A Closer Look At the Different Types of Dental Veneers: Which Material Is Right For You

A Closer Look At the Different Types of Dental Veneers: Which Material Is Right For You By Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho | February 15, 2023

Dental veneers are an increasingly popular smile makeover procedure. Whether you are looking for a quick dental procedure to hide imperfections or want to make significant changes to the appearance of your teeth, cosmetic veneers may be just what you need!

This article will explore the different types of dental veneers available, so you can decide which material suits you.

We’ll cover porcelain and composite veneers and kinds of dental veneers such as zirconia and Lumineers, each offering unique advantages. Read on to find out more!

Summary of the Content

Dental veneers are a great treatment option for people with chipped, cracked or discoloured teeth, providing an improved and beautiful smile.

Understanding the different types of dental veneers is important before getting them.

Dental veneer types include porcelain, composite resin, zirconia, removable veneers and palatal veneers.

Different types of dental veneers have varying costs, pros, and cons.

Not everyone is qualified for the treatment.

Talk to your dentist about which type of dental veneer is right for you, and follow their advice and any recommended aftercare steps.

The Different Types of Veneers

Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. This cosmetic dentistry procedure addresses a wide range of cosmetic dental issues, including:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Discoloured teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Uneven teeth

There are several types of dental veneers available, including:

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are custom-fitted, thin shells of ceramic veneers directly to the front of your teeth. Currently one of the most popular kinds of veneers among dental patients, porcelain veneers offer many advantages, such as:

  • Durability: Porcelain veneers are highly durable, with a lifespan of up to 15 years or more.
  • Natural-looking Appearance: The translucency of porcelain enables it to closely mimic natural tooth appearance.
  • Easy to Clean: Porcelain veneers are easy to clean and maintain with regular brushing and flossing.
  • Stain Resistant: Porcelain is nonporous and does not stain easily like other materials, such as composite resin.
  • Customisable Design: Because they’re custom-fit, porcelain veneers can be designed and shaped to achieve desired aesthetic results.

Here’s how the porcelain veneer procedure goes:

  1. Initial Consultation: During the initial consultation, your dentist will examine your mouth and discuss the options for achieving the desired result.
  2. Preparation: To make room for the veneer, a thin layer of enamel must be removed from the front tooth surface.
  3. Impressions: Your dentist will then take impressions of your teeth using a dental putty or a digital scanner. These impressions are sent to the dental lab technicians to craft the porcelain veneers based on the dentist’s specifications.
  4. Fitting and Bonding: When the porcelain veneers arrive back from the lab, they are fitted onto the surface of your teeth and then bonded using dental cement or adhesive. 

Composite Veneers

Composite veneers are a less expensive dental restoration option. It involves the application of composite resin to your teeth to reshape and whiten them. Composite veneers offer several advantages in comparison to porcelain veneers, including:

  • Quicker Process: Composite veneers treatment is much faster than porcelain veneers, which require multiple dental appointments and lab time. Composite veneers can be completed in a single visit, which is why they’re usually called instant veneers. 
  • More Affordable: The cost of composite veneers is often significantly lower than that of traditional porcelain veneers, making them a more economical choice for many people.
  • Minimally-invasive: Compared to porcelain veneers, composite veneers require minimal tooth preparation. In some cases, it may not require the removal of tooth structure at all, making composite veneers a more conservative option.
  • Non-Permanent Veneers: Since resin composite can be removed or changed at any time without damaging your teeth, it’s easy to make adjustments or repairs if needed.
  • Natural Look: Composite resin is available in many shades. It can be used to fabricate veneers that mimic the natural appearance of teeth. 

The process of placing composite resin veneers is normally quicker and more straightforward than that of porcelain veneers. Depending on the number of teeth for treatment, you can complete it in just one dental session!

Here’s how this process works:

  1. First, your dentist will assess your teeth to determine whether veneers suit you.
  2. They will take impressions of your teeth and create a customised mould or putty impression of your bite to fabricate the custom-made composite veneers.
  3. Once the veneers are made and ready for placement, your dentist will prepare the surface of the teeth by etching them.
  4. They’ll apply a bonding agent to help secure the veneer onto each tooth before using a curing light to harden it into place.
  5. After veneers have been placed and the adhesive hardened, your dentist will examine the bite to see if it is even.

Zirconia Veneers

Zirconia veneers are also ceramic veneers. They are made from a medical-grade ceramic material that is exceptionally strong and durable. By opting for zirconia veneers, you will be able to reap the following advantages:

  • Strength: Zirconia veneers are known to be very strong and provide excellent protection against wear.
  • Durability: The material used in zirconia veneers is highly durable, allowing them to last much longer than other types of dental veneers.
  • Natural Appearance: Zirconia veneers look and feel far more natural than traditional kinds of dental veneers. They can also mimic the light-reflecting properties of natural tooth enamel so well that it’s often difficult to tell them apart from natural teeth!
  • Easy Maintenance: Zirconia veneers require minimal maintenance as they do not stain or chip easily.
  • Aesthetic Enhancements: In addition to improving the aesthetics of your smile, zirconia veneers can also be used to address issues such as discolouration, gaps between teeth, and unevenly spaced teeth.

In most cases, zirconia veneers are placed in at least two visits. At the first visit, your dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel on your teeth and take an impression to create custom-made veneers tailored to fit snugly over your teeth. The second visit is when they place the veneer onto your teeth for cementation.

 

Lumineers

Lumineers are a type of dental veneer made from patented porcelain material designed to remain strong and durable while looking incredibly natural and lifelike. As with other dental veneer types, they are placed on the front of your teeth to enhance their appearance and protect them from further damage.

One of the main advantages to choosing Lumineers over other types of dental veneers is that there’s no need for extensive enamel removal or invasive procedures – making them ideal for those who have reservations about investing in conventional treatments.

In addition, as they are crafted from a highly durable material, with proper care, Lumineers can last up to 20 years or more.

To properly install Lumineers, the following steps must be taken:

  1. Preparation: Unlike other forms of veneers that need some preparation before placement, Lumineers do not require enamel removal, which is why it is sometimes called no-prep veneers.
  2. Impression: An impression of your teeth will be taken to measure your teeth’ size, shape and positioning.
  3. Fabrication: After a lab has created the custom-made Lumineers to fit your teeth, they will be placed on your teeth in one visit.

Palatal veneers

Palatal veneers, also known as lingual veneers, are a type of dental veneer that is placed on the backside of teeth. While palatal veneers are primarily used for improving the appearance of teeth and addressing bite or alignment problems, they can also provide a protective barrier for teeth that are affected by acid reflux due to GERD or chronic vomiting due to bulimia.

Stomach acid can erode the enamel of teeth, leading to tooth sensitivity, discolouration, and even decay. With palatal veneers, the back surface of teeth is shielded from contact with the acid. However, it is important to note that while palatal veneers can provide protection, they should not be considered a substitute for the proper treatment of GERD or bulimia. 

Removable Veneers

Removable veneers, also known as custom snap-on veneers, are veneers that can easily be removed from the teeth. They are usually made from acrylic and are designed to fit over natural teeth like a mouthguard

Unlike traditional veneers that require the removal of tooth structure, removable veneers do not need tooth reduction, making it a good choice for patients who wants to improve the appearance of their teeth without undergoing invasive dental procedures. Also, since these veneers are removable, it is also recommended for patients who do not want to commit to a permanent cosmetic procedure.

Removable veneers can help address issues such as:

  • Discolouration
  • Crooked teeth
  • Gaps in the teeth

 

Removable dental veneer treatment usually takes at least two dental visits. During the first appointment, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth to be sent to the laboratory for veneer fabrication. After a couple of weeks, you’ll come back for a try-in and delivery of the veneers. Your dentist will give you instructions and how to use and clean them and set a follow-up appointment to monitor the status of your treatment. 

woman dentist treats a patient. a woman in a mask sits in a dental chair in the clinic.

Cost of Veneers

The cost of dental veneers in Australia can be affected by several factors.

  1. Type of Dental Veneer: The cost of porcelain veneers is generally more expensive than composite veneers as they require specialised laboratory work and make use of high-quality ceramic materials. This means that you can expect to pay the following:
    • Porcelain Veneers: Up to $2,036 per tooth
    • Composite Veneers: Up to $836 per tooth
    • Lumineers: Average of $2,050 per tooth
    • Snap-On Veneers: Up to $900 per tooth
    • Prepless Veneers: $1200 to $3,000 per tooth
  2. Number of Teeth Requiring Veneers: It is important to remember that if you need multiple teeth treated with veneers, the overall cost will increase accordingly. Thus, talking to your dentist about options before making any decisions or commitments would be wise.
  3. Location: Where you live may also influence the cost of dental veneers since each region can have different regulations and prices set by their governing body or association. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you research beforehand and find out what services local dentists offer and how much they charge for each type of cosmetic procedure.
  4. Dentist Experience Level: The experience level of your chosen dentist may also affect the final price tag. More experienced professionals charge higher rates for cosmetic dentistry treatments due to their qualifications.

 

Pros and Cons of Veneers

Knowing the pros and cons of dental veneers can help you make a sound decision for your oral health.

Pros of Veneers:

  • Improves the appearance of teeth
  • Lasts for several years with proper care and maintenance
  • Instantaneous results
  • Minimal preparation involved
  • Can improve your self-confidence
  • Can easily address discolouration, misalignment, and chips in teeth

 

Cons of Veneers:

  • Costly procedure
  • Prepared teeth may experience increased tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures due to enamel removal
  • Not ideal for someone who suffers from bruxism or clenching their teeth due to the porcelain being brittle and easily breaking
  • Not reversible and may require replacement after 10-15 years.
  • Cannot address underlying dental problems such as decay or gum disease.
  • Not all dental veneers are suitable for everyone, depending on the type of teeth and the severity of their condition.

Who Can Get Veneers?

During a consultation with a cosmetic dentist, they will carefully assess your dental health and advise on whether veneers are right for you.

You are qualified to get veneers if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have healthy teeth and gums: This means that your teeth and gums must be free of decay or infection.
  • You have realistic expectations: Veneers can address various cosmetic procedures, but they also have limitations.
  • You are committed to good dental hygiene: Good oral hygiene will help extend the longevity of your veneers.

 

Veneers are not suitable for individuals with the following conditions:

  • Decayed teeth: If the tooth’s structural integrity has been compromised due to decay, a restoration procedure like veneers will not be feasible. The veneer will not bond well with the teeth and will detach easily. Also, if not addressed immediately, decayed teeth can worsen, cause pain and necessitate more invasive dental treatments.
  • Gum disease: The inflammatory nature of gum disease causes infection in the supporting structure of the teeth and causes the teeth to lose their attachment. Patients with gum disease are not advised to undergo veneer treatment as this may contribute to the worsening of their condition and lead to tooth loss.
  • Severely worn teeth: Dental patients with severely worn down teeth due to bruxism are not advised to have dental veneers. Bruxism exerts too much pressure on teeth and may cause the veneers to detach.

Final Thoughts

Dental veneers can be a great choice for people with chipped, cracked or discoloured teeth. They can provide you with a beautiful and flawless smile. However, it is crucial to understand the different dental veneer types, their pros and cons, and whether you’re a good candidate for the treatment.

Speak to a dental professional about which type of veneer is right for you, and follow their advice and any recommended aftercare steps. With the right information and guidance, dental veneers can be a successful investment in your oral health. 


At Darch Dental Centre, we offer a variety of dental veneer types to suit your individual needs, enabling you to achieve the smile you want with ease. Contact us for more information, or book an appointment today!

Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho

Dr. Jon is a Perth-based dentist who graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Science in 2005 from the University of Western Australia. He has worked at a range of dental practices, including being a partner and principal dentist for a group of five dental surgeries in Sydney. Dr. Jon has been practising for over a decade in the northern suburbs of Perth. He provides treatment for patients in Darch, Madeley, Landsdale, Kingsway, Kingsley, Marangaroo, Alexander Heights, Wangara, Ellenbrook, and others.

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