An In-Depth Look into the Various Types of Dental Veneers

by | Jun 19, 2023 | Cosmetic Dentistry

Dental patient

Dental veneers have become a popular solution for those looking to achieve a flawless smile. These ultra-thin, custom-made shells are placed on the front teeth to improve their appearance. But did you know that not all veneers are created equal? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the different types of dental veneers available so you can make an informed decision. 


Types of Veneers

Dental veneers are a highly sought-after solution for those aspiring to perfect their smiles. Veneers are a transformative cosmetic dentistry solution, providing a quick fix for discoloured, chipped or broken teeth. 


Porcelain Veneers

tooth placement veneers chatswoodPorcelain veneers, also known as traditional veneers, sit comfortably at the top of the dental veneer hierarchy. Renowned for their durability and natural appearance, porcelain veneers are made from a high-quality ceramic material that closely mimics the translucence and texture of natural tooth enamel.

Porcelain veneers are custom-made in a dental lab, requiring at least two dentist visits. The first visit involves preparing the tooth and taking an impression, while the second involves bonding the veneer to the entire tooth.

Porcelain veneers are highly stain resistant, which makes them a preferred choice for those who cannot give up their daily coffee or red wine. Despite their higher upfront cost compared to other types of veneers, their long lifespan of 10 to 15 years makes them a cost-effective investment in the long run. 


Composite Veneers

Composite veneers are a less expensive alternative to porcelain veneers. They are composed of a composite resin material, the same used for tooth-coloured fillings. Unlike porcelain veneers, composite veneers can often be fabricated and applied in a single dental visit.

Composite veneers are more prone to staining and are less durable than porcelain veneers, typically around 5 to 7 years. However, they are easily repairable in case of chipping or damage, which is only sometimes possible with porcelain veneers. 


Similarities Between Porcelain and Composite Veneers

When it comes to improving the appearance of your teeth, porcelain and composite resin veneers are both popular options. While they are made from different materials, both offer similar aesthetic benefits for natural-looking teeth. Porcelain veneers are made from thin layers of porcelain that are custom-fitted to your existing tooth structure and bonded with a strong adhesive.

Composite resin veneers, on the other hand, are made from a tooth-coloured composite material that is shaped and moulded to match your natural teeth. Despite the differences in their materials, both veneer options offer a seamless match to your surrounding teeth and can improve the appearance of your smile. 


Main Difference Between the Types of Veneers

The choice of veneers largely depends on individual needs and preferences. Porcelain veneers might be the best choice for someone seeking a long-lasting, stain-resistant solution. In contrast, composite veneers might be more suitable for those looking for a cost-effective, single-visit solution.

Before deciding, it’s important to consult with a cosmetic dentist who can evaluate your oral health, understand your aesthetic goals, and guide you in choosing the veneers that best meet your needs. 


Caring for Your Veneers

Regardless of the kind of veneers you choose, proper care is essential to maintain their appearance and longevity. This includes daily brushing and flossing, avoiding hard or chewy foods that could cause damage, and regular dental check-ups.

While veneers are stain-resistant, limiting the consumption of staining foods and drinks is a good idea, particularly if you have composite veneers. If you smoke, quitting could improve your overall health and prevent your cosmetic veneers from discolouring. 


The Complete Process of Getting Veneers Applied

The process of getting dental veneers is a multi-step cosmetic procedure that involves initial consultation, tooth preparation, impression taking, and finally, bonding of the veneers. Let’s take a deeper look at each stage of this process. 


materials veneers teeth chatswoodInitial Consultation

The dental veneer process starts off after you consult a dentist. During this appointment, they will assess your oral health, discuss the issues you’d like to address and determine if veneers are a suitable solution for you.

This consultation might involve taking X-rays or making impressions of your mouth and teeth.

Your dentist will explain the different types of veneers, typically porcelain or composite resin, and their advantages and disadvantages.

They will also provide information about the process, the cost, and what you can expect from your new smile.


Tooth Preparation

Once you decide to proceed with dental veneers and choose the type that suits you best, tooth preparation is next. This process varies depending on the type of veneer.

For porcelain veneers, your dentist will remove about 0.5 millimetres of enamel from the tooth surface, which is nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added. A local anaesthetic might be used to numb the area during this process. This is done to ensure that the veneer fits perfectly and looks natural.

For composite resin veneers, the tooth preparation process is usually less invasive. Your dentist might only need to roughen the surface of your tooth slightly to help the veneer bond securely. 


Making an Impression

With porcelain veneers, your dentist will create a model of your tooth after the tooth is prepared. This is sent out to a dental lab, which in turn constructs your veneer. The veneers usually take 2-4 weeks to return from the laboratory.

In the meantime, temporary veneers can be placed if your teeth are too unsightly or sensitive after preparation.

On the other hand, if you’re getting composite resin veneers, these are usually done in a single visit. Your dentist will apply the composite bonding material in layers, sculpting and bonding each thin layer with a special light until the desired result is achieved. 


Bonding the Veneer

Once your porcelain veneers are ready, it’s time for bonding. The dentist will first place the veneer on your tooth to determine if the fit and colour are optimal, trimming it as necessary to achieve the perfect fit. The colour can be adjusted with the shade of the cement used.

Next, to prepare your tooth, your dentist will clean, polish, and etch it. Etching roughens the tooth enamel to allow for a strong bonding process.

A special dental cement is then applied to the veneer and placed on your tooth. Once it’s in the correct position, your dentist will apply ultraviolet light to the veneer, activating the chemicals in the cement and causing it to harden quickly.

The final steps involve the removal of excess cement, checking your bite and making any final adjustments needed in the veneer. Your cosmetic dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit to check how your gum tissues are responding to the veneer and to examine the veneer’s placement once again. 


How to Decide Which Type of Dental Veneers Are Right for You? 



Assessing the Condition of Your Real Teeth

The first step in determining the right type of veneer is a comprehensive evaluation of your existing teeth. Some dental problems may limit your veneer options or must be addressed before you can get veneers.

For instance, if you have severe tooth decay or gum disease, your dentist will likely recommend treating these conditions first. Similarly, orthodontic treatment might be a better option if your teeth are significantly misaligned. 


Understanding Your Aesthetic Goals

What are you hoping to achieve with veneers? Are you looking to fix a single discoloured tooth or aiming for a complete smile makeover? Are you looking for a temporary enhancement or a long-lasting solution?

If you aim for a complete transformation and long-term solution, porcelain veneers might be the best option. They offer a high degree of customisation and can dramatically alter your teeth’ size, shape, and colour.

Contrarily, if you’re looking to improve the appearance of a single tooth or seeking a less permanent solution, composite veneers might be more suitable. 


veneer dentist treatment process chatswoodConsidering Your Budget

Your budget plays a huge role in deciding the right type of veneer. Porcelain veneers are the most expensive types, given their durability, natural appearance, and the level of skill required to place them.

Composite veneers cost less compared to porcelain veneers, but they may need to be replaced more frequently. While cost is a significant factor, it should not be the only consideration. Consider the long-term value and potential additional costs. For instance, composite veneers are less expensive upfront but may require more frequent replacements, making them more costly in the long run. 


Reflecting on Your Lifestyle

Your lifestyle can also influence the type of veneers that are best for you. If you’re known to enjoy a cuppa or a glass of red wine, or if you’re a smoker, you may want to consider porcelain veneers, as they are highly resistant to stains.

If you engage in contact sports or tend to grind your teeth, you’ll need veneers that can withstand these forces. Porcelain veneers are quite strong, but they can fracture under extreme pressure. Composite veneers, while less strong than porcelain, can be easily repaired if damaged. 


Discussing Your Options with Your Dentist

After considering these factors, the next step is to discuss your options with your dentist. Your dentist can assess your oral health, consider your aesthetic goals, explain the pros and cons of each type, and recommend the best option for you.

Moreover, your dentist can show you before and after photos of previous patients with similar dental issues and goals, which can help you visualise the potential results. You may also have the opportunity to see or feel physical samples of each type of veneer, which can help you understand their differences. 


How Does a Dentist Determine Which Veneer is Right for You?

When it comes to choosing the right veneer for you, a dentist takes various factors into consideration. First and foremost, they assess the health of your teeth and the extent of any damage or imperfections.

veneers right candidate chatswoodThe dentist may recommend composite materials, which are made from a mixture of resin and glass or porcelain, as they are durable and affordable.

Alternatively, they may suggest other types of veneers, such as porcelain or feldspathic, which have a more natural-looking appearance.

Ultimately, the decision about which veneer is right for you will be based on your individual circumstances and desired outcome. Rest assured that a professional dentist will guide you through the process and help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile. 


The Trial Smile and Digital Imaging

Some dentists offer a ‘trial smile’ or digital imaging service. A trial smile involves placing temporary veneers on your teeth to give you an idea of what your smile will look like. Digital imaging, however, uses software to manipulate a photo of your smile and show you the likely results of different types of veneers. These services can be incredibly helpful in making your decision. 



Dental veneers offer a fantastic way to transform your smile. With various treatment options, you can select the one that best suits your needs. While this guide provides a comprehensive overview of the different types of veneers, nothing replaces professional dental advice.

Ready for a new smile? At Boutique Dental Care in Chatswood, we’re passionate about helping you achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of. Our dedicated team provides personalised, excellent quality dental veneers, tailor-made to enhance your unique smile. Don’t put off taking that first step towards a brighter, healthier smile. Call us at (02) 9054 5281 today to book your consultation




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