Veneers are a thin layer of material placed on the mostly visible part of teeth to improve the
appearance of the teeth and the overall smile. They are very effective in closing gaps, increasing and
reshaping the size of the teeth. They are especially helpful when the front teeth already have some
broken, stained restorations.
There are mainly two types of veneers, called Composite resin veneers and Porcelain veneers.
Composite resin veneers involve using resin material which is directly set in the mouth and generally
requires less shaping of the teeth if the teeth are aligned. Main advantage of the composite resin
veneers is that they can be easily reshaped and conservative in a way that they can be easily
repaired. They can be easily moulded and added directly in a single or two appointments. They
generally last 5-7 years and longer with maintenance and care. Cons of composite resin veneers
compared to porcelain veneers is that whilst they can be highly polished to look natural, their feel
may not be as highly shiny as porcelain. They also may stain more easily than porcelain veneers.
Porcelain veneers involve using lab made porcelain material which is fabricated in the laboratory and
then glued on to the teeth. Generally, porcelain veneers will require minor shaping of teeth to allow
space for the porcelain to bond to. Porcelain veneers are highly aesthetic and can generally last 7-15
years or longer with good maintenance. Whilst they may last longer, they can fall off or chip. If they
fall off, they can be rebonded to the tooth. If the porcelain veneers chip, it usually requires the
replacement of the chipped veneer.
So are they safe?
Whilst veneer is a safe, effective option for improving the smile, there are some potential risks
involved. Reshaping the teeth is a non-reversible process. The preparation is usually at fingernail
thin. With composite resin veneers, our dentists aim for no-prep veneers, and we will endeavour
our best to be as conservative as possible. Some porcelain veneers can also be done with minor
teeth preparation for the right candidates.
Also, it is important to note that whist it can be very durable to last a decade or more, it is
anticipated that they may need replacement or repairs in 10 years.
We use digital smile design to analyse your smile with photos and diagnostic scan
of your teeth. First appointment involves consultation and taking records of your
Second appointment will involve trialling your new smile in case of porcelain
veneers. You will get to trial your new smile, and can give us a feedback on if you
are happy with the smile design.
If you opt for composite resin veneers, we will create your new smile on the day
using the diagnostic smile designed from the record of your teeth on the second
Third appointment is required for porcelain veneers, where we will be installing
the porcelain veneers after the trial smile.
Contact us for a consultation for veneers. Dr Ashi Singh is a digital smile design
specialist who received training from world pioneer of the field, Dr Chris
Coachmen and is currently offering consultations of Wednesdays.