneers discolour over time, consider these options:

  • Polishing: Professional polishing by a dentist can sometimes remove surface stains from veneers, improving their appearance.
  • Replacement: If significant discolouration or mismatch occurs, replacing the veneers might be the best option to restore a uniform appearance.

Can teeth with Veneers still get cavities?

Yes, teeth with veneers can still get cavities. While veneers cover the front surface of the teeth, the natural tooth structure remains exposed on the back and sides. Cavities can develop in these exposed areas, particularly near the gum line where the veneer and tooth meet.

Limiting sugary and acidic foods and drinks can help reduce the risk of cavities. Drink plenty of water and maintain a balanced diet to support overall oral health.

Back to top: What are Dental Veneers?

Related Articles :