Improving your smile with porcelain veneers: everything you need to know

By: Dental Holistix

A great smile can brighten our whole face and boost our confidence. However, small imperfections in our teeth can chip away at our self-esteem. This includes misshapen and worn teeth, gaps, or strong discolouration where whiteners don’t work. 

Porcelain veneers can help. 

What are porcelain veneers and why are they so popular? 

Porcelain veneers are thin shells made out of porcelain material that are placed over and bonded to your natural teeth. They look, feel and function just like regular, healthy teeth.

Porcelain veneers are popular because they are a quick and easy makeover for your smile. Many people with healthy teeth and gums get veneers to help hide imperfections and improve their smiles. 

Porcelain veneers are highly customisable to suit the shape of your face, which makes them look and feel very natural. 

As we age, our teeth often experience wear or become brittle and discoloured. Porcelain veneers can help us look younger by masking the signs of aging in our teeth. They offer the anti-aging benefit of a facelift without the invasive medical procedure. 

Are porcelain veneers permanent? How long do they last?  

While porcelain veneers themselves are long-lasting, and are designed to be permanent, any restorative material we use in the mouth will wear over time—just like your natural teeth. Although we like to keep the adjustment of your own natural tooth structure absolutely minimal, we do remove a little bit of enamel from your teeth during the procedure, and therefore it is not reversible. Your custom porcelain veneers are then bonded to your teeth using a special type of cement. 

When treated with care, porcelain veneers can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years or more. You will have to continue to practise good oral hygiene to maintain your veneers and to prevent tooth and gum decay. The New Zealand Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day, flossing, reducing your sugary foods and drinks intake, and visiting your dentist and hygienist for regular recalls and maintenance.  

To protect your porcelain veneers, dentists also recommend that you avoid any potentially damaging habits such as fingernail biting or chewing on pens or other hard, non-food substances, and obviously bottle caps go without saying!  You may also have to use a night guard if you grind your teeth at night.

How long does it take to get porcelain veneers?

How long treatment takes depends upon your individual circumstance; however, if your mouth is healthy and you are ready to get veneers, it usually takes 4 appointments. Here’s what to expect at Dental Holistix.  

Appointment 1: consultation and scans

First, we use the latest 3D digital imaging software to scan your mouth. The technology helps us capture the shapes and shades of your teeth, down to the tiniest detail. Using the scan and an oral exam, we are able to tell whether you are a good candidate for veneers. If you have gum disease or your mouth is not in the best shape for veneers, we prepare a treatment plan that can get your mouth back to optimal health so that you can reach your goal of getting veneers. If we believe you’re ready for veneers, we use the first appointment to discuss the details with you and to better understand what you are trying to achieve. This consultation is a great time for you to ask us questions about the process or the veneers themselves. 

Appointment 2: trial smile

We have a 3D template of your ideal smile ready for you to look at. We also show you a 2D “Photoshop” visual with your new smile superimposed over your existing teeth. This gives you a good idea of what your new smile will look like, and make any changes we think are necessary.. We then discuss the materials we will be using and the stages and timeframe required to complete your treatment.

Appointment 3: temporary veneers

We selectively trim the enamel on the front of your teeth (that is outside the proposed shape of the finished product) using a custom made template. We then take an impression of your teeth and fit you with temporary veneers—in the exact shape of what was approved in the previous appointment. This is another opportunity to make any  adjustments  necessary. You can now take your smile for a test drive until you get your permanent set of veneers. The 3D scan and impression of your teeth is sent to our laboratory, where our experts handcraft your veneers to perfection. We check up on you once you’ve had some time with your temporary veneers just to ensure you are happy with how they function and look. If there are any further adjustments to be made, we forward these on to the lab. This transition stage usually lasts around two weeks; however, there is some flexibility to shorten  this a little, or take more time to really feel like the new shape and colour are right for you.

Appointment 4: placing your permanent veneers

Your new, custom porcelain veneers are ready and waiting for you. After testing them on your teeth to make sure they fit well, we try them in with a try-in (non-setting) cement to replicate the finished product. This will be at least the 4th opportunity we will have to make any final changes to the shape or colour—just to make sure you are 100% happy with them. We then permanently bond the veneers to the front surface of your teeth using special medical-grade cement. You’re now ready to show your new smile to the world!

How much do porcelain veneers cost? 

Pricing for your porcelain veneers will vary based on your requirements. Please book a consultation with us to learn about payment options and the right veneers for you. 


Watch Jess Coate’s veneer journey at Dental Holistix: part 1 and part 2. Jess is a fitness trainer and coach, bodybuilder, and WBFF Pro Bikini Champ from Hamilton, New Zealand. 

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