Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are the most popular treatment option for a confident renewed smile in cosmetic dentistry.Veneers are thin,customised tooth-coloured porcelain or glass/plastic shells permanently bonded onto the front surface of your teeth.These shells once bonded to the tooth help improve the appearance by correcting discolored,chipped,crooked,badly aligned and irregular sized teeth.Veneers are a good option as well for closing the gaps in the teeth.In short,veneers can be an excellent choice for those looking to restore their naturally beautiful smile.

What are veneers made of?

Veneers are usually made of thin layers of either porcelain or ceramic or a strong composite resin (plastic and glass) to hide dental imperfections.

Porcelain veneers-

Porcelain veneers look very natural and difficult to differentiate from the color of your natural teeth. They are designed to mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth,hence closely matching the shape and color of natural teeth.Though they hide tooth imperfections well and last longer than resin veneers,they tend to be more expensive.Porcelain veneers are strong, durable and resist stains.Dental veneers made of tooth colored porcelain are the most popular.They are made of a thin layer masking teeth from decay, stains or irregular bite and giving the appearance you want.

Composite Veneers-

Composite resin is tooth colored material but less expensive than porcelain.Composite material is a frequent choice for veneers for this reason. Composite veneers may be made and placed by your dentist in a single sitting or fabricated in a laboratory. After desirable tooth preparation and shaping of the teeth, the dentist chooses a color shade that matches the adjacent teeth.He then layers the composite material directly on your teeth which is hardened under a blue light. The hardening process helps bond the veneer securely to the enamel.Finally the composite resin is smoothed and polished by the dentist for that new natural look.

Porcelain vs Composite Veneers

Composite veneers require less preparation, cost less and are easier to repair than porcelain veneers. They can be installed in a single appointment, while porcelain veneers require a longer process. These factors make composite veneers a useful option for younger patients. However, these veneers may have a shorter lifespan and wear down more easily than porcelain.Life of porcelain veneers is longer in comparison to composites before they need to be replaced with new ones.

Do Veneers Hurt?

Patients who have had veneers may face minimal or no discomfort or pain.At Smiline dental hospital our aim is to keep our patients comfortable during the treatments.At the time of tooth preparation a local anesthetic is given to numb the area.Only a thin shaving of the enamel is necessary to accommodate the veneer for a perfect fit and so no pain is felt by the patient.

Are Veneers Permanent?

With due care,porcelain veneers can last very long, perhaps around 10-15 years.Veneers are considered as permanent treatment since the teeth are prepared and veneers are fixed to them by bonding.However they can be damaged easily without proper care.They need to be repaired or replaced if there is considerable wear or damage to them like chipping or cracking.

How to care for Veneers?

To increase the lifespan of veneers do not bite on any ice or hard foods/nuts.Use the molar teeth for such purposes.

Composite veneers may change in color due to repeated exposure to teeth staining foods like coffee, wine or tea and smoking.Limiting exposure to these staining foods and stopping smoking may prolong the life of the veneers.Porcelain veneers do not get discolored or stained easily.

If you are planning to get veneers and you have the habit of grinding the teeth or bruxism,discuss this with your dentist.He may suggest mouth guards to be used at night to protect the veneers.

Just as you care for your natural teeth practice good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice daily and flossing.

Regular dental visits and oral exams by the dentist cannot be stressed enough for a healthy smile.

Protect your teeth from the chipped or cracked veneers while playing contact sports.Use a mouth guard for your oral protection.

What are the benefits of Dental Veneers?

  • They provide an affordable treatment option in cosmetic dentistry for a natural tooth appearance.
  • Porcelain veneers are biocompatible and hence well tolerated by the gum tissue.
  • Dentists have the choice of choosing the color of a porcelain veneer in order to make dark teeth appear lighter.
  • Needing little or no preparation veneers are less invasive approach to altering a tooth's color and shape.They require very less tooth material to be removed unlike crowns which need extensive tooth preparation.In fact the more improved versions of the dental veneers like Lumineers do not require any teeth preparation at all.
  • Veneers also provide a stronger and more esthetic dental bond than dental crowns.

What are the drawbacks of Dental Veneers?

  • The process is permanent involving removal of some enamel and hence not reversible.Decision to get veneers must be weighed carefully before proceeding to get veneers.Once placed the color of the veneer cannot be altered.
  • Veneers are a costlier option than composite resin bonding.
  • Veneers cannot be repaired if they chip or break.Once damaged,they can never be repaired but replaced.
  • Due to some enamel removal temporary sensitivity to temperature is to be expected.
  • The veneers remain white as neighbouring teeth may change color.This may affect the overall appearance of the smile.
  • Rarely veneers can get cracked,dislodged and eventually may come out especially when the teeth are used to bite ice,nails or hard foods and exert pressure on them.Veneers can be applied only if teeth and gums are healthy.Decay may affect the teeth below the veneer creating the need to cover the entire tooth with a crown.So they may not be a suitable treatment option for patients with decayed or weak teeth, teeth with dental fillings or those affected with periodontitis.
  • Veneers are not a good choice for individuals who have an inadequate amount of enamel on the tooth surface.
  • Gums may shrink or recede exposing the margins of the veneer.
  • Veneers are not as strong as natural enamel.Habits like bruxism or teeth clenching in some individuals make them poor candidates for porcelain veneers.Such activities can cause the veneers to break or fracture.
  • Once placed there can be no alterations in the size or shape of the veneer.

Are veneers costly?

Resin based composite veneers are the most cost effective solution. They are easier to replace and need less removal of enamel. Porcelain veneers are expensive and cost much more but last longer. The decision of using composite or porcelain veneer is based on the needs of each patient.At Smiline dental hospital we want veneers to be affordable for every patient.


Lumineers are thinner,cheaper,quicker alternatives to traditional porcelain veneers.They are a commercial brand of porcelain veneers.Lumineers are extra thin shavings of porcelain,designed to be applied without hassle over the teeth.Unlike veneers,lumineers are not long lasting.As they are are thinner and a bit more translucent than traditional porcelain veneers they are ineffective at hiding severely discolored teeth.Lumineers are popular with many patients due to their need for limited tooth preparation.Traditional veneers are invasive and require permanent removal of healthy teeth structure. Lumineers being very thin, require no tooth preparation like grinding and so are also called ‘no prep’ veneers.Lumineers are potentially a reversible option to design a smile you desire

What are the alternatives to veneers?

  • Composite resin bonding to repair a small area of a tooth
  • Crown to protect a broken or caries affected teeth
  • In some cases,teeth whitening.

Gingival Veneers

Your look may be hampered by the sight of receding gums, especially those front teeth visible to others.Receding gums can also change the way your smile looks.Upon gum recession the teeth can look longer when the roots get exposed.Similar to how porcelain veneers can help improve the appearance of your teeth the gum veneer can help in the same manner for receding gums. Gum veneers are also known as gingival veneers and offer a good reason to smile.

Types of Gingival Veneers

Gingival veneers mask the unsightly appearance receded gums can bring about. Gingival veneers are made of acrylic and ceramic. Acrylic ones are removable veneers to be removed from the mouth while sleeping (to prevent accidental ingestion) and for cleaning.They are intended to be removed at night to be soaked in water to prevent change of shape. Gingival veneers made from ceramic fixed permanently in the mouth. Fixed/Permanent Gingival veneers are less common, as cleaning the affected area becomes tough and also may not achieve the natural appearance as a removable acrylic veneer.

Procedure for getting gingival veneers-

In the first visit, the dentist will take an impression of the gingival area of the tooth the veneer is going to cover.

An initial veneer is made for the patient and secure fit is assessed.

The gingival veneer is finally tinted to match the person’s gum shade so that it looks like the rest of the gumline.

Gingival Veneer After care

The dentist is likely to show/tell

  • the process of removing and placing the veneer properly for a comfortable fit and good appearance.
  • how to remove and store the veneer carefully.
  • how to remove the veneer at least once daily or soon after a meal.
  • how to store the removable acrylic veneer in water while not in use to prevent changes in its shape.
  • stress the need for regular dental checkups and cleanings to prevent or reduce the risk of caries or gingival disease.

What are the other options available for treating gum recession?

Gum grafting is another surgical option available for the treatment of gum recession.The receded gum is replaced with the gum tissue taken from another area in the oral cavity such as the roof of the mouth.You periodontist or general dentist may offer the best treatment options for you. They are the professionals who can treat the gum recession and restore your confident smile.

Myth:Veneers cause the teeth sensitivity

It is a common misconception that veneers cause sensitivity. On the contrary they are recommended as a treatment for sensitive teeth.By covering the natural chewing surfaces and protecting them from hot/cold drinks, and other factors veneers can help prevent tooth sensitivity.One might experience a temporary period of sensitivity due to tooth preparation and removing the enamel but that is only transient.It goes away after placing the veneers.

If you are interested in learning more about veneers, Dr.Sunitha is an experienced (25+ years ) Cosmetic dentist. With a patient focused and professional approach, she can help you explore all available options to improve your smile, including veneers.Contact Smiline dental hospital or schedule an appointment now

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