Everything You Need To Know About Different Types of Dental Veneers

Posted on April 25th, 2022 at 2:44 PM
Everything You Need To Know About Different Types of Dental Veneers

If you want to improve your smile, dental veneers are an option to help you achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you have chipped teeth, gaps between your teeth, or any other type of cosmetic issue that you want to fix, veneers are a potential solution that can perfect your smile.

What Are Dental Veneers? (And other Frequently Asked Questions)

Dental veneers are a layer of thin, tooth-colored material attached to the front of your teeth to alter their appearance. They are typically made out of a resin composite or porcelain, with porcelain being the more common choice of material for dental veneers. 

Dental veneers are permanently bonded to the surface of your teeth using a special dental cement and can be used to cover one or several teeth. As a purely cosmetic solution, dental veneers are most commonly attached to the top 6 to 8 front teeth — the ones you smile with!

What are dental veneers used to fix?

Examples of cosmetic dental issues veneers can remedy:

  • Very stained teeth (which can’t be fixed by whitening)
  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Worn teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Uneven spaces between teeth
  • Large gaps between teeth

How are dental veneers made and attached?

No matter what type of dental veneers you choose, the general process for making them and fixing them to your teeth is similar. 

Before you get veneers, you will need to have a preliminary appointment with your dentist to evaluate your teeth. The dentist will check that your teeth and gums are healthy enough for veneers and discuss your options to determine the best type of dental veneers for your mouth.

If everything looks good and your dentist gives you the green light to go ahead with improving your smile using veneers, during a second appointment they will take a mold of your teeth to send off to a lab that will construct your new veneers. 

In order to get accurate measurements, the dentist typically removes a small amount of material from your teeth before making the mold. They may also reshape some of your teeth in preparation for the veneers to ensure they fit perfectly and naturally in your mouth.

Depending on the type of dental veneers you go with, it usually takes a week or two for the lab to create them. Once your dentist has the veneers, you’ll go back for a final appointment to get them applied. 

To attach the dental veneers, the dentist starts by thoroughly cleaning your teeth to remove any bacteria that could get trapped beneath the veneers (which could lead to tooth decay). Then, they roughen up your teeth using a grinding tool to create a slight  texture that helps the veneers bond properly to the surface.

Finally, your dentist will fix your veneers to the surface of your teeth using dental cement, which they quickly harden using a special UV light.

How long do dental veneers last?

With proper care and treatment, dental veneers can have an average lifespan of around 10 years. Different types of dental veneers can last more or less time than this, depending on the specific material they are made from.

However, all dental veneers do wear down over time. They can become chipped and cracked like regular teeth, so they eventually need to be repaired or replaced. In this sense, dental veneers are not a permanent solution, but they are a long-term solution to cosmetic dental problems.

The Different Types of Dental Veneers Explained

Resin-composite dental veneers

Dental resin composites are made of a tooth-colored filling material, like the kind you may have had a cavity filled with at some point. Dental veneers made from these resin composites are typically the cheapest type of veneers available.

However, they also tend to be less durable than different types of dental veneers, with an average lifespan of about 5-7 years. That being said, resin-composite veneers are easier to repair than other varieties, so minor issues don’t usually require veneer replacement.

Porcelain dental veneers

Porcelain dental veneers are the most popular type of veneers because of their extremely natural-looking surface color and their longevity. They are quite strong and durable, and thus less likely to get damaged or worn down quickly compared to resin veneers. Porcelain veneers are also very stain resistant, so your new smile stays whiter, longer. 

In terms of lifespan, porcelain veneers typically last at least 10 years, and can even last 15-20 years in some cases. While they are more expensive than resin-composite veneers, this long lifespan makes them very cost effective.

No-prep veneers

No-prep dental veneers are a special type of porcelain veneers that don’t require the dentist to grind down or reshape your teeth prior to application. The only thing that the dentist must do is remove a minimal amount of enamel from your front teeth to allow the veneers to bond effectively to the surface.

Because of the ease of application, no-prep veneers often only require one visit to the dentist’s office to get them attached. No-prep veneers are a popular alternative to traditional porcelain veneers, especially for people with healthy teeth who don’t want to alter the structure of their existing teeth or for people who experience dental phobia and want a more hassle-free experience.

What’s the Best Type of Dental Veneers?

Ultimately, the right type of dental veneers for you will come down to your goals, budget, and personal preferences. 

If you want the most affordable solution, and don’t mind having to get new veneers in less than 10 years, resin-composite veneers might work for you. If you prefer a more long-lasting solution, and have a little bit higher budget, porcelain veneers might be the best choice.

At Sleep Dentistry with Dr. Kevin Mahoney, we offer a range of smile makeover solutions, including dental veneers. Our compassionate team specializes in treating dental work-averse patients, and will do everything possible to make your visit a comfortable one. 

Schedule an Appointment Today