If you are thinking about getting dental veneers or want to know more about what veneers are and how they work, this article will cover the following information:

  • What Are Dental Veneers?
  • Am I A Candidate For Dental Veneers?
  • Types of Veneers
    • Porcelain
    • Resin
  • Temporary Veneers
  • Do I Have To Veneer All of My Teeth?
  • How Much Do Dental Veneers Cost?
  • Alternatives to Veneers
  • Dental Veneer Preparation
  • Are Dental Veneers the Right Choice for Me?
what are dental veneers

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What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are a wafer-thin shell that are attached to the front of or over the teeth to improve the look of your smile. First invented in 1928, veneers were originally designed for actors to use during plays and early film. Today, anyone can get veneers to cover unwanted imperfections of their teeth. A dentist that is trained and specializes in veneer application can assist you in selecting the best color, shape, length, and size of your new smile.

Am I A Candidate for Dental Veneers?

Every day people consider getting dental veneers for many reasons. According to the NCBI the application of dental veneers can improve one’s self-esteem. If you have teeth that are cracked, chipped, worn down, discolored, misshaped, spotted, uneven, or out of alignment, dental veneers just might be the right choice for you. Everyone wants a beautiful smile and veneers can bring you confidence that you never knew you were missing.

Types of Dental Veneers

Dental laminates or veneers require a very thin layer of the tooth enamel to be removed from the teeth as part of the application process. In most cases, veneers are considered a permanent solution that require some maintenance and eventually need to be replaced, unless another dental procedure such as dentures are needed. There are two types of dental veneers, porcelain and resin, that are currently available in cosmetic dentistry.  

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are known to reflect light similar to the enamel on your natural teeth. In addition, veneers that are made from porcelain are very durable and have a stain resistant quality that many people desire. Once applied, veneers made from porcelain are fairly permanent. The average lifespan of porcelain veneers ranges from 10 to 25 years and require very little maintenance.

Resin Veneers

Another choice of cosmetic dentistry is resin veneers. While the lifespan of composite resin veneers are significantly less than that of porcelain veneers, only lasting 4 to 8 years, the cost of veneers made from resin is significantly less. Unlike porcelain veneers, resin veneers can be applied and sculpted the same day. Furthermore, many composite veneers can be safely removed without additional damage to the teeth.

Temporary Veneers

Temporary veneers are often part of the veneer process. In order to get the best fit possible a wax mold is formed and temporary veneers are made. Temporary veneers are worn to gain the experience of wearing veneers and protect your teeth while your permanent veneers are being crafted.

By wearing the temporary veneers you have the opportunity to explore how the real veneers might look and feel. Early in this stage, if you are not satisfied with the way your temporary veneers look or feel you can consult your dentist and make adjustments as needed.

Temporary veneers are fabricated out of a different material than your final veneers. The overall experience of wearing the temporaries will be similar but not exactly the same as wearing your permanent ones. While the color, fit, and feel of temporary veneers will not be as natural as your real dental veneers, they serve a significant purpose while your permanent ones are being made.

Do I Have To Veneer All My Teeth?

Most dental veneer procedures do not cover every tooth. Some individuals only need or want to have one or two teeth done. One damaged, stained, chipped, or misshapen tooth can feel like it ruins your whole smile and a veneer can help.

Another popular choice is to have the front eight teeth veneered to cost-effectively redesign your smile.  Even if you want to reshape your entire smile, molars are often exempt from the process as they are all the way in the back of your mouth. Consulting your dentist on the various veneer options and cost can help you better identify what is the best choice for you.

How Much Do Veneers Cost?

Because the application of dental veneers are considered cosmetic surgery, they are not often covered by insurance. The cost of veneers varies based on the type of veneers you want. Additional factors, such as the knowledge and skill of your dentist as well as the cost of living in your area, can affect the price of the veneers and the cost to apply them.

Porcelain or traditional veneers can cost anywhere from $900 to $2500 per tooth. While these dental veneers are more expensive than other options they last much longer. Veneers made from porcelain can last as long as 10 to 20 years. Resin or composite veneers have an approximate lifespan of 5 to 7 years and range from $250 to $1500 per tooth.

Each type of veneer has its own qualities to consider. While price is always a factor, there are numerous reasons why an individual would choose one over another. Consult your dentist on what might be the best choice for you.

Alternatives to Veneers

Veneers are not the only option for improving a smile. Numerous options from teeth whitening and orthodontics to dental crowns and even dentures are possibilities for obtaining the smile you desire.

Whitening and Dental Abrasion

If your teeth are discolored or have white spots professional whitening or microabrasion may be an option for reducing or eliminating the appearance of damage. Some whitening and microabrasion options remove a very thin outer layer of enamel to remove the discolored or spotted layer of the teeth.


In many cases where teeth are misaligned and have gaps between the teeth, orthodontics can help improve your smile. Today, braces are not the only option within the realm of orthodontic care to straighten your oral profile. While braces are a great option for many people, especially adolescents, to closing the gaps and straightening the teeth, other individuals want a more discrete option.

Invisalign and other clear aligners are available in stages to provide the same function as braces. Your dentist or orthodontist can assist you with more information regarding what is right for you based on your specific needs.

Dental Crowns

If one tooth is damaged, a dental crown may be a preferred method to resolving the issue. While a veneer adheres to the face of the tooth a dental crown is designed to fit over most of the entire tooth. A dental crown will improve the appearance and prevent further damage to the tooth underneath.

Dental Implants

Again, if only one or two teeth are damaged a dental implant may be an alternative to a veneer. An implant is an artificial enamel tooth that is inserted into the gum and/or jaw bone once the damaged tooth is removed. Only a trained professional can perform dental implants.


Dentures are prosthetic devices designed to replace teeth that have been removed. If the condition of one or more of the teeth are severely damaged and need to be extracted, a partial denture can be made. Full or complete dentures are recommended when the overall health of all the teeth are in poor condition and must be removed.

The cost of dentures can vary significantly from $1000 to $4000 more or less. There is an additional cost of having your teeth pulled prior to have dentures made. Dentures can wear out over time and last approximately 5 to 9 nine years. When replacing your dentures in the future, you will need to be refitted for new prosthetics as the shape of the mouth can change over time.  

Dentures are a great alternative to veneers for many people, especially but not limited to the elderly. When properly fitted, dentures are easy to take care of and comfortable to wear. A professional dentist that routinely assists people with dentures can help you get the fit you want.   

Veneer Preparation

Once you’ve decided that getting veneers is the right choice for you, your dentist will prepare you and your mouth for your new beautiful smile. It is standard procedure to have x-rays of the mouth prior to getting veneers. Then, the surface of the tooth’s enamel, approximately ½ millimeter (thinner than your fingernail), must be removed in order to prepare the teeth to bond to the veneer. A local anesthetic may or may not be used during this process.

Next, an impression of your tooth or teeth are made and sent off to a laboratory. Over the next 2 to 4 weeks, your dental veneers are constructed and sent back to your local dentist’s office. During this time, your dentist may provide you with temporary veneers to protect your teeth and acclimate you to wearing veneers.

Once your dentist has received your veneers, you’ll schedule an appointment to fit and shape your new smile. The dentist will place the dental veneers in your mouth and remove them to continually trim and size them until you have the right look and feel. The final coloration of the veneers can be adjusted with tinted cement used to adhere the veneers to your teeth.

Once the veneers are ready, your teeth will be cleaned and etched to create a better surface in which the veneers will bond. The dental veneers will then be placed on the surface of the teeth and cemented into place. A special light-activated cement is used to harden and cure quickly. The dentist will then remove any excess cement from teeth and veneers, check your alignment, and make adjustments as needed. You can also expect to be scheduled for a follow-up visit with your dentist in a few weeks to ensure a quality fit and satisfaction.

Choosing the right dentist for the task is important. Viewing before and after pictures of the dentists’ work is an important part of the process for many individuals that are thinking about getting veneers. Each dentist will have their own “style” of applying the veneers. You will want to work with a highly trained dentist whose aesthetic you appreciate.

Are Dental Veneers the Right Choice For Me?

Although the process of getting dental veneers is considered elective or cosmetic, it is still a very serious surgery. Depending on your oral situation, dental veneers are not for everyone. While veneers are a great option for getting the smile you’ve always wanted, sometimes there is an alternative that may be a better choice for you.

Dental veneers can give you almost immediate results with color, size, shape, and alignment of the teeth. While there are many options for correcting your smile, dental veneers may the answer you’re looking for. Reach out to Dr. Evan’s friendly staff to schedule a consultation.