A Complete Guide to Dental Veneers: Everything You Need to Know

indications and contraindications of dental veneers
Are you seeking a cosmetic solution to enhance your smile?

Dental veneers may be the solution you've been looking for. Dental veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry option that can transform the appearance of your teeth and improve your confidence.

In this article, we'll dive into what dental veneers are, how they work, the different types available, and the benefits and drawbacks of getting them.

Key takeaways:

  1. Veneers are thin shells custom-made to fit over the front surface of your teeth, changing their size, shape, color, and length. They can also improve the function of your teeth.

  2. Veneers can be a great option if you have discolored, misshapen, misaligned teeth, or gaps between them.

  3. However, veneers may not be the best option if you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, heavily crooked teeth, damaged enamel, poor oral hygiene habits, or significant decay.

  4. The pros of veneers are that they can improve the appearance of teeth, fix a variety of cosmetic concerns, are stain-resistant, can last for many years with proper care, and are less invasive than some other cosmetic treatments.

  5. The cons of veneers are that they have a limited lifespan, can be expensive, require reduction of the enamel layer, may cause tooth sensitivity, and are not suitable for all patients.

How do dental veneers work?

Dental veneers can be a great solution for those who want to enhance the appearance of their smile. These thin shells are custom-made to fit over the front surface of your teeth, effectively changing their size, shape, color, and length.

In addition to the cosmetic benefits, veneers can also improve the function of your teeth. For example, if your teeth are weakened (due to chips or cracks), veneers can help restore their strength and durability.

While there are other cosmetic dental treatments available, veneers are often the first option to consider for those who want to achieve a dramatically improved smile. dental veneers before and after: Worn teeth restoration

Are you a candidate for dental veneers?

Dental veneers can be an excellent solution for many different dental concerns. It's important to note that for veneers to be successful, your teeth should be healthy and strong, or only lightly damaged. Otherwise, the restorations may not hold properly on your teeth.

If you have any of these concerns and are looking for a way to improve the appearance of your smile, then you may be a good candidate for dental veneers.

1. Discolored teeth:

If your teeth are discolored or stained, and you have tried other whitening methods without success, then dental veneers can be a great option. Veneers can cover up stains and discolorations, giving you a bright, whiter smile.

veneers indication: discoloration

2. Misshapen teeth:

Dental veneers can also be used to change the shape of your teeth. Whether your teeth are small, large, or misshapen, these custom-made shells can fit your unique dental needs and preferences.

veneers indication: misshapen teeth

3. Misaligned teeth:

If you have mild to moderate misalignment issues, such as crooked or slightly overlapping teeth, veneers can be used to improve the appearance of your smile. Veneers can help to straighten and align your teeth, giving you a more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing smile.

4. Gaps between teeth (diastemas or black triangles):

Veneers can also be used to hide gaps between your teeth caused by diastemas or black triangles. By placing veneers over the affected teeth, your dentist can create the appearance of a seamless, gap-free smile.

veneers indication: diastemas

5. Tooth fracture:

If you have a chipped or fractured front tooth that is not too severe, veneers can be a good option to restore and protect it.

veneers indication: tooth fracture

When are you not a candidate for veneers?

Although veneers can address many dental issues, there are situations where they may not be the most suitable solution. Here are some of the most common conditions where you may not be a candidate.

1. Teeth Grinding or Clenching:

If you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, veneers may not be suitable for you. This is because the constant pressure and friction can damage them, leading to cracks, chips, or fractures.

2. Significant tooth misalignment:

If your teeth are heavily crooked or overlapping, veneers may not be the ideal solution. This is because the veneers can make the teeth appear bulkier or more pronounced, exacerbating the problem. Orthodontic treatment may be a better option to achieve the desired results.

3. Damaged enamel:

Dental veneers require a certain amount of healthy enamel to be removed from the tooth surface before placement. If your enamel is already damaged due to decay, wear, or other factors, then veneers may not be appropriate. In such cases, your dentist may recommend restorative treatments like crowns or fillings.

4. Insufficient Oral Hygiene:

Good oral hygiene is essential for the success and longevity of dental veneers. If you have poor oral hygiene habits, such as infrequent brushing and flossing, or a history of gum disease, then veneers may not be a viable option.

5. Extensive Decay:

If your teeth have significant decay or damage, veneers may not be able to provide the necessary restoration. Your dentist may recommend other treatments, such as dental crowns or root canal therapy, to restore the health and function of the affected teeth.
indications and contraindications of dental veneers

The pros and cons of dental veneers:


  • Compared to crowns, veneers require less removal of healthy tooth structure, preserving more of the natural tooth.

  • Compared to tooth whitening treatment, veneers can provide a more significant and longer-lasting improvement in tooth color and appearance.

  • Compared to orthodontic treatment, veneers can provide a quicker and more effective solution for minor to moderate dental misalignments.


  • Veneers have a limited lifespan, typically lasting between 5-15 years, after which they may need to be replaced.

  • Veneers can be more expensive than other options.

  • Placing veneers requires removing a layer of enamel from the tooth, which can make the tooth more sensitive and may increase the risk of future decay or damage.

  • Veneers can be susceptible to fracture or damage from chewing hard or crunchy foods or from trauma to the mouth.

Pros Cons
Can improve the appearance of teeth May not be suitable for severely damaged teeth
Can correct uneven spacing and alignment May require replacement over time
Can last for many years with proper care May increase tooth sensitivity
Can provide an instant transformation to the smile Risk of fracture
Less invasive than some other cosmetic treatments Requires good oral hygiene habits to maintain

Types of dental veneers:

1. Composite Resin Veneers:


Composite resin veneers can be completed in one dental visit. First, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing a small amount of the enamel. After selecting the shade, the dentist will apply and shape the composite resin material to the tooth to create the desired shape and size. Finally, the material is hardened using a special light, and the veneer is polished for a smooth, shiny surface.


Composite resin veneers are often less expensive than porcelain veneers and can be completed in a single dental visit. They are also easily repairable if damaged and can be removed and replaced with little to no damage to the natural tooth.


Composite resin veneers are not as durable as porcelain veneers and may require more maintenance over time. They are also more prone to staining and discoloration and may need to be replaced more frequently.

2. Porcelain Veneers:


Porcelain veneers usually require two dental visits. During the first visit, the dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel from the tooth and take an impression of the tooth to send to a dental lab. The lab will create a custom veneer to fit your natural teeth. During the second visit, the dentist will bond the veneer to the tooth using a special adhesive.


Porcelain veneers are highly durable and can last up to 20 years with proper care. They are also highly resistant to staining and discoloration and can provide a natural-looking and long-lasting result.


Porcelain veneers are often more expensive than composite resin veneers and require more time and effort to complete. Additionally, they may require more tooth structure to be removed during the preparation process, making them a more irreversible procedure than composite resin veneers.
Resin Composite Veneers Porcelain Veneers
  • Less expensive
  • Require less tooth enamel removal
  • Can be repaired if damaged
  • Can be completed in one visit
  • More durable and stain-resistant
  • More natural-looking
  • Can be used for larger restorations
  • Not as durable as porcelain veneers
  • May need to be replaced more frequently
  • Not as natural-looking
  • More expensive
  • Require more tooth enamel removal
  • Cannot be repaired if damaged
  • May require multiple visits

Which type of porcelain is best for you?

Dental veneers are made from a tooth-colored material called ceramic or porcelain. Because of its tooth-like properties, it allows restorations to blend in well in the mouth. Depending on your specific needs, your dentist can choose different porcelain materials, including:

1. Feldspathic porcelain:

This is a traditional type of porcelain that has been used for dental veneers for many years. It is known for its ability to mimic the translucency of natural teeth, providing a natural-looking result. This is the most aesthetically pleasing porcelain. However, it is not as durable and can chip or crack over time.
If your front teeth are healthy or you have minor imperfections, feldspathic veneers may be the right option for you.

2. Emax porcelain:

This is a newer type of porcelain that combines the aesthetic qualities of feldspathic porcelain with extra strength and durability. For this reason, it is one of the most recommended by dentists. Emax is made from a single block of ceramic and is less likely to chip or crack than feldspathic. It is also known for its ability to replicate the natural color and shape of teeth.

3. Zirconia:

This is a type of porcelain that is extremely strong and durable. It is made from a crystal material called zirconium oxide, which makes it resistant to chipping and cracking. However, because of its strength, it may not be as translucent as other types of porcelain, which can make it less natural-looking.
Zirconia veneers may be the go-to option if you want to hide severely discolored teeth or if you have teeth grinding issues.

How to take care of your dental veneers?

Taking care of your dental veneers is important to ensure they last as long as possible and maintain their appearance. Here are some tips you can follow:

  • Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Clean between your teeth daily (floss or interdental brush) to remove plaque and debris from these hard-to-reach areas.

  • Avoid hard or sticky foods: Do not bite down on hard objects like ice or chewy candies, as this can damage your veneers. Instead, choose softer foods or cut them into smaller pieces to avoid putting too much pressure.

  • Wear a mouthguard: If you play sports or grind your teeth at night, consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your veneers from damage.

  • Visit your dentist regularly: Schedule regular dental checkups to monitor your veneers and to identify any issues early on.

  • Avoid staining substances: Veneers can stain just like natural teeth, especially if you wear those made with composite resin. So avoid or limit your consumption of staining substances such as coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco products.

Are there any better alternatives to veneers?

Before opting for veneers, there are other options you should know about. These alternatives are less invasive to your teeth and can still provide stunning results. These include:

1. Teeth whitening:

If your main concern is tooth discoloration, professional teeth whitening treatments may be your best option. These treatments can remove stains and discoloration, leaving you with a brighter, pleasing smile while preserving your enamel.

2. Orthodontic treatment:

If your teeth are crooked, misaligned, or have gaps between them, orthodontic treatment such as braces or Invisalign may be a better option for you. These treatments can straighten your teeth, improve your bite, and create a more aesthetically pleasing smile. The only downside is that it takes longer to get results.

3. Composite bonding:

If you have minor cosmetic issues such as chipped, cracked, or small gaps in your teeth, composite bonding may be a good alternative to veneers. During the procedure, your dentist applies a tooth-colored resin material to your teeth to improve their appearance. This option is less invasive and more affordable than veneers. However, the results may not last as long.