Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content


4-minute read

What are veneers?

Veneers are thin layers of material that cover the front of the teeth and are designed to improve their appearance. While veneers can improve your teeth’s appearance, poorly fitted veneers can cause jaw pain.

Veneers can be made either of porcelain (ceramic) or composite resin (of plastic and glass).

Porcelain veneers tend to look more realistic and last longer than resin veneers, but they are also more expensive.

Veneers are a permanent dental treatment, and their colour cannot be altered after they’ve been applied.

When might someone want veneers?

Veneers are generally used to improve the appearance of teeth rather than to repair damage.

You might choose to have veneers on your teeth if they are:

  • discoloured or stained
  • crooked, oddly shaped or chipped
  • widely spaced and leave a gap

Veneers can only be applied if your teeth and gums are in good condition. They may not be suitable if you grind or clench your teeth because that can crack the veneer.

What happens during a dental veneers procedure?


Your dentist will first remove a thin layer of enamel from the tooth so that the veneer does not stick out. You might be given a local anaesthetic for this procedure. The dentist will then take an impression of the tooth. The mould is sent away to a lab where the veneer will be made.

In the meantime, your dentist can give you a temporary veneer.

During your second visit, the dentist will make sure the veneer fits well and that it looks good. The bonding cement is then set using a beam of light.


A composite resin veneer is completed in one visit. The dentist applies the material to the tooth in layers, each hardened using a beam of light. Finally, the tooth is shaped and polished. This can be uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful.

What to expect after a dental veneers procedure

Your dentist may ask you to come back so they can check your gums and how the veneers are sitting.

You should treat your veneers in the same way you do your regular teeth by:

Porcelain veneers usually last from 7 to 15 years before they need to be replaced. Composite resin veneers don’t last quite as long.

What are the benefits and risks of choosing veneers?

Using dental veneers is a fairly simple approach that can significantly improve the look of your teeth, if that’s what you want.

Risks are low, but include:

  • jaw pain and misalignment of the bite
  • the veneer cracking or falling off
  • temperature sensitivity of the teeth (because some enamel is removed)
  • gum shrinkage exposing the veneer margins
  • the veneers remaining white as surrounding teeth discolour

How much do veneers cost?

Porcelain veneers cost from $700 to $2,000 per tooth, and resin veneers from $200 to $600 per tooth.

What are the alternatives to veneers?

An alternative to veneers is to live with your teeth just as they are. But if you want to make changes, options include:

  • bonding using composite resin to repair a small section of a tooth
  • a crown to cover a broken or decayed tooth
  • bleaching to whiten your teeth

Resources and support

You should talk to your health professional about the benefits and risks of getting a medical implant. Use the Therapeutic Goods Administration's guide on what to ask. The information is in English, Arabic, Croatian, Farsi, Greek, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: September 2020

Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Crowns, bridges and veneers - Australian Dental Association

Crown, bridge and veneer treatments are elective treatments that may be performed to fix damaged teeth but can also be used to change the visual appearance of teeth.

Read more on website

Dental treatment - Better Health Channel

Modern techniques mean that dental and oral health treatment is almost always painless.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Five questions to ask your health professional before you get a medical implant

Medical devices that are implanted inside or on the surface of your body are considered higher risk therapeutic goods, and the decision to get one should not be taken lightly.

Read more on TGA – Therapeutic Goods Administration website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.