By: Dr. Lahiru Chandraweera

June 06, 2023

The Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers: Are They Worth It

There’s no denying that a stunning set of teeth can work wonders, not just for your appearance but also for your self-esteem. Dental veneers could be a promising option to restore that much-desired sparkle for those dealing with a less-than-ideal smile.

Dental veneers have gained quite a bit of attention over the years, and with good reason. They can create a transformation that brings about a more youthful, vibrant appearance. However, just like with any dental procedure, understanding the pros and cons of dental veneers is crucial to making an informed decision.

In this blog post, we’ll navigate together through the world of dental veneers. We’ll discuss the key advantages of dental veneers that make them a popular choice for many. We’ll also talk about the potential drawbacks of dental veneers that you might want to consider. Furthermore, we’ll compare the most common dental veneer materials, namely porcelain and composite, to help you understand what each offers.

We’re here to equip you with the knowledge you need to decide if dental veneers are the right choice for you. So, keep reading to gain valuable insights into the world of dental veneers and make an informed decision for your dental health.

Hills Family Dental Centre

Summary of the Content

  • Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells. They cover the front surface of teeth, improving the appearance and addressing various dental issues.

  • The advantages of dental veneers include enhancing one’s smile, a customisable appearance, a minimally invasive procedure, improved oral hygiene, and long-lasting results.

  • Disadvantages to consider include the initial investment, the irreversible process, the potential for increased sensitivity, limitations on repair, and future veneer replacement.

  • Dental veneer materials mainly include porcelain and composite, each with its pros and cons.

  • Determining if dental veneers are the right choice involves scheduling a consultation with a dentist, identifying personal dental goals, and analysing the benefits and drawbacks.

What are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are a popular solution for addressing various dental issues and improving the appearance of teeth. Before diving into the pros and cons of dental veneers, it’s helpful to understand what they are and how they work.

Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells. They are designed to cover the tooth’s front surface, creating a natural-looking smile.

  • Veneers offer an option to address various cosmetic issues. They can alter the colour of teeth stained by coffee, wine, or smoking. They can also restore misshapen or damaged teeth, such as chipped, broken, or fractured teeth. They can also fill gaps between teeth and improve the appearance of crooked or misaligned teeth.

  • There are mainly two types of veneers: porcelain and composite resin veneers. Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin porcelain shells that mimic natural tooth enamel’s colour and light-reflecting properties. On the other hand, composite resin veneers use a tooth-coloured filling material bonded to the tooth.

The veneer treatment process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Consultation with a dentist to discuss treatment goals and evaluate oral health.

  2. Preparation of the tooth, which may involve removing a layer of enamel from the tooth surface to accommodate the veneer.
  3. Taking an impression of the prepared tooth to create custom veneers.

  4. Fabrication of the veneers by a dental laboratory, which usually takes a few weeks.

  5. Bonding of the veneers to the prepared tooth surface using dental cement.

  6. Final adjustments and polishing to achieve a natural appearance and comfortable bite.

Dental veneers offer a way to transform your smile by addressing various cosmetic issues. They’re custom-made to fit your teeth and are available in materials that mimic the appearance and feel of natural teeth. However, like all dental treatments, it’s crucial to consider both the advantages and drawbacks of dental veneers before deciding if they’re right for you.

The Advantages of Dental Veneers

Understanding the advantages of dental veneers is crucial in making an informed choice about whether they’re the right cosmetic dentistry option for you. They offer several benefits, from enhancing your smile to being a long-lasting option for a beautiful smile. Let’s discuss these benefits in more detail.

Enhance Your Smile with Confidence

Dental veneers can significantly boost your confidence by improving the appearance of your smile. Here are some ways they achieve this:

  • Improved Appearance:
    Dental veneers can dramatically improve the appearance of your natural teeth. Whether it’s caused by coffee, wine, or cigarette stains, veneers can cover these discoloured teeth, offering a bright, white smile.

  • Addresses Cosmetic Issues:
    Veneers are a popular option for people looking to restore misshapen, chipped, or broken teeth. They also work well in closing gaps between teeth, giving your smile a more uniform look.

  • Natural-Looking Finish:
    The shells of porcelain or composite veneers are made to mimic the appearance of your original teeth, providing a natural tooth structure. This produces a seamless, natural-looking finish.

Customisable Appearance to Suit Your Needs

One of the biggest pros of veneers is their customizability. They are:

  • Tailored to Your Preferences:
    Dental veneers are custom-made to suit your specific needs. Your dentist will work with you throughout the planning process to create veneers that align with your desired tooth shape, size, and colour.

  • Have Personalised Fit:
    Dental veneers, especially custom-made veneers, are designed to fit your teeth just right.

  • Matches Your Natural Teeth:
    Whether you’re getting one veneer or multiple, your dentist can match them to your natural teeth. This makes veneers an appealing option for those aiming for a subtle but noticeable improvement.

Minimally Invasive Procedure for a New Look

Veneers offer a minimally invasive way to transform your smile:

  • Less Tooth Structure Altered:
    Compared to crowns, veneers require minimal alteration of your original tooth structure. This makes veneers a less invasive choice for patients seeking cosmetic dentistry options.

  • Quick Procedure:
    The veneer treatment process is relatively quick, often completed in two to three dental visits over a short period of time.

Improved Oral Hygiene with Low Maintenance

With proper care, veneers can help improve oral hygiene:

  • Easy to Clean:
    Unlike natural teeth, veneers do not have microscopic irregularities or pits that can trap food particles or plaque. As a result, maintaining good oral hygiene with veneers is relatively straightforward. Regular brushing and flossing, along with routine dental cleanings, can help keep veneers clean and free from plaque buildup.

  • Stain Resistant:
    Porcelain veneers, in particular, are resistant to stains. This means you can enjoy your favourite foods and drinks without worrying about discolouring your teeth.

Long-Lasting Option for a Beautiful Smile

Veneers offer long-lasting benefits:

  • Durability:
    Dental veneers, whether made of porcelain or composite resin, are designed to be strong and durable. Porcelain veneers, in particular, are highly resistant to chipping and cracking when compared to natural tooth enamel.

  • Longevity:
    With proper care and maintenance, dental veneers can last for several years. Porcelain veneers, in general, have a longer lifespan compared to composite resin veneers. On average, porcelain veneers can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years or even longer, depending on various factors such as oral hygiene practices, biting forces, and lifestyle habits. Composite resin veneers tend to have a shorter lifespan, typically lasting around 5 to 7 years.

In essence, the advantages of dental veneers make them a viable solution for a variety of dental health issues. However, it’s also crucial to understand the potential drawbacks of dental veneers to make an informed choice on your oral health journey.

The Disadvantages of Dental Veneers

While the advantages of dental veneers can be enticing, it’s equally important to consider the potential drawbacks. Just as with any cosmetic dentistry option, veneers come with their own set of considerations. These include the initial investment, the irreversibility of the process, potential teeth sensitivity, limitations on repairs, and future replacements.

Consider the Initial Investment

As beneficial as veneers can be, there’s no denying that they represent a significant investment:

  • Expensive Option:
    Dental veneers, particularly porcelain ones, are more costly than some other cosmetic dental treatments.

  • Limited Insurance Coverage:
    Health funds usually do not cover the cost of dental veneers, considering them to be a cosmetic procedure rather than a medically necessary treatment. Since veneers are primarily used for aesthetic purposes and do not directly address functional issues or dental health problems, they are often not covered by health fund policies. However, it’s important to check with your specific health fund provider to understand their coverage policies and any potential exceptions.

Irreversible Process: Think Twice Before Proceeding

The installation of veneers is an irreversible process:

  • Enamel Removal:
    The process involves removing a thin layer of tooth enamel which usually results in tooth sensitivity.

  • Permanent Decision:
    The changes made on the teeth for veneer preparation is permanent as the enamel does not grow back. 

Potential for Increased Sensitivity in Teeth

Some patients may experience increased tooth sensitivity after getting veneers:

  • Sensitivity to Temperature:
    After the dental veneer treatment, you might find your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages.

  • Adjustment Period:
    The increased sensitivity usually subsides after a period of time.

Limitations on Repairing Chipped or Damaged Veneers

While veneers are durable, their strength has limitations.

  • Risk of Damage:
    Just like natural teeth, veneers can chip or crack. Although dental veneer materials are durable, frequent eating of hard or crunchy food may cause them to break.

  • Repair Limitations:
    Composite veneers may be repaired in case they chip or crack. However, if a porcelain veneer cracks or fractures, it may require replacement as it cannot be repaired.

Veneer Replacement: Planning for the Future

Even with proper care, veneers don’t last forever:

  • Replacement Over Time:
    Over time, veneers will need to be replaced. It’s important to budget for veneer replacements every 10-15 years. The longevity of veneers depends on the type of veneer and your oral care.

  • Ongoing Investment:
    While veneers offer a long-lasting solution, they’re not a one-time investment. This ongoing cost is a key factor to consider.

While the drawbacks of dental veneers shouldn’t be ignored, they don’t necessarily outweigh the potential benefits. It’s about assessing your personal needs, budget, and long-term oral health. Being fully informed about the pros and cons of dental veneers is the first step towards making the right decision for you.

Comparing Dental Veneer Materials: Porcelain vs. Composite

When considering dental veneers, one of the key decisions you’ll face is choosing between porcelain and composite materials. Both options offer distinct benefits and potential drawbacks, and understanding these can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your needs, lifestyle, and budget.

Porcelain Veneers: Aesthetics and Durability

Porcelain veneers offer a blend of aesthetics and durability that make them a popular choice:

  • Stain Resistant:
    Porcelain veneers resist stains better than composite resin, helping to maintain a bright, healthy smile over time.

  • Natural Appearance:
    Porcelain has a translucent quality that closely mimics natural tooth enamel, offering a highly natural and appealing look.

  • Durability:
    Porcelain veneers tend to be more durable and longer-lasting than their composite counterparts, often lasting 10-15 years with proper care.

Composite Veneers: Cost-effective and Flexible

Composite veneers, on the other hand, offer a cost-effective and flexible solution:

  • Cost-Effective:
    Composite veneers cost less than porcelain veneers, making them a more budget-friendly option.

  • Flexible and Repairable:
    Composite veneers can often be adjusted or repaired more easily than porcelain veneers. This offers flexibility if minor damage occurs.

  • Less Tooth Alteration:
    Often, less tooth structure is removed for composite veneers, which can be an important consideration for preserving natural teeth.

Evaluating the Pros and Cons of Each Material

 

Porcelain Veneers

Composite Veneers

Stain Resistance

Excellent

Good

Natural Appearance

Excellent

Good

Durability

Excellent (10-15 years)

Good (5-7 years)

Cost

Higher

Lower

Flexibility/Repairability

Limited

Good

Tooth Alteration

More

Less

The choice between porcelain and composite veneers will depend on various factors, including your budget, desired aesthetic outcome, lifestyle, and oral health. A discussion with your dentist about these dental veneer materials will aid in determining the right choice for you.

Determining If Dental Veneers Are the Right Choice for You

Deciding whether dental veneers are a suitable option for you involves several key steps. It’s not just about improving your smile; it’s also about checking that the choice aligns with your overall dental health and long-term goals.

Schedule a Consultation with Your Dentist

Your journey towards dental veneers should start with a comprehensive consultation with your dentist. They will:

  • Assess your oral health
  • Consider your dental history
  • Evaluate whether veneers are a suitable option for your specific situation
  • Provide detailed information about the pros and cons of dental veneers
  • Discuss the dental veneer materials available

Identify Your Personal Dental Goals

Understanding your personal dental goals is essential. Are you looking to address cosmetic issues like stains or misshapen teeth? Or is your goal more functional, such as improving your bite or the shape of your teeth? Your goals will help guide the decision-making process and allow you to discuss the right treatment options with your dentist.

Analyse the Benefits and Drawbacks of Making an Informed Decision

After understanding the pros and cons of dental veneers, it’s time to weigh these against your personal goals and circumstances. Look at the advantages of dental veneers in relation to what you want to achieve. Consider the potential drawbacks – are they deal-breakers for you, or are they manageable in the pursuit of your ideal smile?

Remember, making a decision about dental veneers is a personal one. It’s about balancing your dental health, aesthetic desires, and practical considerations such as cost and maintenance. Your dentist is there to guide you through this process, providing you with the information you need to make a confident, informed decision.

Final Thoughts

Navigating through the pros and cons of dental veneers is a journey, and every person’s path will be unique. From understanding what dental veneers are and their advantages to acknowledging the potential drawbacks and comparing dental veneer materials, this guide has aimed to provide a comprehensive overview to help you make an informed decision.

Deciding on dental veneers is a significant step towards achieving a radiant, confident smile. It’s a choice that should reflect your aesthetic aspirations, overall dental health, and personal circumstances.

At Hills Family Dental Centre, we’re committed to walking this journey with you, providing valuable guidance, professional advice, and quality care every step of the way.

Ready to take the next step? We invite you to book an appointment with us. Visit our website or give us a call at our dental clinic to start your journey towards a healthy, beautiful smile.

We look forward to welcoming you to our dental family and assisting you in achieving your dental goals.