Dental Veneers: What Are Veneers, How Do They Work and The Cost Involved

Dental veneers are thin layers of facing made up of porcelain or composite material, placed on the surface of the tooth for a better aesthetic appearance.

The Veneers are mainly used for the cosmetic reason to improve your look and smile and are commonly done in the anterior teeth or the front teeth. Getting a veneer done may be considered one of the expensive treatments in the field of dentistry.

Now let’s have a look at who is eligible to get dental veneers and who is not.

Who Can Get Dental Veneers?

The following people are the best candidates for dental veneers.

  • People with mild discoloration of teeth or staining(although first, it’s better to try bleaching) are very good candidates for veneers.
  • People who have a large gap(diastema) between the front teeth.
  • People with hypoplastic teeth (peg laterals)
  • People with fractured teeth where the tooth tissue loss is not extensive
  • People with the chipped off tooth surface.
  • People with slightly crooked teeth, which can be corrected for aesthetic reasons.
  • People suffering from teeth wear in conditions like attrition, erosion, abrasion. However, these cases need a detailed assessment before starting the treatment.

Dental Veneer Contra-Indications: Who Can’t Get Veneers?

  • People who already have large fillings are usually not suitable for veneers, as the risk of getting recurrent caries is higher in such people.
  • People suffering from severe discolorations of teeth are not ideal candidates for dental veneering procedures.
  • If there is an extensive tooth structure with very little tooth substance available, bonding of veneers is going to be difficult. So these aren’t the ideal cases.
  • People with bruxism or teeth grinding habits, nail-biting habits, tooth wear, and parafunctional habits need assessment prior to the treatment. Veneers may not be suitable in such situations as the prognosis (chances of veneers surviving) will be poor.

What Are The Different Types of Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers can be broadly classified into the following categories.

Porcelain veneers

Porcelain veneers, also known as porcelain laminate veneers, are the best when it comes to aesthetics and performance.

The procedure of placing Porcelain veneers needs two visits to the dental office as they are made indirectly in the laboratory.

dental veneers

Dental Veneers Placement

These veneers are sturdy and last longer. Porcelain veneers resemble the color of natural teeth to the maximum extent if the process of shade selection is carried out the right way. 

As porcelain materials are known to have less plaque retentive property, they are very good for maintaining oral hygiene and are so easy to clean.

Composite Veneers

Composite veneers are usually made directly in the clinic itself (most of them do not need lab work) and are useful in the treatment of trauma to the teeth especially in children.

Getting a composite veneer is easier than getting porcelain veneers. They are cheaper to get done and only need one visit to the dentist’s office, in most cases.

Composite veneers are the best kind of veneers for people with tooth wear because composite veneers can be easily placed and are easier to repair too.

However, there are some major drawbacks with using composite veneers.

The problems with composite veneers are its shrinkage and staining. They also easily fracture under heavy load (if you bite on it too hard) and also wear off with time. 

So the shelf life is considerably lesser than the Porcelain veneers and you may need frequent visits to the dentist for follow up and repair.

Dental Veneer Placement Procedure: The Steps Involved

Before placing veneers, there are specific steps your dentist will follow. 

As this procedure is mainly done for esthetic purposes your dentist may assess your expectations regarding the procedure and the final results. 

The cost of the treatment, the follow-up, maintenance, all these points will be discussed with you before the actual treatment starts because once the tooth preparation (mild recontouring of the tooth surface) is done, it is not reversible.

In some cases, tooth preparation won’t be needed, and the veneer is directly placed on the tooth surface. Before placement, the shade selection is made, the tooth surface is cleaned, etched, and then the veneer is bonded and cured using light.

In cases which need tooth preparation, the dentist might anesthetize the tooth depending on the patient’s requirement. Mostly this procedure is done without Local, but some patients with sensitivity may need local anesthesia.

The Clinical Steps Involved

Tooth Preparation

The tooth needs to be reduced in the anterior surface to accommodate the veneer. Around 0.5mm of tooth structure will be cut using diamond burs because the tooth needs to accommodate the veneer which may be 0.5-0.7mm thick. 



Once the tooth preparation is done, an impression of the preparation is taken using elastomeric impression material in a stock tray.

Casts are made and then sent to the lab for further preparation of the veneer. This might take a few days. So the final fit-in of the veneer will depend on the day lab delivers the veneer to the dental office.

Shade selection

dental-veneers-shade selection

Dental Veneers Shade Selection

Selection of the shade is a necessary procedure. The shade of the veneer should match with the other natural teeth of the patient.

So the selection process is done using the shade-guide provided by the manufacturer. The shade selection is done preferably under the natural light.

Temporary coverage is usually not required as the preparation is minimal and won’t be so noticeable. However, the prepared tooth may be slightly rough to the tongue until you get your veneer. 


Try in

Before the final cementation, try-in of the veneer will be done. The prepared tooth will be cleaned, isolated and the veneer will be tried in with water-based, try-in paste, to assess the correct fit, bite and the color match.


Final fit in

The fitting surface of the veneer is cleaned, dried then coated with a thin layer of Silane coupling agent. The tooth is re-isolated by matrix strips.

The surface of the tooth is then etched, washed and dried.

If the tooth preparation has involved dentine, then dentine bonding agent will be used to cover the exposed dentine.

Finally, the composite luting cement is placed on the fitting surface of the veneer and veneer is carefully placed on the tooth.

The excess cement material will be removed with a brush and then it is light cured.

Once the curing is done, adjustments are made, interdental contacts are checked and then polished.

Some patients may experience sensitivity following the placement of veneers. The sensitivity might last for a few hours. Your dentist may prescribe analgesics if needed.

Post Operative Care for Dental Veneers

Veneers need to be taken care of. 

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for the success of veneers. Also, you need to be careful while using dental floss. Water flossing can be done instead of using conventional floss. 

People with nail-biting(also biting on a foreign object) habit should keep it in check, for the long life of the dental veneer.

In case you have a dental veneer in the mouth, be careful while biting on hard food items. The veneer edge might chip off or fracture if you don’t take proper care while eating hard food items. 

Do regular follow-ups with the dentist for elongating the life span of the veneer in your mouth.

The Cost

Finally, the cost involved. How much will you have to pay if you want to get a dental veneer done?

The veneer costs mentioned below may vary depending on the location and the dentist.

Composite direct and indirect veneers are cheaper than the porcelain ones.

Composite veneers may cost you anywhere starting from $250-$300 to $1500 per tooth, whereas the Porcelain veneers may cost you somewhere between $900-$2500 per tooth.

These prices are for informational purposes only and you will need to visit your dentist to know the final costs of the treatment.

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Medical Disclaimer

This content is strictly the opinion of the author and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical/dental advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician or a dentist. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions.

The publisher of this content takes NO responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians and/or the dentists before beginning any nutrition, supplement, medications or lifestyle program.

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