Contents: What are Porcelain Veneers? | Procedure | When To Use? | Advantages & Limitations | Aftercare | How much cost? | Appointment | FAQ

What is a tooth veneer?

Dental veneers are wafer-thin shells or laminates normally made from porcelain or resin composites. These are around half a millimeter thick so these tend to not be visible. These are applied through the teeth by removing an equal thickness of enamel to the veneers. These are mostly used to hide or correct teeth imperfections. The porcelain veneers are more translucent which gives a more natural appearance of the original enamel; thus, reflecting a more natural smile. However, porcelain are often brittle and relies heavily on the underlying enamel to provide the needed strength and support.

Even though the process of getting rid of a layer of your enamel might sound painful, it is usually a painless procedure. Reports from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry shows that the patient may feel a bit of tooth sensitivity for the first few weeks which is common due to the trimming of the enamel layer.

This Cosmetic dentistry treatment is mostly used to improve the looks of the teeth which is why it is commonly performed on the front tooth only. It won’t be of any use at the back molars as it is not directly visible. In addition, it is not an excellent solution to missing teeth as dental implants are a much better option.

Types of Veneers

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are an excellent choice for patients who only want minor changes in their teeth such as the shape, size, and color. It is also the most aesthetic type of veneers and has less harmful material for dental restorations. Porcelain veneers can last longer than any other types of veneers. The porcelain laminates rarely cause harm to the wearer and the surrounding tissues of their mouth (biocompatible). These types of veneers can greatly improve the appearance of the patient’s smile since it offers a more natural look and its color closely matches the natural color of your teeth. Porcelain veneers may be a permanent solution, but it requires shaving a few millimeters of the tooth before placement.

Composite Veneers

Patients love composite veneers since it is the most cost-effective solution to bringing their natural smile back. It can also be placed in one treatment which means no need for a second visit to the dentist to have this installed to your teeth.

Composite veneers are made of composite resin – a material made of both organic and inorganic materials. The natural materials include the initiator, the resin, and the coupling agent. The inorganic materials used for this treatment is the filler. The bonding material used to make composite resin is the same to the tooth-colored dental fillings. Even if it is strong, composite veneers are not as durable compared to its porcelain counterpart, but composite costs less than porcelain. Another drawback of this material is that it does not blend well to the natural color of the tooth and is prone to staining. Additionally, composite veneers do not last long. This type of veneers are permanent and may require you to shave a few millimeters of your tooth enamel.


Lumineers are a brand name for porcelain veneers. It is a permanent cosmetic solution made of very thin porcelain laminate material and it requires minimal preparation. Unlike standard porcelain veneers, less natural tooth structure will be removed in order to place the Lumineer over your tooth.

Lumineers are mostly used for treating discolored or irregularly shaped teeth. These are smoother, look more natural, and it feels more natural. Lumineers can also be reversed, but it doesn’t last as long.


Comparing this treatment to direct bonding, the application of veneers is quite complicated. The procedure will involve three steps:

  1. Consultation
  2. Preparation of the patient’s mouth as well as creating impressions
  3. Actual application of the veneers.

The entire process will normally take two to three visits. This also depends whether a separate consultation is needed.

Consultation and planning stage

This occurs during the first meeting between our expert dentist and the patient. During the initial consultation, the patient is free to explain any oral issues they might have or what they want to achieve to our dentist who will then determine if the patient is a good candidate for the treatment.

Porcelain may be an expensive type of veneer to some, but do not worry since there are other types of veneers to choose from. You can choose a more inexpensive composite veneer or other types of veneer. It is also crucial to address the patient’s bite problem first. Aside from that, the patient will be given a step-by-step comprehensive explanation about the different restorative/cosmetic options available as well as a breakdown of how much each will cost.

Mouth preparation and impression creation

The next visit will focus on two important steps in the procedure:

Preparing the patient’s mouth

The process will involve scraping off a thin layer of enamel – of which it should be similarly thick as the proposed veneers. Do take note that porcelain takes less amount of enamel material taken off compared to other materials. If the teeth are crooked or crowded, more enamel may be removed, particularly on the sides of the affected section. The gums may get bruised because of the removal of the enamel layer. This will cause some sensitivity and discomfort for the first few days and will last until the affected area has fully recovered. You shouldn’t worry about it because your gums will start to heal almost immediately and you’ll start to feel normal again in just a few days. Moreover, if the patient has partially broken teeth, they should be restored first before going on with the veneer application.

Creating impressions

After the preparation of the patient’s mouth, we will start making impressions. The created impressions along with the material and color preference are sent to the lab for manufacturing. The lab will prepare it according to the impressions and the dentist’s instructions. The entire process will last for 10 days, which overlaps with the healing of the gums. Therefore, it is easier to fit onto the patient’s teeth.


This last step will occur after the impressions are completed in the lab which can take up to 10 days. The patient’s teeth will be cleaned, and polished again then chemically etched to roughen the surface that will enhance the dental bonding process of the veneers to the tooth (or teeth). Then, transparent cement will be used to attach the veneers. If you are using porcelain which will be applied to a discolored tooth, opaque cement is used to hide the discoloration. The cement will match to the adjacent teeth so it looks more natural. Once the application is successful, the patient will be asked to close their mouth to check whether the upper teeth fit comfortably to the lower teeth.

When to use?

These are mainly used for cosmetic purposes and there are several situations where it will be advised by your dentist.

These are the most common situations:

Tooth discoloration

Tooth discoloration is a common occurrence in men and women. There are various reasons our teeth get discolored. Smoking, drinking alcohol, coffee, and poor oral hygiene are just some of the many reasons for discoloration. Also, did you know that consuming too much fluoride can also cause discoloration? There are also other factors such as gastric reflux, drug usage, large resin fillings, or root canal treatment that can contribute to discoloration. Sometimes teeth whitening solutions may work, but it can only work to some extent. When the teeth are deeply stained or have permanent white or yellow spots, it can only be covered with veneer.

Worn-out tooth

Your teeth will eventually wear out just like most of the parts of your body. The main reason it happens faster is due to lack of oral hygiene. However, there are also other reasons why this happens such as diabetes, genetics, and fluoride deficiency.

Chipped or cracked tooth

They can help fix chipped or cracked teeth. One or more indirect veneers can be used to cover chipped or cracked teeth.


If patients have minor gaps in the teeth, this can help greatly to cover it up. If the gap is too big or it is a bit crooked then, orthodontics treatment such as metal braces is a better alternative than veneers.

Irregularly-shaped, or misaligned teeth

Not everyone is fortunate to be born with a perfect set of pearly whites, and dental veneers can be used to cover the problem area once the trimming is done. This condition includes teeth with unequal width or height as well as surfaces that have depressions or bulges in the front.

Pros and Cons of Veneers


  • It can help to restore the natural appearance of the affected tooth.
  • These are easily accepted by the gum tissues. Also, this type of veneers are able to resist stains better.
  • They are perfect for those with stained or discolored teeth.
  • Porcelain comes in various colors. Thanks to this even dark-looking teeth can hide under the pearly white smile of porcelain veneers.
  • Compared to dental crowns, they require less reshaping therefore providing a better cosmetic option.
  • The procedure does not require any amount of bone loss.
  • They don’t use any metal in any step of the procedure.


These are generally safe and the most popular cosmetic option available, just like other procedures, these have a couple of limitations:

  • To apply veneers, a thin layer of enamel must be removed from the patient’s teeth. Once it is removed, it can no longer be restored.
  • Compared to other types of cosmetic dentistry procedures, these are on the pricier side.
  • They are not easy to fix and have limited repairability.
  • Since an enamel layer is removed, expect to have slight tooth sensitivity and it can be felt during the first few weeks.
  • When installed, the color of veneers cannot be changed; therefore tooth whitening is essential before the application.
  • Though this rarely happens, there are cases where veneers have dislodged or even fall off. This is exactly why dentists advise their patients to avoid eating hard foods immediately right after the procedure.
  • They Must be replaced with a full crown in case there is tooth decay.

When Are They Not Suitable?

Veneers are not recommended for patients whose teeth are weak due to decay, active gum infections, fracture, large fillings, or if there isn’t thickness of the enamel. People who usually grind their teeth are also susceptible to having the prosthetic cracked or chipped. It is important that you go over the dental issues you have or think might have with your dentist.


It is normally a pain-free procedure since a local anesthesia will be administered during the initial preparation. If there is pain after the procedure, dentists will prescribe you with over-the-counter pain medication. It is common for your teeth to be sensitive afterwards and will remain like that for several weeks as they adjust to the veneers. Expect for it to hurt when you consume hot or cold foods and drinks.

Studies from the American Dental Association (ADA) have shown promising results in patients as they are not that hard to take good care of. When it has been fully applied, you do not need a special type of aftercare. However, they still need you to maintain regular daily oral hygiene such as flossing, brushing, and rinsing your mouth. Using mouthwash regularly also helps with keeping your oral health at its best.

Dental Veneers Cost

While the cost of dental veneers are more expensive than any other cosmetic option, they are relatively more affordable than braces. The actual price of the treatment will depend on the person’s case, how many teeth need to be treated, and even the location. Within Huntington Beach and nearby cities, some dentists will charge more than others, depending on their expertise and reputation.

How much do Porcelain veneers cost?

Total price of dental veneers has an estimated range from $250 to $2,500 per tooth; depending on the type of material you select. Porcelain veneers typically cost between $925 - $2,500 for a tooth. Composite/Resin veneers cost vary between $250 and $1,500 per tooth.
Dental insurance typically does not help pay for Veneers as they are considered a Cosmetic procedure. Porcelain veneers last 10-15 years and Composite veneers last 5-7 years according to Consumer Guide to Dentistry.

Affordable Porcelain veneer near Huntington Beach

For questions about dental veneers or any treatment, insurance or other concerns you may have, schedule an appointment today. We are near you in Huntington Beach, California. We look forward to helping you change your smile and your life!

FAQs for Teeth Veneers

Are veneers permanent?

Veneers are not made to be a permanent, maintenance-free solution to your teeth as it needs to get replaced every ten to fifteen years. A thin layer of the tooth enamel is shaved off before the veneer is permanently affixed. See what Dr. Manali Patel, DDS has to say about dental veneers.

Are they painful?

It is a pain-free procedure since a local anesthetic is used and sometimes a form of sedation is provided before the start of the treatment. When the anesthesia wears off most patients at Harbor Smiles report experiencing little to no pain. Sensitivity, if any, will go away within a few days.

Do teeth rot under veneers?

With proper care such as brushing and flossing regularly and seeing your dentist, the teeth under veneers will remain healthy and strong. But like all teeth, if you don't take good care of it you will risk damaging the tooth under the veneer. Avoiding flossing, for instance, will allow bacteria to build up between teeth, causing plaque and tartar to attack the teeth at the veneer’s edges. Visit our Harbor Smiles office to learn more about veneers aftercare.

Teeth Veneer Near Me

When choosing a dentist, they should be near where you live or work as it can save you a lot of time and money. Expect to have a few treatments and Make an appointments along with your routine visits later; thus, having a dental office nearby can make things more convenient. Additionally, look for a specialist with excellent Harbor Smiles reviews for dental veneer and one you feel comfortable with.

Get a complimentary appointment with our Cosmetic Specialist to see your New Smile!