Pro & Cons of Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are without a doubt modern dentistry’s best way to replicate nature. That is always the goal of cosmetic dentistry- to replicate nature, not try to improve upon it. Porcelain veneers are NOT the only option for changing one’s smile but are commonly used when a patient wants to gain a lot of control of their smile (change color, size, shape, etc). The advantages (pros) to porcelain veneers are this:

The advantages (pros) to porcelain veneers are this:


  1. Aesthetics:  Porcelain is our most ‘natural’ looking enamel replacement material because it replicates a lot of the same properties as enamel.  For example, enamel has a property called translucency (where light can enter and be reflected back out). Porcelain has that same characteristic and can be varied by the master ceramist to blend with the surrounding teeth.
  2. Strength:  Besides using metal in your mouth, porcelain systems today are the strongest materials we have.   Most ceramics today are actually a lithium disilicate glass (again, very strong).
  3. Durability: Porcelain veneers are bonded to the underlying tooth structure.   Because of this fact, their is a chemical adhesion to the tooth and the veneer on a microscopic level.  Done correctly and precisely, this bonded procedure can last upwards of 2o years.
  4. Lack of staining:  Unlike bonding or natural teeth, porcelain veneers do not really stain because of the material it is composed above (essentially a glass ceramic).  Additionally, porcelain veneers are glazed in an oven as the final process in their fabrication so this prevents (or minimizes staining).

Nothing in dentistry is PERFECT though.  There are some cons associated with porcelain veneers as well.

  1. Cost: Porcelain veneers are expensive.   Veneers range in quality across the board,  just like most products we buy do.   For example, just like in automobiles-  you may want to buy a sub-compact car or a high-end luxury sedan.   Porcelain veneers are typically no different in that you get what you pay for.  The price they can range from is $700 – $2000 per tooth.    This doesn’t mean that you can’t get quality at $700 nor does it guarantee a $2000 veneer is going to be perfect.   This is why it is VITAL to look at the “before and after” results of the dentist your are electing to perform the procedure to make sure they’re qualified to meet your expectations.
  2. Invasive:  Porcelain veneer are typically more invasive to the enamel than, for example, tooth bonding would be.   Even at a minimal thickness of 0.3mm, without a little tooth reduction the tooth could appear bulky (which in our opinion is a DEAD GIVEAWAY that they’re ‘fake’).   There are situations however, where the tooth does not require any reduction (i.e. drilling).  These are called No-prep veneers like Ultraveneers, Lumineers, and Durathins.  At Atlanta Dental Spa we pride ourselves on being very conservative cosmetic dentists.  This means that we take great strides to do minimal tooth reduction to achieve MAXIMAL aesthetic results.
  3. Not stronger than enamel:    It’s a myth that porcelain is good for people who have chipped or broken their teeth through grinding (or chewing ice, etc).  Porcelain is NOT stronger than enamel. So basically anything that could chip or break a natural tooth, will surely do the same to porcelain.   In many instances, we mandate a nightguard in our cases to ensure protection on your investment.