Dental veneers – Pros and Cons

dental veneers - pros and cons

Celebrities on TV and film, musicians, actors all have picture perfect smiles. We’ve all noticed that. But how did they do it? Just like anyone of us, they haven’t been born with perfectly shaped and spaced, snow white teeth. Their perfect smile most of the time comes from porcelain dental veneers.

You might want that kind of white smile for yourself. But keep in mind, they aren’t for everyone. Before you contact our experienced dentists and start your journey, you should read about the Pros and Cons of veneers. This will give you a realistic picture of what to expect and you can decide whether this is the right thing for you or not.

What are dental veneers?

Veneers are pieces for porcelain specifically molded for every patient so that they fit perfectly the front of their teeth. The aim is to provide better appearance and perfect smile. Of course, they don’t have to be made just from porcelain, even though this is the most common practice. They can also be molded from resin or other types of composite materials.

Regardless of the material for which they are made, the goals is to provide better appearance of your smile. They do this by changing the size, color and shape of your teeth.

Dental veneers are mostly used on:

  • Discolored teeth from root canals, filings or other dental procedures
  • Teeth that have been damaged e.g. chipped teeth
  • Teeth that are not properly shaped
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Or other dental issues that poorly reflect on your smile and self-confidence

On average, they last between 7-15 years and then they need to be replaced. They cost about $1000-$2000 and are typically not covered by insurance because they are considered as a cosmetic procedure (even though they sometimes aren’t just that).

What type of veneers can you choose from?

Before you can actually get dental veneers, you first need to discuss this option with your dentist to see if this is actually an option for you. Yes, some people aren’t suitable for them, but they have other alternatives to choose from. If your dentist determined that you’re a good candidate, there are a few types that you can choose from:

Porcelain veneers – These are the most expensive, best looking and top-quality veneers on the market. They are custom made, will fit your teeth perfectly and can be molded in a color that will mostly resemble your natural teeth. They application includes special cement (that binds them to your natural teeth) and UV light.

Instant veneers – Represent a quicker option, since they are premolded and can be applied during the consultation. Usually they are used in cases of broken or missing teeth. They are less expensive than for example porcelain veneers, but because they are premade, they won’t be a snug fit like custom made veneers, and they won’t exactly match your natural teeth.

Composite veneers – Just like porcelain veneers, they are custom made to fit each individual patient. But instead of porcelain, they are made from composite material, similar to the one used in some types of dental fillings. Composite veneers are generally used to address some minor problems with your teeth such as a minor chip/crack, smaller gaps between your teeth and so on. They are less expensive than porcelain teeth, but also less durable.

Removable veneers – This is the most recent addition to the veneers family. They represent a combination of both porcelain and instant veneers. On one hand, they are custom made just for you, so they will fit perfectly. And on the other hand they can be removed when needed. Since they are custom made, they will match your natural teeth, but they are in no way a long-term solution for chipped, broken or missing teeth.

What are the Pros?

Probably the most important benefit of having dental veneers is that you will regain your lost sense of self confidence because you’ll have a flawless smile. And since they are generally custom made to resemble (and fit) your natural teeth, you can barely tell the difference.

Veneers are directly bonded to your natural teeth using a special cement or sealant (regardless which type of veneers are we talking about) so there’s no need for additional drilling or shaping down your teeth in order to make them fit. Also there’s no need for special maintenance. You can just do your normal daily routine i.e. brush and floss.

You tooth can appear whiter when you fit veneers, but you can select any color you want. So you can pick something that mostly resembles your natural teeth and the change won’t be so noticeable.

What are the Cons?

Now, the Pros of dental veneers make them look really great and appealing, but before opting in for this procedure, you should also consider the Cons.

Once veneers are made, they have a fixed color which won’t change over time. Your natural teeth, on the other hand will change color in time which can cause an awkward color difference in your smile. Of course this can all be prevented by scheduling regular visits to your dentist for cleaning and eventually teeth whitening.

Porcelain is known to be quite delicate, so it’s natural that dental veneers can be prone to chipping and cracking. Lots more than for example crowns or fillings. This is important because if you’re a type of person who likes biting your nails, you grind your teeth or you chew on ice, veneers are not a good option for you. Of course, these habits can be corrected with some work and attention.

Dental veneers are only a layer of fine coating which provides a better and more beautiful smile. They don’t act as a protective coat around your teeth, preventing tooth decay. In fact, your teeth can still decay under your veneers which can lead to other dental procedures such as root canals or dental crowns. If you have a history of weak tooth enamel, periodontitis (gum disease) or other dental problems, which are sign for weaker teeth, instead of veneers you should consider other alternatives like dental implants.

We hope that these guides will help you make a well informed decision when it comes to dental veneers. If you’re thinking about it, but are not yet sure, contact us and schedule an appointment with our licensed dentists.


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Dr. Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen

Dr. Nguyen is committed to providing high-quality dentistry using state-of-the-art equipment to help you achieve improved oral health and the beautiful smile you deserve.

Dr. Nguyen has served on the Virginia Board of Dentistry and has many achievements such as: Invisalign Premier and Teen Provider, Pre-Fellow with Academy of General Dentistry, Graduate of Aesthetic Continuum, Engel Institute for Dental Implant Training, WaveOne Endodontic Training, HD President’s Club.

Dr. Nguyen enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, staying active in the gym, and trying out new restaurants.  When he isn’t at work, you can find him playing basketball, tennis, football, or hiking.

“I want to make you feel right at home, exceed your expectations, and provide an amazing experience!”