6 Common Types of Veneers: Costs, Risks, and Procedure

Veneers are thin shells applied over your teeth; often used to cover up damage, discoloration and uneven teeth. But applying veneers isn’t as straightforward as it might seem, and it usually requires the removal of your natural enamel. 

There are many types of veneers, each with its set of pros and cons. In this article, we will take you through everything there is to know about veneers and popular alternatives.


Quick Overview: What Are the Different Types of Veneers?


Types of Veneers Overview Pros Cons Average Cost Without Insurance
  • Strong, long-lasting type of veneer
  • Custom made in a dental laboratory
  • Durable
  • Less chance of breakage
  • Fit over your natural teeth
  • Lasts 10-15 years
  • Available in 15 shades
  • Lengthy, invasive application procedure
  • Expensive



$925-$2500 per tooth
Composite Composite resin veneers, made from the same material as dental fillings
  • Less enamel removal
  • Easily repaired
  • Lasts 5 to 7 years
  • Less expensive than porcelain
  • Prone to staining
  • Don’t last as long as porcelain
  • More prone to chipping
$250-$1,500 per tooth
Palatal Veneers Restore the back of teeth due to palatal damage
  • Long-lasting porcelain
  • 10-15 year lifespan
  • Transparent/natural looking
  • Restores palatal damage
  • Only for restoring posterior teeth
$650-$1,200 per tooth
  • Also known as snap-on veneers
  • Two types: instant veneers or custom clip-on veneers


  • Temporary
  • Inexpensive
  • Convenient


  • Not recommended for daily use
  • Prone to plaque buildup
$20-$50 for instant veneers
  • Made from porcelain laminate.
  • Commonly used to treat discoloration and irregularly shaped teeth
  • Long lifespan
  • Less tooth preparation
  • Ultra-thin
  • Expensive
  • Prone to chipping


$800 to $2,000 per tooth
CEREC Uses 3-D computer models to craft custom veneers that fit only the front of teeth
  • The lifespan of 10 to 30 years
  • Same day restoration
  • Natural-looking
  • Sturdy, resist abrasion
  • Requires minimal reduction of the teeth


  • Requires dentist with special training to apply
  • Limited availability
  • Expensive


$500-$1,500 per tooth


Types of Veneers 

There are six primary types of veneer treatments, including permanent and non-permanent veneers:

  • Porcelain
  • Composite
  • Palatal
  • Temporary
  • Lumineers



Porcelain is the most common type of veneer. It’s made from ceramic material and lasts between 10 and 15 years. Porcelain veneers are more stain-resistant than composite veneers and there is minimal preparation needed compared to other restorative procedures like tooth crowns.

Porcelain veneers are quite durable, with a survival rate of 94.4% at five years, 93.5% at 10 years, and 91% at 20 years

Prior to their attachment, porcelain veneers require shaping and tooth reduction. This involves removing approximately 0.5mm of enamel from the outer surface of the tooth. Color treatments can be used to make the veneer opaque if they are covering a darker tooth; for matching purposes, there are over 15 shades available.

Types of veneers: Porcelain veneers are quite durable, with a survival rate of 94.4% at five years, 93.5% at 10 years, and 91% at 20 years

Porcelain veneers range in price from $925 to $2,000 per tooth, making them the most expensive veneer material.



  • Long-lasting
  • Color matched to your existing teeth
  • Stain-resistant


  • Requires enamel removal
  • Expensive



Composite resin veneers are made from the same hardened composite material as cavity fillings. They are slightly cheaper than porcelain, averaging between $250 and $1,500 per tooth. Unlike porcelain veneers, which require multiple dental visits, composite veneers can be made and applied within the same day because they are sculpted directly on the teeth.

Like porcelain, composite veneers require recontouring of the teeth prior to placement. They last between 5 and 7 years, so they will need replacement much sooner. Besides the lower cost, the biggest advantage to composite is that it can be repaired if it breaks or chips. This is unlike porcelain veneers, which need to be completely replaced.



  • Affordable
  • Same-day treatment
  • Chips and cracks can be repaired


  • 5 to 7-year lifespan
  • Require tooth preparation



Also referred to as palatal onlays, palatal veneers are used to restore the posterior, or back, of the teeth. Palatal damage can occur from bruxism or teeth grinding, deep bites, or dental erosion. Chronic vomiting and severe acid reflux are often causes of erosion to the back of the teeth as well.

Palatal veneers are a solution to fix only the compromised part of the tooth, while leaving the rest untouched. They cost between $650 and $1,200 per tooth and have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.



  • Only repair the damaged portion of the tooth
  • Solution to tooth damage from various health conditions
  • Long-lasting


  • Doesn’t fix the cause of the dental damage



There are two types of temporary, removable veneers: instant veneers which cost between $20 and $50, and custom-made snap-on veneers which are similar to invisible aligner trays.

Much like aligners, custom-made detachable veneers are created using molds of the upper and lower teeth so they fit your mouth comfortably. Non-permanent veneers offer a good alternative to permanent ones as they do not require tooth reduction.

However, these particular veneers can be uncomfortable and don’t blend as well with your natural teeth. They must also be replaced more often.



  • Inexpensive
  • No tooth reduction
  • Temporary
  • Custom fit to your teeth


  • Can be uncomfortable
  • Don’t color match your teeth
  • Need frequent replacement



Lumineer veneers are a brand of veneer that are ultra-thin and translucent. They closely replicate the natural shape and color of tooth enamel. Since they are extremely thin, Lumineers are non-prep veneers that don’t require tooth reduction or shaping of the teeth.

This type of veneer can last over 20 years, but they are more prone to chipping than traditional veneers. Lumineers cost between $800 and $2,000 per tooth, which is comparable to porcelain.



  • Long lasting
  • No tooth preparation
  • Natural tooth color


  • Expensive
  • Prone to chipping



CEREC veneers are a unique brand of veneers that are made using 3D computer technology to perfectly replicate your natural teeth. They are a chairside economical restoration that gives you a more uniform smile in a single dental visit.

This type of veneer last anywhere between 10 to 30 years, as long as you care for your teeth and receive regular teeth cleanings. They cost between $500 and $1,500 per tooth and require no tooth preparation.

The biggest downside of CEREC is its availability. The technology used to scan your teeth and make the porcelain molds requires special training that not every dentist has. 



  • Long-lasting
  • Same-day treatment
  • Non-invasive
  • No enamel removal


  • Requires special training
  • Limited availability


What Are Dental Veneers?

Veneers are thin shells attached to the surface of the teeth to alter their appearance. The type of veneer determines what material they are made of, but all of them permanently bond to your teeth, except for removable veneers.

 Dental veneers are useful for treating many different cosmetic conditions, including:

Dental cosmetic conditions that dental veneers can cover

  • Small teeth 
  • Discoloration 
  • Crookedness 
  • Tooth gaps 
  • Broken or chipped teeth

In the case of a broken tooth, only a single veneer may be needed, but people often get several to create a symmetrical smile. The most commonly placed veneers are the top front eight teeth.


How Do Dental Veneers Work? 

The purpose of veneers is to improve the appearance of a person’s teeth. A dentist typically removes a small amount of natural tooth enamel from the teeth on which veneers are placed. Removal of this protective outer layer means that once the veneer is placed, it cannot be removed. 

They are a long-term solution for those who have persistent cosmetic dentistry concerns with their teeth. Veneers can also be an alternative to other dental treatments, like whitening, braces, or retainers. Depending on the type of veneer, most will last 7-15 years before needing replacement [1].


Are Dental Veneers Safe?

 Veneers are not harmful in any way. They are made from biocompatible substances that cannot trigger allergic reactions. The bonding agents used to apply veneers are also safe for your teeth and your health.


Who Shouldn’t Get Veneers?

While custom veneers are a great way to correct aesthetic flaws and achieve a brighter smile, there are a few situations where they are not the best choice.

People who shouldn't use any type of dental veneer

  • Tooth decay, also known as demineralization, or the presence of cavities in a tooth, disqualifies the tooth for veneer placement. Placing a veneer on a degraded tooth will only worsen the natural tooth structure [2].
  • Gingivitis, gum disease, or receding gums can offer unfavorable results when veneers are placed. Gums that are swollen result in poorly fitted veneers, while gums that continue receding will reveal the edge of the veneer on the tooth.
  • People who are chronic teeth grinders will have difficulty maintaining the conditioning of porcelain or composite veneers as grinding leads to chips or cracks.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Veneers

If you are considering veneers, here are some advantages and disadvantages to consider:



What We Like

  • New smile: The most obvious advantage of veneers is the confidence you will gain from having a beautiful smile.
  • Natural-looking: Since veneers are custom-made and molded onto your teeth, it is nearly impossible for anyone other than a dental professional to tell they aren’t your normal teeth.
  • Easy care and maintenance: Once veneers are applied, you can continue to care for your oral health the same way you did before—by brushing and flossing.
  • Color-matching: While most people select bright white veneers, you can get them in any shade you want. This is a huge plus if you are looking to fix a broken or chipped tooth and only wish to pay for one veneer.


The advantages of veneers sound good, but there are some downsides to consider:

  • Inconsistency in color over time: Veneers don’t change color over time like your teeth. If only a few veneers are placed, this can lead to differences in the color of your smile if you don’t stay on top of dental visits.
  • Prone to damage: Porcelain veneers are delicate and prone to chips and cracks. This is a big disadvantage for people with habits like nail-biting, teeth grinding, or those who like to chew on ice or hard candy.
  • Tooth decay: Because veneers sit on top of your teeth, those teeth can still experience decay, leading to root canals and crowns [3]. If you have weakened enamel, gum disease, or need to replace missing teeth, it is best to speak with your dentist about dental veneer options and alternatives.


Dental Veneer Side Effects

Most of the side effects from dental veneer placement are mild and temporary [4]. Here are the adverse effects you may experience after getting veneers:

  • Tooth sensitivity – Because the natural tooth enamel is removed from the tooth surface to fit a veneer, these teeth can be more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
  • Generalized discomfort – Your mouth has to be kept open for a long time during the application process, so many patients find they experience jaw soreness and mouth discomfort afterward.
  • Inflamed gums – Minor inflammation can be experienced in the gums as they adjust to newly-placed veneers.
  • Elevated risk of tooth pulp injury – Veneer patients are at risk of trauma or even death of the tooth pulp if the enamel isn’t skillfully removed during application.
  • Shade mismatching – There is always a slight chance that new veneers will not perfectly match the color of the surrounding teeth.
  • Misplacement of veneers – If veneers are misplaced, they can hang over the teeth and expose rough edges. Misplaced veneers are also more susceptible to chipping and cracking.


What Type of Veneer Is Best?

The best type of veneer for you depends on your reason for getting them. If you are fixing palatal damage on the back of your teeth, palatal veneers will be the best choice. 

If you want a permanent cosmetic solution, composite veneers are the most economical and also the easiest to fix should you have issues with veneers detaching, cracking, or breaking. Ultimately this decision should be made in consultation with your orthodontist.

If veneers don’t feel like the right option for you, there are alternatives to veneers, like clear aligners, that can be effective for fixing crooked teeth, gaps between teeth, and bite problems. Byte aligners and AlignerCo aligners can be used at home to fix your smile without the commitment of permanent veneers.


Byte offers FDA-approved clear aligners AlignerCo can correct mild to moderate misalignments in 6 months



 The American Dental Association states that the procedure for applying veneers varies according to the type of veneer being applied.


How Are Veneers Placed on Teeth?

Both regular porcelain veneers and composite veneers require reshaping of the teeth. A dentist will first remove some enamel and take a mold of the teeth. This mold will be sent to a dental laboratory to make the custom-fit veneers. 

Sometimes, temporary veneers are applied while the permanent ones are being manufactured. On your second dentist visit, the permanent veneers will be applied.

Composite veneers are bonded and sculpted immediately after preparing the teeth. A light is used to harden the material. Then they are smoothed and polished to look like real teeth.

All permanent veneer materials are bonded to the teeth using a special dental adhesive. 


Does Getting Veneers Hurt?

Since most dentists offer to freeze, or numb, your mouth for the first part of the veneer procedure, you shouldn’t feel any pain. For patients with two to four veneers, there is little or no pain experienced after the procedure in most cases.

Patients who receive eight or more often feel some soreness in the gums and jaw after their veneers are placed. This is usually mild discomfort due to the amount of time the mouth has been held open during the procedure. It is often relieved with over-the-counter pain medication.


Maintenance and Care

Caring for veneers is relatively easy. While you will need to be mindful of certain things, no special care is required to maintain porcelain and composite veneers.


How To Clean Dental Veneers

If you have a good oral health routine, you probably don’t need to change anything once you have veneers. To clean, you need to brush, floss, and rinse. Here are some extra tips:

How to clean the different types of dental veneers

  • Brush your teeth with non-abrasive toothpaste twice daily.
  • Floss at least once per day to remove food particles that get stuck between your teeth.
  • Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day. Alcohol-free mouthwash is recommended, as alcohol can soften the bonding agent that holds the veneers in place.
  • Seek regular teeth cleanings with a dental professional.


Eating With Veneers

While they are quite durable, veneers can chip and break. Normal eating shouldn’t be a problem, but chewing on hard items and foods can be. Bad habits like chewing nails and pens seem obvious, but ice and hard candies can have the same effect.


Avoid Teeth Grinding

Bruxism is characterized by the grinding and clenching of teeth in your sleep, which is bad news for veneers [5]. Veneers aren’t recommended for people who grind their teeth, but there are other options. Aligners, for example, offer you a new smile and can even help to reduce the effects of bruxism.


Protect Your Mouth During Physical Activity

While physical activity is important for a healthy lifestyle, contact sports can damage veneers. It’s important to invest in a mouthguard to protect your teeth from breakage and potential trauma.


Avoid Foods That Stain

Veneers can develop stains just like natural teeth do. It’s a good idea to avoid or limit foods that cause discoloration, such as coffee, red wine, soy sauce, and berries. Smoking is another cause of staining.


Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Routine dental checkups are important for people with veneers. Seeing a dentist every six months will help protect your teeth and ensure any problems are discovered and addressed quickly. In addition, the life of your new smile will be extended with regular professional polishing.


Cost of Dental Veneers

The cost of veneers will vary depending on the type of veneer you choose and which dentist applies it. Porcelain veneers can cost between $900 to $2,000 per tooth, depending on your location. Composite veneers are slightly cheaper at $250 to $1,500 per tooth. Lumineers and CEREC veneers have a comparable cost to porcelain veneers.


Do Insurance Plans Cover Veneers?

Since veneers are considered to be cosmetic dentistry, most dental insurance companies will not cover the cost of veneers. If you are getting veneers to repair structural damage to your teeth, some insurance companies will consider reimbursement of between 30% and 50%, but you must prove that it is a medically necessary procedure.


What Is a Cheaper Alternative to Veneers?

Certain orthodontic treatments can be cheaper alternatives to porcelain veneers. Orthodontics correct crooked teeth and misalignments rather than covering them up, and technological advances in treatment mean you have options that don’t involve metal braces.

Clear aligner trays can fix bite problems, correct gaps between your teeth, and straighten your smile in a shorter time frame than braces. Since aligners are clear, they offer a more discreet option. They are also temporary and removable, causing no damage to your teeth.

Orthodontic aligners are available through your orthodontist or for at-home treatments. AlignerCo and Byte both offer aligners through online consultation at a significantly lower price than ordering them through your orthodontist. 

It’s important to note that the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists don’t approve of mail-order aligners, but they are a budget-friendly option to consider.

To learn more, visit our AlignerCo review to see if clear aligners might be right for you.


Veneers vs Other Orthodontic Treatments: How Do They Compare?

It’s important to discuss your different dental veneer options with an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist who can point you in the right direction. 

Orthodontic treatments won’t fix broken or missing teeth, but they can give you a more uniform smile. Here is a brief overview of how veneers compare to other orthodontic options.



Veneers and braces both fix crooked teeth. The difference is that veneers cover the teeth up, and braces straighten the teeth into proper alignment. If you have mild crookedness that doesn’t affect function, veneers can be a quick fix. Braces may be the better option for obtaining a uniform smile when the misalignment impacts jaw functioning.



Clear aligners use a series of aligners to gradually move your teeth into the proper position. Unlike veneers that must be permanently worn, aligners are worn for a short period and can be removed to eat, drink, and brush your teeth. Once your course of treatment is finished, the changes in your teeth are permanent.

Our Byte Aligners review shows that the overall cost is less than veneers, averaging between $1,895 and $2,295. This cost covers all the aligners, retainers, and remote monitoring you need to straighten your teeth.


Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are another procedure that can correct a variety of concerns. Like veneers, they are applied to the natural tooth structure. While veneers adhere to the front of the tooth, crowns are applied over the top of the entire tooth. 

They require a significant tooth reduction prior to application. Additionally, conditions that involve repair in the back of the mouth are often better served by placing a crown than a veneer.


Teeth Whitening

If you are looking to fix stained teeth, teeth whitening can be done at home using over-the-counter products or professionally in your dentist’s office. Professional whitening treatments are often more effective than at-home techniques, as they use different ingredients and higher concentrations that aren’t available over the counter. 

Veneers are a more permanent solution than teeth whitening. Teeth will re-stain over time and require further whitening treatments. That said, the average cost of professional teeth whitening is approximately $650. If your only objective is to get whiter teeth, this is a much cheaper alternative.




We’ve gathered the most common questions about veneer treatment to help you find quick answers.


What Are the Cheapest Types of Veneers?

Do Veneers Harm Your Teeth?

Are Veneers Likely to Break?

Which Veneers Are the Strongest?

Do Porcelain Veneers Get Stained Easily?



Veneers are a form of restorative and cosmetic dentistry that can hide all manner of tooth imperfections. They are a long-lasting and durable solution to a brighter smile, but they are expensive. 

There are cheaper alternatives, including temporary veneers, dental crowns, whitening, and clear aligners. Whichever solution you choose, your decision should be made in consultation with your dentist who will help you find the right dental veneer or best treatment for your needs.



  1. “Journal of Mahatma Gandhi University of Medical Sciences and Technology.” JaypeeDigital, https://www.jaypeedigital.com/browseLockedJournal/JMGUMST/article/16591.
  2. Lambrechts, P., et al. “Degradation of Tooth Structure and Restorative Materials: A Review.” Wear, Elsevier, 4 May 2006, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0043164806001116.
  3. D'Arcangelo, Camillo, et al. “Fracture Resistance and Deflection of Pulpless Anterior Teeth Restored with Composite or Porcelain Veneers.” Journal of Endodontics, Elsevier, 7 Dec. 2009, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0099239909008231.
  4. University, SUNY Upstate Medical. “Cosmetic Dentistry : Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery.” LWW, https://journals.lww.com/co-otolaryngology/Abstract/2006/08000/Cosmetic_dentistry.6.aspx.
  5. Shetty, Shilpa, et al. “Bruxism: A Literature Review - the Journal of Indian Prosthodontic Society.” SpringerLink, Springer-Verlag, 22 Jan. 2011, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13191-011-0041-5.

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