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Porcelain veneers: what they are, different types, and price

25 January · 5 minutes

Porcelain dental veneers have revolutionized the world of aesthetic dental treatments, offering an effective and long-lasting solution to achieve radiant teeth.

In this article, we will explain in detail what porcelain veneers are, what they are for, the different types that exist on the market, how they are applied step by step, and the care they require. Additionally, we will also talk about how long porcelain veneers last and what their price is. Get ready to discover how these thin ceramic sheets can dramatically transform your teeth and make you feel more confident and proud of your smile.

What are porcelain veneers?

Porcelain dental veneers, also known as ceramic veneers, are thin, customized sheets of ceramic materials that are bonded to the front of the teeth to improve their aesthetic appearance. Ceramic or porcelain dental veneers can modify the shape, size, position or color of the teeth and allow high customization to the patient's needs.

Ceramic dental veneers have a thickness of between 0.2 and 1.2 mm, which guarantees a natural and harmonious result in the patient's mouth. These porcelain veneers are the most common, not only for their ability to correct dental imperfections, but also for their durability, resistance to stains, and the naturalness of the results.

Are porcelain veneers the same as ceramic veneers?

Have you heard of ceramic or porcelain veneers? Maybe you’ve heard of both! That’s because ceramic and porcelain dental veneers are the same, that is, we can use both terms interchangeably to refer to the same dental treatment. Therefore, throughout the article, we will use both concepts interchangeably.

Doctor tests samples of porcelain veneers on a patient.

What are porcelain or ceramic veneers used for?

Porcelain veneers are a versatile tool in aesthetic dental treatments. Porcelain or ceramic veneers can be used to correct dental positioning problems, such as crooked teeth, mild crowding, or diastemas (gaps). Porcelain veneers can also cover problems with discoloration, stains or irregularities in the shape and size of the teeth, such as small teeth or buck teeth.

That is, in addition to hiding dental problems such as slightly crooked teeth, gaps, small teeth or buck teeth, porcelain or ceramic veneers also provide an aesthetic solution for those who want whiter and more harmonized teeth.

Different types of porcelain veneers

There are different types of porcelain or ceramic dental veneers: ultra thin, lithium disilicate, zirconia and feldspathic porcelain. Below we will see in detail each of them and the different characteristics they present:

Ultra thin veneers

Ultra thin veneers are a type of especially thin porcelain veneers, ideal for minimal corrections in dental appearance. Ultra thin veneers have injected porcelain, which is why they offer greater durability than the rest, and they are very thin, so it is generally not necessary to file or alter the original shape of the tooth to place them.

Zirconia veneers

Zirconia veneers are highly resistant, malleable and offer very good aesthetic results. Zirconia veneers are a type of porcelain dental veneers slightly thicker than ultra thin ones, so zirconia veneers are only used in very specific cases, since their result is less natural and greater treatment of the tooth is required prior to placement.

Feldspathic porcelain veneers

Feldspathic porcelain veneers are very fragile and require a precise prior study of the patient. Despite offering very good aesthetic results, feldspathic porcelain veneers have been displaced in recent years by ultra thin veneers, because they are not as resistant.

Lithium disilicate veneers

Lithium disilicate veneers are made from a material resulting from combining glass and ceramic, also common for other medical uses, such as prosthetics or dental crowns. Veneers made of this material stand out for their high resistance and easy handling. In addition, lithium disilicate veneers allow for better cementation, which improves their adherence to dental tissue, making them one of the most durable veneers.

Porcelain veneers process: how are they put on

Below we will explain the porcelain veneers process step by step to go over how they are put on:

Preparation to put on porcelain veneers

The first step in the process of putting porcelain or ceramic dental veneers on is to attend an initial consultation with the dentist. During the initial consultation, the expert will evaluate the patient's dental health and diagnose the problem, the patient will share their expectations and the professional will determine if veneers are the right option to obtain the expected results. If the veneers are suitable, at this first visit measurements of the teeth will be taken to produce the veneers and the porcelain veneers colors will be decided.

3D simulation of how a porcelain veneer covers a tooth.

Porcelain veneer colors

One of the decisions to make together with the professional is the color of the porcelain veneers to be placed. The patient and specialist will together select the appropriate color for porcelain veneers, ensuring a natural and harmonious appearance. This decision is important, since porcelain veneers cannot be whitened nor do they stain and, therefore, the color chosen will be the final one.

Porcelain teeth prepped for veneers: carving the tooth to put on porcelain veneers

Once the treatment has been designed, the next step in the process is to schedule another visit to get the teeth prepped for the porcelain veneers: the tooth is cleaned, polished and carved, when necessary.

The carving of the teeth to the prep for porcelain veneers depends on the teeth and the different types of veneers, especially in the case of ultra-thin veneers, which require less carving. Whether or not to grind the tooth depends on the position or its size.

Once the teeth have been carved or contoured, precise impressions of the teeth will be taken to ensure the veneers fit perfectly.

Temporary veneers before permanent porcelain veneers

While the permanent porcelain veneers are made in the laboratory, temporary veneers will be placed to protect the carved teeth.

This process is what most dental clinics follow, but at Impress, thanks to the latest technological advances that allow the manufacturing process to be digitized, we do not need to place temporary porcelain veneers. As temporary porcelain veneers are not needed, the teeth are not shaped until the permanent porcelain veneers are placed. Furthermore, thanks to this digital process, the carving is minimal and is personalized for each case.

Cementation of porcelain veneers

Once the permanent porcelain dental veneers are ready, the temporary porcelain veneers will be removed and the final porcelain dental veneers will be securely cemented to the surface of the teeth. Now you can show off your teeth safely!

How to care for and clean porcelain veneers

Wondering how to care for and clean porcelain veneers? Optimal care of porcelain veneers is necessary to prolong their useful life. Below we give you some tips for the care and cleaning of porcelain veneers:

  • Avoid very hard or sticky foods that could peel off the porcelain or ceramic veneers or break them.
  • Avoid biting on objects, such as pens or fingernails, which can damage the veneers.
  • Use relief splints: People who suffer from bruxism should use relief splints to relax the muscles of the face and avoid jaw tension. For patients with veneers and bruxism, the splint will prevent the veneers from breaking.

Pros and cons of porcelain veneers

Below we will detail the specific pros and cons of porcelain veneers, compared to other types of veneers:

Benefits of porcelain veneers

  1. Natural appearance: One of the main benefits of porcelain or ceramic veneers is that most of them offer very natural results, with a wide range of shades and perfect integration with the rest of the teeth.
  2. Durability: Ceramic dental veneers are durable and resistant, ensuring optimal long-term results. It must be taken into account that to guarantee its durability, it is necessary to follow the indicated care.
  3. Enamel conservation: Unlike some procedures, ceramic veneers involve minimal carving, preserving much of the original tooth enamel.
  4. Stain resistance: One of the main benefits of porcelain dental veneers over other types is their resistance to stains and discoloration, even when highly pigmented foods or drinks are consumed.
  5. Versatility Porcelain or ceramic veneers are appropriate for correcting imperfections of different types, from slight malpositions, to fractures, stains... that is why we say that they stand out for their versatility when it comes to correcting imperfections.
Before and after teeth with porcelain veneers

Cons of porcelain veneers

  1.  Irreversibility of the process: One of the main cons of porcelain dental veneers is that dental carving is irreversible. Therefore, in cases where it is necessary to modify the thickness of the tooth, the process cannot be reversed.
  2. Price: The price of porcelain or ceramic veneers is higher than that of composite veneers, since it involves high-quality materials and specialized labor.
  3. They cannot be repaired: Another con of porcelain veneers is that they cannot be repaired if they break or fracture. They usually last for many years, but if care instructions are not followed, they can break. In these cases, the veneer must be removed and a new one produced to place it.
  4. They are not for all cases: Although versatility is one of their benefits, porcelain veneers are not suitable for patients with set teeth or bite problems.

How long do porcelain veneers last?

How long do porcelain veneers last is one of the most common questions among interested patients. As we just mentioned, durability is one of the main benefits of this type of porcelain veneer, so with proper care, porcelain veneers can last 10 to 15 years or even more. The duration depends on factors such as oral hygiene, eating habits and avoiding activities that could damage the veneers. Once the porcelain veneers deteriorate over the years, they can be replaced with new ones.

How much are porcelain or ceramic veneers? Price in US

The price of porcelain or ceramic veneers can vary depending on the location of the clinic, the number of veneers needed, the type of veneer chosen, or the manufacturing or technology used. It is advisable to consult with a professional to obtain an accurate cost of ceramic veneers.

A porcelain or ceramic veneer in the US has a price that can range between $925 and $2,500 per tooth.

Be proud of your teeth with Impress

At Impress we offer a wide range of treatments focused on improving both the aesthetics and oral health of our patients. If you are interested in carrying out aesthetic dental treatment, the Impress medical team recommends carrying out orthodontic treatment prior to the aesthetic treatment, so that it is minimally invasive.

Whether you are interested in orthodontic treatment or dental veneers, you can contact us and we will tell you what services are currently available at your nearest Impress clinic with zero obligation and meet our team of professionals. You can make an appointment online, via email at careteam@uniformteeth.com, or by calling us at 888.490.1421.

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Frequently asked questions about porcelain dental veneers

Can you do teeth whitening for porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers cannot be whitened, as their color is permanent. If you want to change the color of your porcelain veneers, the only solution is to change them for new ones.

Can porcelain veneers stain?

Porcelain veneers are very resistant, therefore, they do not stain or stain over time, even when eating or drinking foods that can affect the staining of the teeth.

Can you remove porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers can be removed by a professional and there are two different ways to remove them: with a high-speed diamond burr or with a dental laser. In the case of porcelain veneers, once the veneer is removed, the tooth surface must be prepared to reposition the adhesive material and attach a new veneer.

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