If you are unhappy with your teeth’s appearance caused by cosmetic imperfections like gaps, cracks, chips, discoloration, or misshapen, you need to worry no more. With porcelain veneers, you can improve the flaws and regain your beautiful smile and confidence. At Northridge Dentist, we will highlight porcelain veneer candidacy, procedure, aftercare, and costs to help you understand the treatment if you are considering porcelain veneers for your teeth imperfections.

Definition of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are a reedy shell, usually made of porcelain or composite resin material attached or placed in the front of the facial surface of the tooth to correct dental imperfections, thus recreating a natural look for your tooth. Although veneers are a cosmetic dentistry procedure because they restore your flawless smile, they also help strengthen your tooth enamel eliminating the need for extensive dental procedures.

The Purpose of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers can eliminate several cosmetic dental imperfections regardless of the cause of the defect. Some of the cosmetic blemishes or issues the treatment can solve are:

1. Worn Enamel

Habits like smoking, use of certain medications, and consuming tea, coffee, or soft drinks can make your enamel become worn and dull as time passes. Genetic predisposition can also cause erosion of the enamel. Porcelain veneers can be an excellent way to correct the flaws on your smile caused by worn or damaged enamel.

2. Wear and Tear

Years of living can take a toll on your teeth, making them begin wearing down. As teeth age, you are likely to experience chips, cracks making you look older. Fortunately, with porcelain veneers, you can regain the youthful look of your teeth.

3. Tooth Sensitivity

Eating, drinking tea or coffee, and smoking could result in worn or stained enamel over time. Acidic foods, alcohol, and soft drinks can result in tooth sensitivity when taking hot or cold beverages and foods. Sometimes if the enamel is extensively worn, taking anything cold might result in tooth pain.

When a thin layer of porcelain or composite is cemented on your tooth to give it shape and style, it provides a layer of protection where the enamel is missing, thus preventing the tooth pain or discomfort that comes with tooth sensitivity.

4. Uneven, Misshapen Tooth

It is not uncommon to see people with naturally uneven teeth or teeth with irregular shapes and sizes. Other people have uneven teeth because of grinding of teeth or natural wear and tear. This can significantly affect your bite and smile. Luckily, with porcelain veneers, you can make your teeth appear more uniform in shape and size.

5. Discoloration

Tooth whitening usually takes care of temporary stains on a tooth. But where medications like tetracycline have caused discoloration, the teeth may turn grey, or brown permanently. When this happens, veneers can cover the blemishes caused by permanent stains after tooth whitening to give you a stunning smile.

6. Gaps Between Teeth

Gaps between teeth can deny you the confidence you need to feel happy. However, the gaps can be eliminated by cementing a thin layer of porcelain on the sides of your teeth. Doing so closes the gaps that have been causing flaws in your smile or appearance.

Having porcelain veneers also improves the way you brush and floss your teeth. For this reason, not only do they improve your smile, but they also help you observe proper oral hygiene, which allows your gums and teeth to stay healthy.

They are also a durable and reliable way of camouflaging perceived imperfections in the teeth and concealing or correcting flaws that might be interfering with your current smile. The challenge is that not everyone is a candidate for the process. You need to consult with a Northridge Dentist to find out if you are a candidate.

Candidacy for Porcelain Veneers

Before getting the veneers fixed, you should schedule a meeting with the cosmetic dentist that you are considering. The dentist should schedule a preliminary consultation where he or she will determine if you are a candidate for the procedure or not.

During the meeting, the dentist will evaluate your oral health and discuss the available options that are right for you and the number of veneers you will be needing. In most cases, dental practitioners prefer offering the patient a less invasive option. If your teeth are crooked, a dentist will not suggest veneers. Instead, he or she will consider braces, and once the teeth are aligned, he or she can consider cementing layers of covers on the teeth.

Note that weighing the available options with your dentist is an excellent idea because fixing veneers involves irreversible tooth preparation. As such, you must be sure that porcelain veneers are what you want because once the process begins, there is no turning back. If you aren’t sure if the procedure is right for you, explore other alternatives that are less invasive and achieve the same results as veneers. 

Once you have settled on porcelain veneers, the next thing is to get deeper into what the procedure entails. The dental expert to perform the procedure should explain what will be involved in the preparation stage and what will be required for the treatment to be successful.

During the veneer consultation, make sure you let the dentist understand what you want to achieve by the end of the procedure. The dentist will involve you in the smile design process where you share your preferences in terms of size, shape, and color of the veneers. That way, the treatment can be tailored to meet your expectations. Don’t leave the dentist’s office without ensuring that he or she understands your objectives.

Expectations in a Porcelain Veneer Procedure

A veneer procedure requires two visits to the dentist within six weeks. These appointments are wide-ranging because they include tooth preparations and examinations, which makes them extend for several hours. Northridge dentist provides an array of amenities like dental spas, audial and visual distractions and sedation to help you relax throughout the treatment.

Typically, before the treatment commences, there has to be an oral examination stage where the dentist spots oral health issues that might affect your treatment. They may take an x-ray of your teeth to look for things like gums disease or tooth decay. If these oral health issues are spotted, they must be addressed first, which means you might not be a candidate for the treatment.

Steps Involved in the Porcelain Veneer Procedure

Several steps are involved in this treatment. These are:

Administering Local Anesthesia

Before prepping the teeth, the dentist will administer anesthesia to help you stay comfortable. The dentists will then remove a half a millimeter of your enamel with a bur from each tooth to prepare the teeth for veneers. Take note that burs are handheld rotational instruments that cut the surface of your natural tooth, and they come in various sizes and shapes to allow precise cutting.

Attaching or Binding the Veneer to the Tooth

If you opt for composite veneers, the dentist will cement the direct composite on the reshaped tooth. Then he or she will harden the composite using high-intensity ultraviolet light. If the layer applied is not enough to give the tooth the right shape and size, more layers of composite material can be applied until you achieve the desired form. The dentist will then use the bur again to polish the tooth cemented with a composite layer to create a stunning and natural smile.

Making an Impression of Your Teeth

If you choose porcelain veneers, the dentist will make an impression of your teeth. The impression will then be sent to the dental lab for fabrication. Many dental clinics don’t have the right technology to mold your teeth, which means the impression created by the dentist will go to an outside lab for fabricating.

Dental clinics that are advanced in technology and have an in-house dental lab and technicians can fabricate the mold in less time. If you visit a dentist who uses chair CAM/CAD technology, the whole treatment can be completed with a single visit. The veneers will be fabricated and fitted the same day, and no temporaries will be necessary. 

You can use the temporary veneers as a preparation of what to expect in the final custom veneer. Besides, you should remember that temporary veneers are not for everyone. If your tooth has enough enamel density or its one or two teeth that require the thin surfaces, you don’t need the temporary ones.

However, you are likely to experience tooth sensitivity, especially when you take something hot or cold because of the enamel that you have lost. The sensitivity will increase if you have temporary veneers fitted as you wait for the final veneers.

It might take weeks before the mold is fabricated. They will fix temporary veneers on your teeth as they wait for the custom ones to arrive. Note that even in clinics where technology is advanced, you will wait for between 2 to 3 weeks before they arrive. You can’t bypass this gestation period because nothing will happen unless the custom veneers are ready.

Once the permanent veneers arrive, you will go for a final visit to the dentist. The dentist will give you time to evaluate how the custom teeth are in terms of fitting and color and contrast them with those of natural teeth. Doing so ensures that you don’t have issues with how  the porcelain veneers fit once you have left the dentist’s office.

Bonding of Porcelain Veneers to the Teeth

If your dentist is satisfied with the fit and color of the veneers compared to that of the natural teeth, he or she will bond the custom veneers to the natural teeth using bonding cement for a secure fit.

By following the above steps, the procedure of porcelain veneers will be complete, and you will be free to go home with a happy smile.

Recovery and Post-Procedure Care

Porcelain veneers are durable and are known to last for many years or even a lifetime, but it is mainly dependent on upkeep and maintenance. You need to maintain regular visits to your dentist for examination and cleaning. These are essential in maintaining oral health and the length of the restorations.

Keep in mind that the porcelain veneers might crack or chip. If this happens, it’s wise to see a dentist to advise you on the cost and time it will take to replace a damaged veneer. However, it is possible to prevent these fractures and chips before they occur by observing post-procedure instructions.

One of the ways you can reduce the risk of the restoration from chipping or fracturing is by avoiding bad oral habits like chewing hard objects such as bones. Practices like opening or tearing packages using your teeth are also not advisable if you want to preserve your teeth. Before leaving the dentist’s office, you will receive instructions and advice on the kind of food that you should avoid for a long-lasting restoration. Make sure you follow the instructions, and you will enjoy the flawless smile for long.

Brush and floss your teeth regularly, but do not use a non-abrasive toothpaste. Luckily, foods and drinks cannot stain the veneers because they are highly polishable. Brushing lowers the risk of stains, especially after taking coffee, tea, or soda. Porcelain veneers also don’t require bleaching because the usual brushing and flossing is enough to remove the stains.

Similarly, they don’t change color after some time, so if you notice your teeth changing color, you should see a dentist because it is a sign of underlying oral issues such as decay. If the dentist discovers that you have a severe underlying problem, he or she will have to remove the veneers first and evaluate the damage done to the teeth. Minor issues like leakages under the veneer or tooth darkening underneath can be prevented by using advanced technology like dental bonds and isolations.

It’s good to note that although a dentist can perform this procedure at any time, you should schedule the treatment when you have little or no commitment to other things. If you have a meeting, first attend the meeting and then receive treatment later.

The first few days after treatment, you might experience alignment issues, and this might make you feel as if the veneers are not fitting. However, this is normal, and it happens to everyone until you adapt to the change.

Cost of Porcelain Veneers        

Compared to the direct composite resin option, porcelain veneers are more costly. The conventional porcelain veneers rates range between 925 to 2,500 dollars per tooth. On the issue of durability, these traditional veneers can last between one to one and a half decades. The cost of composite veneers, on the other hand, ranges between 250 to 1500 dollars for a single tooth and can last for between five to ten years.

The cost of the treatment varies from one dental clinic to another. Some of the factors that affect the value of the procedure include:

1. Veneer Materials

The primary materials used in veneers are composite and porcelain. And as mentioned above, porcelain is more expensive because it requires more artistry and it is discrete and durable compared to composite.  Although you can get resin at an affordable price, veneers made of resin require regular maintenance and are prone to stains, making them more expensive than porcelain veneers in the long run.

2. Financing Options

Porcelain veneers are a costly cosmetic dentistry procedure. For this reason, many dental insurers don’t provide coverage for it. Insurers consider the treatment as elective and not medically necessary. In such a situation, you will have to bear the burden of paying for the full treatment, which makes the procedure expensive.

Fortunately, you have the option of financing the treatment through third parties. These financiers grant you a loan that will cover part or full cost, and then you will be repaying the loan in installments. This option helps many people interested in porcelain veneers but cannot afford the money for the treatment.

3. Expertise

Artistic and technical skills are crucial when it comes to designing and shaping veneers. If you choose your veneers to be developed by the best ceramist, you must be willing to part with more money. The general cost of porcelain veneers will depend on the ceramist and cosmetic dentistry.

It’s advisable to stick to a highly skilled ceramist for the best veneers. Your cosmetic dentist should also have a lot of expertise to ensure the veneers fit correctly. Besides, you should understand that you pay for what you get. Therefore, if you choose a ceramist with less technical and artistic skills, the cost of fabricating the veneers will be cheap, but the quality will be compromised.

Using porcelain to make veneers is challenging because this material proves hard to work with for ceramists. So, always choose someone whose craftsmanship will produce quality results.

4. Location

The location where the treatment will take place is also a huge determinant of the cost of treatment. The cost of porcelain veneers varies from one region to another. Often, dentists located in metropolitan areas and big cities are highly-sought for their skills. For this reason, they tend to charge higher fees than those in rural areas or smaller towns whose services are not in high demand. 

Similarly, cosmetic dentists located in big cities serve rich people and celebrities, which makes them charge high rates. Before picking a dental clinic for your treatment, shop online for prices in different locations.

5. Complementary Services

Some dental clinics have massage spas that help patients feel more comfortable. If you pick such a clinic, you must be willing to part with more money. Also, before receiving porcelain veneers, you might require other procedures like tooth whitening, which come with extra costs. The more complementary services needed, the higher the price of the treatment.

6. Number of Teeth Being Treatment

The rates by cosmetic dentists are per tooth. The more the teeth that require treatment, the more money you pay.

Covering the full cost of porcelain veneers isn’t an easy thing. Cosmetic dentistry clinics understand this, which is why many provide payment plans. Find out from your preferred dental health provider the financing options available, and in case there is none, you can consider third-party financiers like CareCredit. You will work with these financiers to come with a flexible plan that suits your budget.

Alternatives for Porcelain Veneers

The requirements for your dental condition are different from those of another person. It is the reason you should talk to your dentist about your goals so that they can discuss the available options. Considering other options is essential because porcelain veneers have their disadvantages too, and they are not fit for everyone.

In case you realize that porcelain veneers are not the best fit for you, your Northridge Dentist can recommend alternatives procedures. Some of these alternative procedures include:

Cosmetic Bonding

Cosmetic bonding is an excellent alternative for porcelain veneers, but it comes with a few limitations. One of the limitations is that it is not as durable as veneers. Additionally, it is prone to chipping and fracturing, which makes it barely an alternative for veneers.


Dental crowns are known to take care of the same dental issues that porcelain veneers resolve. The only difference between the two is that crowns cover the entire tooth while porcelain veneers cover the front or facial side of the tooth.

Find the Right Porcelain Veneers Dentist Near Me

Displaying misshapen, chipped, discolored, or fractured teeth is a sight that can affect your confidence and deny you happiness. Luckily, with Northridge Dentist, you don’t need to be afraid of smiling. Our cosmetic dentists will fit porcelain veneers on your teeth, making them look as you have always dreamed. To discuss your goals and approach to the treatment, call us at 818-875-0216 for a free consultation.