What Are Porcelain Veneers?

If you are not satisfied with your smile when you look in the mirror, you may have already considered veneers as an option to transform your appearance. Porcelain veneers are thin coverings that are adhered to the front of your natural teeth with a permanent dental cement. Once you choose to use porcelain veneers, you will not be able to return to your natural teeth, so it is important to consider all the benefits and liabilities.


1. Address minor cosmetic issues

If your teeth have gaps between them, small cracks or chips, are not straight or are discolored as compared to the rest of your teeth, then porcelain veneers can be used to address one or all of these problems. While veneers can’t replace traditional orthodontic work as they do not change the position of your teeth, they can be created to make the gaps between the teeth appear smaller. In fact, veneers can even make a crooked tooth appear straight or a chipped tooth appear whole.

2. Whiten your smile

If you smoked cigarettes, enjoy your morning coffee, or your glass of red wine with dinner for years, then your teeth will show the signs of those habits. Nicotine, tea, soda, certain medications and other foods can leave your teeth a shade of yellow or even brown. Instead of looking to bleaching treatments at home or in the dentist office, you can look to porcelain veneers to whiten your teeth for good. Natural teeth will need to be whitened again if you continue to eat and drink those highly pigmented foods but porcelain veneers are mostly stain-resistant.

3. Enamel Replacement

Even though enamel is one of the strongest materials in your body, it does wear down and is not replaced naturally. If you are an aggressive tooth brusher, enjoy acidic foods and drinks or even suffer from acid reflux, your tooth enamel may not be as protective of your teeth as it once was. Despite the fact that you can’t regrow enamel, you can protect it with strong at-home dental habits. If routines and treatments are not enough to ensure your teeth are preserved, then porcelain veneers can act as a fresh layer of enamel.


1. They’re Permanent

In order for the porcelain veneers to remain in place and to adhere properly to your natural teeth, the dentist will need to change the structure of your teeth. The dentist may need to change the shape of your teeth, remove enamel and/or adjust the teeth on either side to ensure a perfect fit. Porcelain veneers do have a longer life than resin veneers, but they will need to be replaced.

2. More Sensitive Teeth

Because the enamel is removed to ensure the veneer is cemented in place, the remaining teeth will be more likely to feel more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Usually, the sensitivity decreases for most people over time, but other people may need to look to products to manage it.

3. High Price

Porcelain veneers are not the most expensive option for veneers, but the price can be affected by any necessary additional procedures or exams. Additionally, porcelain veneers are cosmetic so your insurance policy is unlikely to cover the cost.

Composite versus Porcelain Veneers