You Can Still Get Pearly Whites, Try Veneers

A veneer is a thin layer of ceramic, composite resin or other material that is bonded to the front teeth.

Veneers enhance the color, shape or length of the involved teeth. They last longer than the more superficial bonding options and are an economical alternative to a full crown. There are a variety of veneer products available, each with their own set of pros and cons.

Da Vinci Veneers™

These consist of a very thin ceramic shell that is bonded to the front teeth. The da Vinci Veneers™ were the first ceramic-porcelain veneers offered in the U.S. about thirty years ago.


  • Hides discolorations
  • Brightens teeth
  • Closes spaces between teeth
  • Improves the smile
  • Resists staining from coffee, tea and nicotine
  • They are very thin; only the thickness of a contact lens
  • Considered permanent tooth restoration
  • Limited lifetime warranty offered


  • Each treated tooth entails 1-2 hours of preparation
  • Teeth must be modified or sized down to accommodate the veneers; enamel is removed from the tooth
  • 1-2 weeks to complete the process
  • Must wear temporary veneers while permanent veneers are molded
  • $1360 average cost per tooth


There are 13,000 dentists trained in the Lumineers application technique and 250,000 patients who currently wear them in the U.S. The Lumineers veneer is one of the thinnest applications averaging about 0.2 mm.


  • Ultra-thin application
  • Used to fix stains and misshapen teeth with spaces in-between
  • No lidocaine shots, drilling or pain involved in the process
  • No need to wear temporary veneers while Lumineers are being molded
  • They look and feel natural as soon as applied
  • Process is completed in two visits to the dentist
  • Lumineers are reversible; they can be removed without any residual effect on the teeth
  • They last over 20 years


  • $700-1,500 per tooth

Porcelain Veneers

A porcelain veneer is a thin layers of porcelain applied to the front surface of the affected tooth to enhance its appearance and, ultimately, the patient’s smile. There are many different brands of porcelain veneers, including Dura Thin, eMax and Empress, among others.


  • Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin composite veneers
  • They imitate the light reflection characteristics of natural teeth


  • Not reversible as the affected teeth are prepared by removing about 0.5 mm of enamel to accommodate the thickness of the veneer
  • Cost more than simple bonding
  • Porcelain veneers are not reparable, if chipped or cracked
  • Treated teeth can be sensitive to hot and cold after being etched down
  • Though somewhat stain resistant, they can stain; tea, coffee and red wine should be avoided
  • Sometimes the selected color of the veneer might not match the adjacent teeth
  • Porcelain veneers must be replaced in 5-10 years
  • $500-1,300 per tooth

Veneers are a potentially life-changing personal choice. Not only do they improve a person’s smile and appearance, they also help to restore their self-confidence along the way. There are veneer options to suit the individual needs, budget and goals of each patient. Discussing the best option with a dentist who is trained and very experienced in the application of veneers is paramount in making the right decision.

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