Cosmetic Dentistry: Veneers 101

Cosmetic dentistry may be the ideal solution to correct your cosmetic dental issues, and porcelain veneers are among the most popular cosmetic dentistry options. Perhaps images of AARP ads, where an older couple with teeth so white they look fake pop into your mind as you consider the word “veneers;” and that may not initially appeal to you.

However, there are some things you should know about porcelain veneers that may convince you that these are a great option, if you’re the right candidate.

What Porcelain Veneers Are For

Dental laminates, commonly known as porcelain veneers, are ultra-thin porcelain shells – about .5 to .6 millimeters thick — that are bonded on the front surfaces of teeth. The purpose of porcelain veneers is to improve the appearance of teeth, and they can correct numerous cosmetic issues, including:

  • Tooth discoloration
  • Teeth that are worn down
  • Chipped teeth
  • Tooth gaps
  • Slightly misaligned teeth

Why Veneers Work

Perhaps you know that porcelain is quite a brittle substance, and question whether veneers are a viable option for teeth, which need to be strong. In fact, veneers are very strong on teeth because they are applied by a series of steps using dental composite (white filling material) to create strong bonds between the porcelain and teeth.

Everything is then held together strongly by the cement-like substance that binds the teeth and veneers. While porcelain is inherently brittle, when applied to a strong substance (teeth, in this case), a strong and durable bond is created to provide gorgeous looking teeth.

Veneers vs. Dental Crowns

The fundamental difference between veneers and crowns is that veneers are only attached to the front surface of the teeth, while dental crowns completely incase teeth.

Advantages of Veneers

Natural-Looking Appearance – Veneers work to mimic the natural reflection of light that teeth have.

Stain Resistant – As opposed to materials like dental bonding, which typically stain over time, the glass-like surface of veneers is highly stain resistant. This gives you a bright white smile longer than most other cosmetic dentistry options.

Fast Turn-Around – In as little as two office visits, your dentist can help you go from chipped, discolored, unpleasant looking teeth to a smile you may enjoy for the rest of your life. In the first appointment, your dentist will prepare the tooth enamel and then take impressions of your teeth. From these impressions, your set of veneers will be hand-crafted by our skilled lab technicians. Finally, during your next appointment, your veneers will be applied to your teeth. If any issues are present, such as prolonged tooth sensitivity, then another visit may be required to correct any issues.


As a trained professional in oral and maxillofacial surgery, Shawn Hofkes, DDS is certified to provide comfortable, safe dental surgery from our innovative dentist’s office in Cerritos, CA. Too schedule an appointment, 310) 663-6683 today!