What are veneers?

A veneer is a thin piece of material bonded onto the front surface of a tooth. These can be applied to the surface of more than one tooth.

Reasons for getting veneers?

Typically, people choose to get veneers for aesthetic reasons. Veneers can be used to improve the colouration, shape, size and alignment of the teeth visible when smiling. The repair of chipped or broken teeth may be another reason for veneers.

Type of materials used to make the veneers?

Veneers can be made of a variety of materials. At Perth Prosthodontics, the clinicians offer ceramic (porcelain) or composite resin veneers.

Ceramic-there are different types of ceramic veneers; feldspathic porcelain, leucite-reinforced glass ceramic, or lithium disilicate. The type of ceramic material will be determined by your prosthodontists together with the master dental technician to select the best material for you. Ceramic veneers are long lasting (10-15 years), is a good imitation of the natural tooth appearance and light transmission in addition to having a strong stain resistance.

Composite resin– this material belongs to the same class as ‘white fillings’. These are made directly in the patient’s mouth. Veneers made of composite resin are inferior to ceramic veneers as they are not as strong, may chip or stain, and can lose their shine over time due to wear-and-tear.

Steps involved:

  1. Aesthetic Assessment– the Prosthodontist will perform a thorough examination, take photographs, complete a shade analysis, and take impressions to make diagnostic models.
  2. Design– Using the information from the assessment a diagnostic smile is created. The smile can be created by composing a traditional wax-up on your stone cast, or through digital photographs and computer imaging.
  3. Preview- The prosthodontist will show you what your new teeth will look like before working on your teeth.
  4. Preparation- Your teeth will be prepared for the veneers by removing a thin layer of tooth enamel. Then an impression or a scan of your teeth will be performed. The prosthodontists may cover your teeth with temporary veneers for protection while the impression or scan is sent to the master dental technician to fabricate the veneers.
  5. Bonding– After the veneers are created, the temporary veneers are removed to and the new veneers are placed in. Once the patient is happy with their smile, the veneers are permanently bonded using resin cement.

What makes a good veneer?

Shape, shade, the gap between the tooth and the veneers as well as the points of contacts are important factors to consider.

  • Shape– in addition to having an aesthetically pleasing shape, a good veneer should also fit well within the patient’s mouth.
  • Shade– a patient’s preference in the shade of the veneer will vary from person to person. Together with the prosthodontist, the most fitting shade of the veneer will be discussed.
  • Gap (marginal integrity)– There should be no gap between the tooth and the veneer. This marginal gap will eventually affect the life span of the veneer and should be kept to a minimum.
  • Contact points– There should be good points of contact between adjacent teeth

Points for consideration? (negative effects/situations where veneers are unsuitable)

Veneers are bonded to the tooth enamel (the hard outer layer of the tooth). Typically, a thin layer of the enamel will be removed to create space for the veneer. Consequently, the success of the attachment of veneers is dependent on the presence of good quality enamel. Some examples of the cases where insufficient enamel is present include:

  • Developmental defects
  • Excessive acid erosion, tooth decay or wear
  • The tooth has been previously prepared for veneers or crowns

A prosthodontist will need to evaluate your oral cavity to determine if a veneer is suitable for your case. There are other situations where veneers are not recommended. Some examples include:

  • Bruxism– This is the excessive grinding and clenching of teeth
  • Bite– Veneers are not recommended for people with deep bites
  • Pre-existing damage– A veneer cannot be applied if there is considerable damage to the tooth

Potential costs?

There are a variety of factors which will influence the cost of veneers. Aside from the number of veneers required, cost of veneers is also defined by the fee charged by the master dental technician and the type of material used to construct the veneer. For comparison, ceramic veneers are approximately three times the cost of composite resin veneers although ceramic veneers are more durable than veneers made of composite resin. The prosthodontist will be able to provide a detailed quote following a consultation and thorough examination.


If you have any further queries regarding veneers or other treatment options, please feel free to contact our team or call us on (08) 9368 0888.