A smile makeover with veneers is a big decision.

Although you’ll likely never look back (and maybe wish you did it sooner), we believe:

You should have ALL the facts, so you can make an informed and educated decision.

That’s why our trusted cosmetic dentists in Salt Lake City put together this complete guide answering the top FAQs about dental veneers with an emphasis on porcelain veneers (our specialty).

Let’s get started!

Before and after veneers photos with text, "Top FAQs About Porcelain Veneers with real patient before-and-after photos."

Frequently asked questions about veneers

Here’s a preview of the questions:

Question: What are veneers?

Answer: A veneer is a wafer-thin shell of tooth-colored material, typically porcelain or composite. It’s custom-made to adhere to your tooth’s outer surface and enhance its appearance or hide flaws.

A dental veneer changes your tooth’s:

  • Shape
  • Size
  • Color
  • Alignment

And it hides:

  • Discoloration
  • Chips
  • Cracks
  • Breaks
  • Gaps
  • Misalignment
  • Misshapen teeth

While its primary advantage is enhancing your smile’s aesthetics, it can also improve your oral health.

Here’s an overview of how veneers work:

First appointment

You’ll meet with one of our dentists to determine your exact wants and needs.

We’ll take a digital impression of your teeth (no goopy mess) using 3D technology to create a virtual mockup of your smile.

Using dental technology allows us to plan how your final result will look more accurately.

Second appointment

To give you a natural-looking smile with veneers (no bulky chicklets), we’ll need to lightly prepare your tooth by removing a minimal layer of enamel.

Next, we’ll place a temporary set of veneers on your teeth. These will mimic the planned shape, size, and color of your new veneers.

Think of it as a test drive before the real deal.

Third appointment

Many dentists overlook this step, but we find it’s best to have a check-in before your final veneers are placed.

Why?

This appointment allows us to evaluate your comfort, function, and overall satisfaction.

If you want to adjust something – perhaps a whiter shade or longer front teeth –  this gives us time to do so before it’s too late.

Final appointment

Lastly, we’ll replace your temporaries with the final veneers.

You’ll maintain your new smile just like you would with natural teeth; brush twice a day, floss daily, and visit us regularly for exams and cleanings.

The only difference is you’ll smile a lot more confidently now!

Question: Do veneers hurt?

Answer: No, getting veneers doesn’t hurt.

It’s a minimally invasive procedure, and most patients only need a local anesthetic to numb away any potential discomfort.

However:

If you suffer from dental anxiety or fear or have difficulty getting numb, you may benefit from sedation dentistry.

Afterward, your teeth and gums may feel tender or sensitive for a few days. If necessary, take over-the-counter medication to help alleviate any pain.

Question: Are veneers permanent?

Answer: No, dental veneers aren’t permanent. They’ll eventually need to be replaced.

How long do veneers last?

It depends.

If you grind your teeth or use them as tools (opening bottles or packages) or to chew on ice, then they won’t last as long as someone who doesn’t do those things.

Another factor:

The type of veneer!

Porcelain veneers last the longest, with an average lifespan of at least 10 years.

Some patients have had porcelain veneers last up to 20 years!

Whereas composite (resin) veneers typically last between 5-7 years on average.

Something to keep in mind:

Even though the veneer itself isn’t permanent, the alterations made to your tooth (removing the enamel) make it irreversible. So, in theory, this procedure is permanent, and you’re committing to replacing your veneer as needed.

Porcelain veneers before and after of a real patient of Legacy Dental

Question: How much are veneers?

Answer: The cost of veneers depends on the type of veneer and the tooth.

According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry… This text opens a new tab to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry website…:

The average cost of a composite veneer varies between $250 to $1,500 per tooth.

And the average cost of a porcelain veneer varies between $925 and $2,500 per tooth.

Even though porcelain veneers are more expensive up front, they’re longer-lasting and save you more money long-term.

And no matter what you read online:

The only way to know exactly how much veneers will cost you is to get a personalized quote from a dentist.

If you near Salt Lake City, take advantage of our dentists’ offer for a FREE virtual consultation (100% risk-free!).

Question: Does insurance cover veneers?

Answer: Typically, veneers aren’t covered by dental insurance because it’s considered a cosmetic procedure.

An exception may be if you need a veneer for restorative reasons.

To confirm this answer, check with your insurance provider.

Question: How many veneers will I need?

Answer: It depends on your goal and the current condition of your teeth.

You may assume you need to get veneers on every tooth, but typically:

You just need veneers on the teeth that show when you smile.

For this, most patients get an average of 8-10 veneers. Others may need up to 12.

But sometimes:

One well-done veneer makes all the difference.

The great thing is there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s entirely up to you.

Real porcelain veneers patient of Legacy Dental before and after smile

Question: Can you whiten veneers?

Answer: Not exactly. The materials used to create veneers cannot be whitened beyond the color they were made to be.

At Legacy Dental, we make choosing your desired shade of white a key part of the process.

We consider your surrounding teeth color, lip shade, skin tone, and more to recommend the most vibrant and authentic-looking shade of white.

It is possible to have your teeth be too white.

The porcelain veneers before-and-after photo above is a perfect example of whitening your smile with veneers while still looking natural.

Question: Do veneers stain?

Answer: Yes. However, veneers don’t stain as easily as your natural teeth.

Veneers are far less porous than your enamel, meaning they don’t absorb stains from coffee, tea, soda, or red-dyed foods as fast.

Fun fact:

Porcelain veneers are more stain-resistant than composite veneers.

To prevent discoloration in veneers or to “whiten” them, try these tips:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid abrasion and receding gum line.
  • Avoid stain-causing foods and drinks.
  • Drink water right after consuming stain-causing foods or drinks. Then brush your teeth 30-minutes after.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Get your teeth professionally cleaned every six months.

Question: Can porcelain veneers be reshaped?

Answer: Kind of. Porcelain veneers can be slightly reshaped after they’ve been applied.

If you want extensive work, then the glaze or polish on the veneer will likely be affected, and your veneer may not look the same. Plus, massive alterations may damage the structural integrity of the veneer.

This is a big reason why our trial period with temporary veneers (that many dentists skip) is important – to avoid needing reshaping.

Before and after of a real porcelain veneers patient at Legacy Dental

Question: What are the alternatives to veneers?

Answer: Veneer alternatives include:

Question: Are veneers worth it?

Answer: YES!

We may be biased, but we’re fairly confident if you ask anyone with dental veneers, they’ll agree.

Check out these 13 benefits of porcelain veneers, and then decide for yourself:

  1. Boosts your confidence
  2. Makes your smile (and you) look more attractive
  3. Takes years off of your appearance
  4. Prevents dental problems
  5. Often avoids orthodontic work
  6. Hides smile flaws
  7. Permanently whitens your teeth
  8. Minimally invasive procedure
  9. Maintains your tooth’s structure and health benefits
  10. Treatment is fully customizable
  11. Looks completely natural (if done by a trained dentist)
  12. Lasts longer than composite veneers, dental bonding, and teeth whitening
  13. Porcelain is very durable and resistant to decay

Schedule a consultation to get started

The first step with veneers is scheduling a consultation with a cosmetic dentist near you.

At Legacy Dental, we offer FREE virtual consultations.

All you have to do is complete three easy steps, and within five business days, you’ll receive a personalized video with our recommendations.

There’s no risk or commitment. And you don’t even have to leave your house!

Request a Virtual Consultation

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Legacy Dental proudly serves neighborhoods throughout the Salt Lake City area, including Salt Lake County, Millcreek, East Millcreek, Holladay, Sugarhouse, Murray, Midvale, South Salt Lake, Sandy, Taylorsville, West Jordan, South Jordan, Riverton, and Herriman.