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Veneers are suitable for patients who want to improve:

  • tooth colour and shape
  • centre position of their teeth

There are two types of veneer materials: composite and ceramic. It is crucial to know the differences to allow you to make an informed choice on which veneers to select. Veneers do not last forever just like everything else in dentistry so it is essential to know what your options are when they fail.

Before having veneers, you should decide if you want to change the colour of your teeth with teeth whitening. We can then match the veneers to the whiter teeth.

You should also know that studies show that 67% of patients prefer the option of non destructive composite veneers over invasive ceramic veneers (Millar et al). Table of options


Type 1) Ceramic Veneers 


  • Predictable (when bonding to enamel only)
  • Significant colour change
  • Can improve the entire smile (colour, size and shape)
  • Does not stain (like composite veneers)

What you should know

  • Studies show survival rates between 5-12 years
  • Treatment requires several visits, little scope for realigning teeth/colour change, predictable only if stuck to tooth enamel.
  • Requires the removal of 3-30% of sound tooth tissue (you will be advised how much needs to be removed per tooth). Darkly stained teeth will require more tooth tissue reduction and may need crowns.
  • Removing tooth dentine increases the risk of the tooth pulp dying.
  • You need a favourable bite.
  • If you would like your teeth to be lighter, it is best to whiten them before the veneers are placed so we can match the veneers to the lighter teeth.
  • Generally, to improve the entire smile veneers should be placed on the top 8 to 10 teeth (anything less and people will spot the difference)


Type 2) Composite Veneers 


  • Single visit treatment
  • Immediate masking of stains
  • Can close minor spaces
  • Can improve the entire smile (colour, size and shape)
  • No or little tooth structure needs to be removed

What you should know

  • Studies show survival rates of 5-8 years.
  • treatment is completed in a single visit, NO injections, predictable, reversible, repairable, requires high quality and quantity of enamel.
  • Disadvantages: Less shiny, stain, chip, do not last as long, requires annual polishing.
  • They can be polished, resurfaced or replaced whenever you like.
  • When you want them changed in the future you have the option of ceramic veneers.
  • Dental work does not last forever: The main advantage of composite veneers is that no drilling of tooth is required. This means that when they fail more dental options are left.

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