Porcelain Veneers FAQ


Are you considering porcelain veneers? Here are some frequently asked questions and answers for you.

Q: Who is a good candidate for porcelain veneers?

A: If you have stained or chipped teeth, you might be interested in veneers as they will cover up your original teeth. They are also a popular treatment for smile makeovers or individuals who want their dream smile.

Q: Who is not a good candidate for porcelain veneers?

A: If you have extensive tooth decay, it’s not wise to simply cover it up with veneers. Talk to your dentist about removing the decay before getting started. If you’re someone who grinds your teeth, this could also be a problem but your dentist may offer you a solution to help guard against damaging your veneers, such as a mouth night guard. If you have a tooth alignment (bite) problem, this may or may not impact your dentist’s recommendations as well.

Q: What sort of prep work is required on my teeth prior to having veneers applied?

A: Your dentist will remove part of your enamel so the veneer will adhere to your teeth. This amount is generally equal to the thickness of the veneer. Ultrathin, 'no-prep veneers' are also an option that are less invasive.

Q: What’s the difference between veneers and crowns?

A: Crowns cover your teeth like a cap. A veneer is a thin shell that is applied to the front of your tooth.

Q: What are some pros and cons of porcelain veneers?

A: On the pro side, veneers can look amazing and give you that million dollar movie star smile you’ve been dreaming about. They can help you cover up imperfections like gaps, chips, or stains, and they are an alternative to braces in that they can give you straight-looking teeth, too.

On the con side, they can be expensive and having them applied alters your teeth so they are a permanent solution. If a veneer becomes damaged, you may have costly replacements as they’re not easily repaired. Some people have temporary tooth sensitivity shortly after having veneers applied due to the removal of some of their tooth enamel. This is generally a short-term issue.

Q: How much do veneers cost?

A: Porcelain veneers costs will vary depending on where you are having them done and on how many teeth are being done. They can range from $500 to over $1,000 per tooth. Many cosmetic dentists do offer financing to help you eliminate cost as a barrier to getting the smile you’ve been dreaming about.

Q: How long will veneers last?

A: Porcelain veneers can typically last from 5 to 15 years or more but this depends on numerous factors, such as your eating habits and your oral care regimen. Composite veneers have a shorter lifespan (3-5 years, on average).

Q: What are Lumineers?

A: Lumineers are a popular alternative to veneers. They are a lot like porcelain veneers but they are simply applied to your teeth without the same prep work, meaning that they are reversible.

Q: What are some alternatives to veneers?

A: Some dentists sell something called a ‘Snap on Smile’. This is something you wear over your teeth to give the illusion of a straighter, whiter smile. It does not look as natural as Lumineers or veneers but some people like this option. You could also consider dental bonding, where a dentist shapes composite material around your tooth to improve sizing, gaps, and color. Alternatively, you could investigate dental implants as a more permanent and longer-lasting solution as well as crowns, which cap the teeth.

Do you have questions about porcelain veneers that are not covered here?

Feel free to check our find a local dentist section where you will find cosmetic dentists in your area. Most are more than happy to meet with you to discuss whether or not porcelain veneers or alternatives will help you get the smile you’ve been wanting.

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