Things You Should Know Before Getting Dental Veneers

Posted on: July 5, 2019

Unhappy with your smile and hoping dental veneers can help? Here are some things you should know before you make your decision.

Dentists use dental veneers to correct many dental cosmetic issues, but what exactly are veneers? According to WebMD’s definition, “Dental veneers … are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance.” Read on for more details.

Types of dental veneers

The most common materials used to create veneers are porcelain and composite resin.

Composite veneers

Composite veneers tend to be less expensive than porcelain. These veneers can typically be applied in a same-day treatment. The dentist puts a tooth-shaded resin on the patient's tooth and sculpts a new shape. This type of veneer can be reversed if needed, but unfortunately, the resin produces a porous surface, making these veneers more susceptible to staining.

Porcelain veneers

Though a more expensive option to other types of veneers, porcelain veneers do tend to be the most durable and least susceptible to stains or chips. WebMD states that dentists generally agree that porcelain (also known as ceramic) veneers most closely resemble the aesthetic appearance of natural teeth. The process of getting porcelain veneers covers several appointments and can take up to six weeks. The teeth will need to be shaped and prepared (a small layer of enamel removed) for these veneers. This type of veneer is irreversible.

Benefits of dental veneers

As a corrective cosmetic dental treatment, veneers have many benefits. 

  • Provide patients with a beautiful, natural-looking smile
  • Long-lasting (usually 10+ years)
  • Cover imperfections
  • Make dark teeth appear whiter
  • Do not irritate gum tissue
  • More conservative option than crowns
  • No special maintenance needed

Why people get veneers

Dental veneers work very well to correct several types of cosmetic dental problems. Many patients choose veneers to conceal embarrassing dull or discolored teeth. Veneers provide excellent cover for discoloration from antibiotic or other medication use, stains from beverages or smoking, or irregular coloration that does not respond to whitening. Dental veneers also hide problems of normal wear and tear such as chips and cracks. Gaps between teeth or unusually-shaped teeth create cosmetic concerns for many patients. Dentists can craft dental veneers to close gaps and “reshape” teeth to a more natural look.

Not everyone can get dental veneers

As great as dental veneers are for fixing dental cosmetic problems, not everyone can get them. Certain dental conditions rule out the use of veneers. Poor candidates for dental veneers include people with tooth decay or active gum disease. Patients with weakened teeth (due to decay, fracture or large dental fillings) should also explore options other than veneers. Finally, individuals who have bruxism (clenching and grinding of teeth) make poor candidates because the risk of chipping or cracking the veneers increases significantly.


Dental cosmetic issues can wreak havoc on your self-confidence. The natural tendency to hide discolored, chipped or misshapen teeth prevents people from smiling, even when they feel like it. Dental veneers offer the chance to create a dazzling smile, but it is a big commitment of time and finances. Be sure you talk to your dentist about all your options so you can make a decision that is right for you.

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