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What Are Dental Veneers and How Do They Work?

Haleigh Pouliot

Written by Haleigh Pouliot

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Ever wished that you could get perfectly even white teeth without having to spend months in braces? That’s exactly what dental veneers can do for you. This cosmetic dental procedure is a great alternative, very easy to do that will only take a couple of dental visits or even less! There are different types of veneers and each one has its pros and cons. So, to make your decision easier, we have collected all the information about them to make it very straightforward for you to choose. Keep reading to learn more about them!

What Are Veneers?

The first question you should ask is: what are veneers? Veneers are cosmetic dental restorations bonded to the fronts of teeth that show when you smile. They come as individual pieces of thin material and look like shells or curved wafers. These shells are fitted right over the front of your teeth to give them a completely new look.

Since they’re placed on top of your teeth, veneers are very thin, with a thickness of around half a millimeter. Your teeth have to be prepped for veneers by grinding away a layer of enamel equal to the thickness of the veneers. Otherwise, the veneers would make your teeth feel too big.

process to get dental veneers
what are dental veneers

Some veneers don’t require removing any parts of your tooth. These no-preparation (no-prep) veneers are exceptionally thin so that they can just go right on top of your tooth enamel.

Veneers can only be made by a dental professional and each one is custom-designed for the perfect fit on an individual tooth. Depending on what your smile needs, you might need just one veneer to fix a single tooth, or you may need several on all of your front teeth to achieve a uniform look.

In most cases, veneers are best-suited to upper front teeth for two reasons:

What Are Veneers For?

Veneers can make your teeth look perfect in spite of multiple flaws. They can fix problems like:

how does veneers work

Veneers are cosmetic which means that they’re just for looks. They don’t have the same therapeutic value that fillings, crowns, dental bridges, or braces do. So while veneers could be the main star in your next smile makeover, they’re not essential to having a healthy and functioning mouth.

This also means that you’re not likely to get your insurance company to pay for your dental veneers. Dental insurance coverage normally applies only to the procedures deemed necessary to your dental health.

Even if you have to pay for veneers out of pocket, you’ll likely find that they’re a worthwhile investment. Wearing veneers can not only boost your self-confidence, but they can also increase your motivation to take good care of your oral health.

It’s also important to note that veneers are not the same thing as dental crowns.

Crowns are for protecting teeth with extensive decay or structural damage, whereas veneers are all about looks and won’t help hold your teeth together. If you’re debating whether to get a crown vs veneers, then you should talk with your dentist since these two types of restorations have two different purposes.

How Do Veneers Work?

The basic veneers process for getting veneers usually entails multiple dental appointments. Here’s what happens over the course of those visits.

These steps aren’t involved in each case, as depending on what kind of veneers you get, the veneers process differs.

What Are The Different Types of Veneers?

But, what are the different types of veneers? There are three main types of veneers that you can choose from, which their main difference is what are veneers made of:

Porcelain veneers are the most popular and most realistic type, which is why they’re also the most expensive. Porcelain mimics the shade and translucency of natural tooth enamel and it can last for several years without chipping. If you aren’t careful when biting with your front teeth, however, porcelain veneers can pop off.

Porcelain Veneers

Black background. On the top of the image, a dental cast with porcelain veneers

Porcelain veneers are the most popular and most realistic type, which is why they’re also the most expensive. Porcelain mimics the shade and translucency of natural tooth enamel and it can last for several years without chipping. If you aren’t careful when biting with your front teeth, however, porcelain veneers can pop off.

Composite Veneers

composite veneers

The other kind of veneer is made from dental composite, which is similar to the material used in tooth-colored fillings and dental bonding. Composite veneers are either shaped directly onto the tooth by the dentist or created separately in a lab and then bonded to the tooth later on.

How to take care of veneers?

Once your new veneers are in place, all that’s left for you to do is rock your new smile and keep them in great shape. Take good care of your veneers with these tips:

Snap-On Veneers


There’s one last type of veneers that’s often referred to as “snap-on veneers.” These aren’t true veneers, but they are a more affordable and less invasive alternative. Snap-on veneers are a removable and decorative dental mouthpiece that rests right on top of the existing teeth. Think of it as a hollow denture: false teeth to fit over your natural teeth.

This dental prosthetic lets you instantly transform your smile for special occasions without ever setting foot in a dentist’s office. You can easily order a set of snap-on veneers online and have your new smile shipped to your home. You’ll just wear these whenever you want to show off a Hollywood-caliber smile

How Much Do Veneers Cost?

The cost of veneers depends on the type you choose, as each material has its value. Check in our table the average cost of each:

Porcelain VeneersComposite VeneersSnap-On Veneers
$900 and $2,500 per tooth$250 and $1,500 per tooth$500 to $1,000 per arch

Which Type of Veneers Is Best?

Probably, you are wondering which type of veneer is better than the other to get the best ones as they will last longer and feel and look better.

Composite Veneers

Porcelain Veneers

Snap-On Veneers

Veneers for Teeth: The Pros and Cons

Getting veneers can definitely change your life for the better. But there are also some downsides you’ll need to consider.

Here’s a list of the main pros and cons of dental veneers.

  • Cover up teeth that don't respond to teeth bleaching
  • Make teeth look straighter without braces
  • Make all of your teeth look even in shape and size
  • Get a more beautiful smile instantly
  • Permanent and reversible veneer options to choose from
  • Easy to maintain
  • Minimally- or non- invasive dental procedure
  • Stain-resistant
  • Expensive
  • Not typically covered by insurance
  • Can break or pop off your teeth
  • Depending on the type, some veneers mean irreversibly altering your teeth
  • You may not qualify if your bite is in bad alignment or if your teeth have decay or structural damage

Dental Veneer Aftercare Do’s And Don’ts

After checking the veneers teeth pros and cons and before making your decision, it is also very important to take into consideration their aftercare as, if you properly take care of your veneers, it will last more than you think. So, here you have the best tips to follow: 

  • See your dentist regularly
  • Practice proper oral hygiene with a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
  • Regular flossing
  • Don't chew on hard objects
  • While eating, avoid biting and twisting
  • Avoid grinding and cleaning teeth
  • Don't smoke
  • Reduce alcohol consumption

Probably what you most care about is how veneers will look after you get them, and if the difference will be noticeable for you and the people around you. We can assure you that whether you get them for having whiter teeth or improving the shape and size, veneers look very natural and can improve your smile a lot. But, if you are still doubting, here are some images of the before and after getting veneers: 

Are Veneers Worth It?

Considering that any kind of veneers cost precious money, you want to be sure that the investment is worthwhile.

Before you commit to getting veneers, you should meet with your dentist to discuss your options and learn more about crowns or bonding vs veneers. But we can assure you that as long as you’re willing to put in the expense for quality treatment, veneers are definitely worth every penny!


How Long Do Veneers Last?

You can make your veneers last as long as possible by taking excellent care of them. But even the most well-cared for veneers will eventually weaken and become prone to damage. Porcelain veneers can last, on average, fifteen years; while composite veneers have a shorter life span, about five to seven years.

Are veneers permanent?

Here’s the funny thing about dental veneers: they both are and are not permanent.

As we stated in the question above, most veneers stay in place for anywhere from five to fifteen years before they fall off or show signs of breakage.

Are Dental Veneers Easy to Care For?

Yes! As we mentioned in our Dos and Don’ts section, the only thing you have to do is have a good oral health routine and avoid some types of foods and drinks that can damage the veneers. 

Are Veneers Worth It?

Of course, they are. Dental veneers are a safe, affordable alternative recommended by dentists that can last several years.


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Afton Jackson

    I really like how you listed that veneer procedures are non-invasive even if they can help straighten out some of your teeth. After neglecting my dental hygiene for the longest time, I’ve recently discovered that my front teeth have ended up with a slew of problems like curving and cracking. Veneers definitely sound like a great solution to this, so I’ll look for any dentists in the area that can get me some.

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