Porcelain Veneer

February 20, 2011 by Dr. Ng SN2


  • What is a veneer?
  • Case study
  • Other Clinical Cases with porcelain veneer
  • Dental veneers vs dental crowns
  • How to care for your cosmetic veneers
  • Benefits of Cosmetic Veneers
  • Porcelain veneers vs Resin veneers
  • Traditional porcelain veneers vs Lumineers

What is a veneer?

Nowadays there is a wide variety of treatments and methods that dentists can use to enhance a person’s smile. Cosmetic veneers have really gained in popularity over the last few years, and recently came to evolve into a veritable art form. Cosmetic veneers are usually sought by patients who have discolored, stained, chipped or uneven teeth. Placement of dental veneers requires the artistry, precision and skill of a talented cosmetic dentist.

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are thin, semi-transparent facings usually made out of porcelain that are bonded onto the front of teeth to create a smile makeover. They create a beautiful result. Porcelain mimics tooth structure better than any other restorative material and it is a very durable and extraordinarily strong material that has similar texture, translucence and color to the enamel of your natural teeth.  Dental artists can manipulate the color and translucency to re-create the look of any tooth. And it resists stain better than tooth enamel. Very rarely will it discolor, unless the surface has been damaged. These thin shells of porcelain are bonded to your frontal surface of teeth to conceal any discoloration, damage or altered alignment.

The procedure normally requires two or three appointments to be completed. The cosmetic dentist will begin the procedure by roughening the surface of your teeth to make sure the veneers will perfectly bond to the teeth. He will next trim down the outer surface of the teeth enamel to accommodate the veneers. Impression of the trimmed teeth will be taken. Your teeth will be covered with temporary veneers while the actual veneers are created in a dental laboratory. The lab technician will develop the permanent veneers after which your cosmetic dentist will have them placed in your mouth.

Case study

Before Treatment

This young lady presented with a ‘space’ between her front central incisor which looked rather unnatural and  unattractive especially when she smiled (below).

She decided to have all her upper front incisors to be veneered to close the gap. Before her teeth were prepared, the natural colour of teeth were recorded so that the porcelain veneer will match with the ‘neighbour’ teeth later.

Colour/Shade selection

Under local anesthesia, a thin layer (0.7mm) of tooth structure was removed at the front surface of each teeth (below). Then, an impression was taken to get a negative copy of her dentition and later, a dental model was produced.

The teeth were minimally prepared for porcelain veneers

The dental model was sent to lab where the laboratory technician would fabricate veneers over the dental model (below)

This is how porcelain veneers look like

Finally, the veneers would be cemented onto patient’s mouth with strong resin cement.

Final result!!

Before and after result!!!


Other Clinical Cases with porcelain veneer

Another case of closing mid-line spacing with veneer


Crooked front teeth were corrected with veneer


Discolour front teeth

Discolour and malalignment 6 front teeth
6 porcelain veneers fabricated on the model
The veneers were cemented with resin cement to the front teeth

More cases of aesthethic makeover with full porcelain crowns and veneers, click here

Dental veneers vs dental crowns

Dental veneers and dental crowns are two different types of dental restorations that have similar cosmetic end results. Cosmetic dentists use these two dental procedures to correct similar dental issues. Each of these two dental techniques carries its advantages and disadvantages.

The main difference between crowns and veneers regards the amount of the tooth’ structure each restoration typically covers over. Dental veneers require significantly less reduction of the tooth structure than dental crowns. Porcelain veneers will cover over only the side of the tooth that shows when the patient smiles while dental crowns cover the tooth entirely.

While dental veneers are recommended to patients whose gums and teeth are generally healthy dental crowns are more appropriate for patients who wish to rebuild teeth that are decayed or badly broken. Dental crowns are ideal for teeth that are misshaped, worn down, cracked, broken or extremely weak. Individuals who have a tendency to clench or grind their teeth may want to treat their dental issues with dental crowns because bruxism can chip or crack dental veneers.

Make sure you find a knowledgeable cosmetic dentist who can determine which of the two techniques is right for your situation.

How to care for your cosmetic veneers

  • You should avoid extreme temperatures in food and beverages for at least two weeks following the veneers placement.
  • You should also stay away as much as possible from hard foods that may twist or stress the veneers.
  • Oral habits such as opening bobby pins or nail biting, could damage your veneers.
  • Frequent flossing will keep your veneers free of plaque so make sure you floss your veneers just like they were natural teeth.
  • Use a soft toothbrush to brush your dental veneers after every meal.
  • Don’t forget to keep up with your regular maintenance.
  • Make sure you have your teeth cleaned and checked every six months or so.
  • Your cosmetic veneers are designed to last up to fifteen years but it is up to you to make that happen.

Benefits of Cosmetic Veneers

  • Dental veneers can completely conceal the imperfections of your front teeth, providing a total smile makeover. The change in your smile will help you project an image of confidence and high self-esteem.
  • Cosmetic veneers can cover a wide variety of dental flaws including misalignment, discoloration, stains caused by excessive smoking or antibiotics, trauma-damaged and fractured teeth, diastemas, crooked, chipped or broken teeth, etc.
  • Dental veneers are compatible with most other cosmetic dental procedures. For example, you can place veneers in combination with TMJ treatment, teeth whitening, neuromuscular dentistry, or a full-mouth reconstruction to completely reshape your smile.
  • Many patients consider dental veneers a great alternative to traditional braces. Unlike other alternatives, cosmetic veeners wont’t compromise the strength and integrity of your teeth.
  • Porcelain veneers act as a barrier between your teeth and staining agents such as tobacco products, chocolate, sugary foods, wine, tea or coffee. Veneers can strengthen old filings and teeth that have been weakened by root canal treatments.
  • Cosmetic veneers can last up to 15 years if you maintain a proper oral hygiene through daily brushing and flossing.
  • Veneers can change the appearance of your smile within as little as three visits.
  • Anesthesia is usually not required as the procedure normally causes no pain or discomfort.
  • Cosmetic veneers are designed to look and feel just like natural teeth. Veneers however will not discolor over time as natural teeth do.

Porcelain veneers vs Resin Composite veneers

If you are considering dental veneers to restore your teeth, you may have to choose between the two types of cosmetic veneers that are currently available today, ceramic or porcelain veneers and composite resin veneers. Other dental restorative materials such as gold and amalgam cannot offer the same natural teeth color. The question is, which of the two is a better choice? Composite veneers are inexpensive, insoluble, insensitive to dehydration and aesthetically pleasing. In terms of durability however, porcelain veneers have a life span of about 15 years while composite resin veneers can break or chip more easily and may require touch-ups. While porcelain veneers are more durable, composite resin veneers are easier to repair.

Porcelain veneers possess a much more natural color compared to resin veneers which don’t look exactly as normal teeth. That’s what makes porcelain veneers an ideal option for front teeth while resin veneers are more suited for back teeth. Both composite veneers and porcelain veneers can be indirectly fabricated but only resin veneers can also be directly fabricated inside the patient’s mouth. Even though ceramic veneers can be up to 10 times more expensive than composite veneers, resin veneers will require much more aftercare that will add up to the initial, affordable cost. Make sure you find a qualified cosmetic dentist that can help you determine the best solution for your individual needs!

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  • Kim

    September 27, 2012 at 8:08 am

    It’s hard to search out knowledgeable people on this matter, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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    January 20, 2013 at 6:58 am

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