- Veneers are thin covers of porcelain or resin that are fixed to the front of your teeth.
- Veneers help your teeth look whiter and more regular, improving their appearance.
- You can get veneers for one or more teeth.
- Veneers may need to be replaced due to chips, fractures or changes in colour over time.
What are veneers?
Veneers are thin layers of material that cover the front of the teeth. Veneers can be placed on one tooth or a few of your teeth.
Your dentist or dental practitioner fixes veneers to your teeth. You can’t take veneers off.
Veneers can be made of:
- porcelain (ceramic)
- composite resin (of plastic and glass)
Why would I want veneers?
Veneers help to improve the appearance of your teeth. They’re not used to repair damage. Veneers don’t straighten your teeth or fix your bite.
Veneers can be useful if your teeth are:
- discoloured or stained
- a bit crooked
- oddly shaped compared to your other teeth
- chipped or slightly broken
- widely spaced and leave a gap
Veneers may not be suitable if you grind or clench your teeth or if you have gum disease.
How are veneers fitted?
Porcelain (ceramic) veneers are custom made for you in a dental laboratory.
The number of appointments you will need to get veneers will depend on whether your dentist or dental practitioner has the right scanning and production equipment.
Your dentist or dental practitioner will make a copy of your tooth or teeth.
This can be done by:
- taking an impression using a jaw-shaped tray filled with a soft, gel-like material — this is pushed onto your teeth and held in place for 3 to 5 minutes
- using a digital scanner to take a 3-dimensional (3D) image of your tooth
Your veneers are then made in the dental laboratory.
Your dentist or dental practitioner fixes the veneers to the surface of your tooth.
You can get a composite resin veneer in one visit to your dentist or dental practitioner. Composite resin is the same as the material used for white dental fillings.
Composite resin veneers are applied directly to the front of your tooth in layers. The composite veneer is then shaped and polished by your dentist or dental practitioner.
Your dentist or dental practitioner will match the colour of the veneers with your surrounding teeth to make them look as natural as possible.
A small amount of your natural tooth may need to be trimmed so that the veneer fits well. Your dentist or dental practitioner might use a local anaesthetic so that you don’t feel any pain during this step.
What are the benefits and risks of choosing veneers?
Veneers can significantly improve the look of your teeth.
Porcelain veneers can look more realistic and last longer than resin veneers, but they are more expensive.
Veneers are thin, so not much of your natural tooth will need to be removed.
At first your teeth will feel different as you get used to their new shape.
Veneers don’t fix tooth decay or problems with your bite.
Possible risks of having veneers are:
- jaw pain
- the veneer could crack or fall off
- your teeth could become more sensitive because some enamel is removed
- if your gum shrinks the edges of the veneers may be seen
- the colour of your veneers can’t be changed after they’ve been applied
- your other teeth may become discoloured no longer matching your veneers
ASK YOUR DENTIST — Preparing for an appointment? Use the Question Builder for general tips on what to ask your health professional.
How should I care for my dental veneers?
Your dentist or dental practitioner may ask you to come back after a couple of weeks so that they can check your veneers.
Teeth with veneers need to be well cared for to help them last as long as possible. Veneers should last for years.
You’ll need to brush and floss your teeth with veneers the same as you do for natural teeth. Regular visits to your dentist or dental practitioner are also important.
How much do veneers cost?
Talk to your dentist or dental practitioner about the cost of veneers.
Porcelain veneers are generally more expensive than resin veneers.
What are the alternatives to veneers?
An alternative to veneers is to continue to live with your teeth as they are.
You could ask your dentist or dental practitioner about:
Resources and support
You can find out more about how to care for your teeth at Teeth.org.au.
Use healthdirect's Service Finder to find dentists, dental practitioners, doctors, pharmacists, hospitals and other health services in your area.
Talk to your dentist about the benefits and risks of getting a dental implant. Use the Therapeutic Goods Administration's guide on what to ask.
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Last reviewed: April 2023