What To Know Before You Get Veneers

In the past, having gleaming, pearly white, perfectly sized, pin-straight teeth was just a dream for most folks who didn't win the genetic lottery. But with improvements in modern dentistry and orthodontics, there's now a range of cosmetic options to help people achieve the perfect smile, from in-chair whitening procedures to Invisalign braces.


A permanent kind of restorative treatment called veneers is a favorite among celebrities. Dental veneers are thin covers that are fitted over your teeth to create an immaculate smile (via North Sydney Dental Practice). As veneers can give the illusion of flawless teeth, they've piqued global interest in recent years. But in June 2020, model Ashley Graham shared the raw reality of veneers to her social media followers, posting a video of her natural, filed-down tooth on Instagram after her veneer had been knocked off. This led to a flood of questions about the real, not-so-glamorous experience of getting veneers. Veneers can get knocked off? The dentist has to do what to your real teeth before you can have veneers applied?


Veneers can certainly be the key to getting the smile of your dreams, but there are a few things you should know if you're considering this procedure.

Who can get veneers?

The first thing to know about veneers is that they're not for everyone. Those who aren't good candidates for this treatment option include people with poor oral hygiene, those with active or recurrent gum disease, and those with significant structural damage to the teeth (via Forest Park Dental). If you are a good candidate for veneers, the first thing to consider is the cost. According to Healthline, veneers cost between $925 and $2,500 per tooth. The exact cost comes down to brands, average prices in your area, the experience of your dentist, and the type of veneer. The most common types are porcelain and composite veneers. Composite veneers are made from a plastic material and are generally less expensive, but also less durable (via Mermaid Smiles). As veneers are a cosmetic procedure, they're not usually covered by insurance.


The other major thing to understand about veneers is that the process of getting them is irreversible. Your dentist will need to alter your natural teeth to fit the veneers in your mouth, which can involve filing the tooth down past the enamel, according to Oasis Dental. And while you can always choose to have your veneers taken out, you won't be able to grow your teeth back once they've been filed down. According to Australia Fair Dental Care, the overall process of getting veneers usually involves very little pain, though patients may find the shaping of their natural teeth to be uncomfortable.

How long do veneers last?

While veneers are considered a permanent treatment option because of the irreversible effect on your natural teeth, they don't last forever. In general, porcelain veneers are expected to last between seven and 15 years but may last even longer (via MyHM Dentist). By comparison, composite veneers tend to last between four and eight years. After this, you will have to have your veneers put on again. You can increase the longevity of your veneers by practicing good oral hygiene and wearing a mouthguard when playing sports. Bloomfield Dentist Designs also recommends using non-abrasive toothpaste to reduce any damage to your veneers.


As we saw with Ashley Graham, who bit into a cookie and had her veneer crack off, veneers can become damaged before their natural lifespan is up (via Whiting Dental Arts). But because veneers are applied tooth by tooth, you can simply just replace one veneer without replacing the rest if the need arises. You don't even need to have veneers placed on every tooth to begin with — many people choose to have veneers applied to the top teeth only. If you are only having a few veneers applied, be sure to color-match your veneers to your original teeth.

Veneers can give you the celebrity smile you've been dreaming about, but with high costs and irreversible results, they aren't for everyone.