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What are Veneers?

Veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells. They’re attached to the front surfaces of teeth to improve their appearance. Dentists most frequently place veneers over the top eight teeth in the front.

The shells are permanently bonded to your teeth. They’re typically made of porcelain or resin composite materials. 

Veneers treat various cosmetic concerns, including teeth that are:

  • Chipped
  • Broken
  • Discolored
  • Smaller than average

Some people opt for one veneer if they have a chipped tooth. Others get between six and eight veneers for an even, symmetrical smile.

The most popular types of veneers are:

  • Porcelain — these are the most esthetic veneers and are also the strongest and longest-lasting.
  • Composite — these veneers are made of composite resin, a mixture of inorganic and organic materials.
  • Lumineers — these are made of ultra-thin porcelain laminate material.
  • Removable — these are temporary or snap-on veneers that can be taken in and out of the mouth.

Read more about Removable Veneers

1. Porcelain Veneers: Before and After Pictures

Porcelain veneers are custom-made, thin shells. They improve your smile by changing the shape, color, and overall look of your teeth.3

These veneers are strong and long-lasting. They’re also stain-resistant and offer a natural look.

Many people choose porcelain veneers instead of dental bonding or teeth whitening because the results last longer.

Depositphotos 463344460 XL
After Veneers (Top)
Before Veneers (Bottom)

Pros

  • Blends in with natural teeth
  • Stain-resistant
  • Strong and durable 
  • Small chance of fracture, chipping, or breakage 
  • Smooth, tooth-like texture 
  • Doesn’t harm gums or surrounding teeth 
  • Little plaque build-up with good dental care 
  • Lasts approximately 8 to 15 years

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other veneers 
  • Lengthy and invasive procedure

Costs

Porcelain veneers are on the pricier side, and cost $925 to $2,500 per tooth.

2. Composite Veneers: Before and After Pictures

Composite veneers are made of composite resin. Composite resin is a blend of inorganic and organic materials.

Natural materials in composite resin include the:

  • Initiator
  • Resin
  • Coupling agent

Filler is the primary inorganic material in composite resin. 

The bonding material dentists use for composite resin veneers is the same material used in tooth-colored dental fillings. 

Composite veneers are strong. But they aren’t as durable as porcelain.

They’re also less expensive than porcelain veneers. While they blend in well with your natural tooth color, composite veneers are prone to stains over time and don’t last as long.

Composite veneers are permanent and require tooth shaving before placement.

Depositphotos 466066064 XL 1
Before Veneers (Bottom) After Veneers (Top)

Pros

  • Strong and durable
  • Less-invasive procedure than porcelain veneers (less enamel removal) 
  • Natural look
  • Low chance of harming your gum tissue 
  • Less expensive than porcelain veneers
  • Easily repaired if chipped or broken 
  • Only needs a single visit
  • No temporary restorations are required
  • Last between 5 and 7 years 

Cons

  • Weaker than porcelain veneers
  • Prone to stains over time 
  • Don’t last as long as porcelain veneers 
  • Lengthy procedure

Costs

Composite veneers are less expensive than porcelain options and cost $250 to $1,500 per tooth.

3. Lumineers: Before and After Pictures

Lumineers are a brand of veneers created by DenMat dental laboratory. They’re known as “no-prep” veneers.

These veneers are thinner and less expensive than traditional veneers. They take less time to apply and can easily be removed or replaced.7

Lumineers are made of cerinate feldspathic pressable porcelain. This type of porcelain is around 0.3mm thin and is very strong. It’s about the same thinness as a contact lens.

These types of veneers require little to no tooth enamel reduction. They can last 10 to 20 years or longer with proper care.

Traditional veneers come in various shades. Their thickness makes them completely opaque, for that perfect “Hollywood smile.”

Lumineers are thin and slightly translucent. They closely resemble natural tooth enamel. 

Lumineer veneers provide excellent teeth-whitening benefits. However, they may not whiten severely stained or discolored teeth.

Faccette estetiche confronto prima e dopo 1
Before Veneers (Top) After Veneers (Bottom)

Pros

  • Reversible
  • Doesn’t require tooth removal before application 
  • Slightly less expensive than porcelain veneers

Cons

  • Doesn’t last as long as traditional veneers 
  • Less natural-looking than traditional veneers
  • More prone to fracture and damage

Costs

Lumineers are slightly less expensive than porcelain veneers and cost $800 to $2,000 per tooth.

Choosing the Right Type of Veneer

Dental veneers aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. The shape and shade that looks best for one person might not look right on another.

Your dentist will help you choose the right veneers for you. It’s essential to know how you want your veneers to look before your appointment.

Some patients need orthodontics like Invisalign prior to getting veneers. This is to ensure their teeth are aligned and in the proper positions. 

Consider the following when choosing veneers:

  • Cost
  • Durability
  • Material
  • How natural they look
  • Shade
  • Shape

Choosing Your Shade

There are many different veneer shade options available.

You’ll want to choose a shade that looks bright and healthy. Steer clear of choosing a too-white shade. If you do, your smile might look unnatural.

Try using the whites of your eyes for guidance. Your veneers should never be brighter than your eyes.

People with fair skin tones should choose from the whitest colors available. People with dark skin tones should opt for naturally-occurring shades and avoid extremely bleached shades, as these often look unnatural.

Speak with your dentist about veneer color layering. This technique makes veneers look more natural. Like real teeth, veneer color layering creates opaque texture in the teeth’s center and translucence toward the edges.

Choosing the Right Shape

Once you’ve found the right shade for your veneers, you’ll need to choose the right shape.

Consider your face shape when choosing veneers. 

Long, thin veneers slim a round face. Short, wide veneers compliment a long face.

Age is a factor to consider, too. Teeth naturally lose length over time, so longer veneers can help you look younger.

Plus, bulking up your teeth can smooth fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth. Thicker front veneers also gives the appearance of fuller lips.

Last updated on May 9, 2022
7 Sources Cited
Last updated on May 9, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Alothman, Yousef, and Maryam Saleh Bamasoud. “The Success of Dental Veneers According To Preparation Design and Material Type.” Open access Macedonian journal of medical sciences. 14 Dec. 2018.
  2. Vanlıoğlu, Burçin Akoğlu, and Yasemin Kulak-Özkan. “Minimally invasive veneers: current state of the art.” Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dentistry. Nov. 2014.
  3. Peumans, M et al. “Porcelain veneers: a review of the literature.” Journal of dentistry vol. 28,3 .
  4. El-Mowafy, Omar et al. “Porcelain veneers: An update.” Dental and medical problems, 2018.
  5. Pini, Núbia Pavesi et al. “Advances in dental veneers: materials, applications, and techniques.” Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dentistry. 10 Feb. 2012.
  6. Zhang, Rui et al. “Analysis of the effects of prepared porcelain veneers and unprepared porcelain veneers on gingival crevicular flora based on high-throughput sequencing.” Experimental and therapeutic medicine.
  7. Fahl, Newton Jr,, and André V Ritter. “Composite veneers: The direct-indirect technique revisited.” Journal of esthetic and restorative dentistry : official publication of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry.
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