Examples (before and after picture sets) of applications for Porcelain Veneers. -

Five digital makeover cases illustrating different ways porcelain veneers can make improvements for a smile.

How can veneers be used?

Patients decide to have porcelain veneers (laminates) placed for a variety of reasons. On this page we've selected five cases from our database of digital smile makeovers that illustrate some of the more common applications for which they're used.

Of course with many if not most cases, it's actually a combination of these kinds of changes that are all accomplished for the patient's teeth simultaneously.

Common uses for porcelain veneers.

Veneers typically give the best result with routine cases.

It should be pointed out that porcelain laminates usually make the best choice for cases where the extent of the change that's needed, and the circumstances under which the veneers will function, are fairly minor and normal.

For more extensive or taxing applications, placing other types of restorations (usually dental crowns) may be needed to be able to accomplish the level of change that's desired.


Veneer application #1: Perfecting the shape of teeth.

Dental laminates can be used to repair minor tooth chips.

Teeth that just have a slight amount of wear, small chips or surface imperfections (dimples, pits), or relatively minor developmental abnormalities (such as pegged lateral incisors) frequently make good candidates for porcelain veneers.

In situations where the affected area is just very small and localized, dental bonding may make the better choice (it's a simpler, cheaper and less invasive procedure).

But if a substantial portion of the front side of the tooth could benefit from resurfacing, the durability, stain resistance and life-like appearance that porcelain laminates can offer can make them an excellent solution.

▼ Before.

Before porcelain veneer placement.

▼ After placing veneers on the upper teeth.

After porcelain veneers.

View this makeover's
Before-and-After animation.

Our digital makeover case.

The "before" picture - The jagged, irregular appearance of this person's chipped, worn and misshapened upper teeth gives their smile a ragged look.

Our "after" picture - By placing veneers on the six upper teeth, the uniformity and symmetry of the smile is restored.

Issues to consider when using porcelain veneers for this application.

Disadvantages.

Selective placement of dental bonding could conceivably create a similar yet less expensive and invasive result.

Advantages.

The big advantage that porcelain laminates would provide for a case like this is that their ceramic nature could be expected to create a more durable and lasting outcome.

Learn more about this type of application for veneers:

Veneer application #2: Placing porcelain veneers as an alternative to dental bonding.

Veneers can be used to resurface teeth.

Two problems that frequently occur with "white" fillings (dental composite) are:

  • Over time they tend to pick up stain and discoloration.
  • With age and use, their shape may start to show signs of wear and tear.

In comparison, the ceramic nature of a porcelain veneer is typically able to provide more durable and longer-lasting service.

That suggests that when choosing between the two initially, or selecting how a deteriorated white filling will be rectified, placing a ceramic laminate may make the better choice.

▼ Before.

Before porcelain veneer placement.

▼ After placing veneers on the upper incisors.

After porcelain veneers.

View this makeover's
Before-and-After animation.

Our digital makeover case.

The "before" picture - This person has had the front surface of their upper right central incisor repaired using tooth bonding (dental composite). Now some years later, the restoration has deteriorated and stained.

Our "after" picture - Placing a veneer for the tooth will provide a longer-lasting solution. (Making shape changes for some of the adjacent teeth by way of placing veneers on them too assists in giving this smile a more harmonious look.)

Issues to consider when using porcelain veneers for this application.

Advantages.

The ceramic nature of a porcelain laminate offers a longer-lasting, more durable and more stain-resistant surface than bonding can.

Disadvantages.

Despite the advantages just mentioned, placing porcelain veneers is a more aggressive dental procedure (more tooth trimming will probably be required), as well as more costly, than just placing bonding.

(A note about resurfacing existing fillings: The process that's used to cement a veneer to its tooth will also create a bond with dental composite. So that means it is possible to resurface a deteriorated filling.

However, your dentist may feel that it's important for them to remove 100% of the existing bonding first so the tooth can be fully evaluated. Or that they will achieve a superior bond for the laminate if a new (fresh) filling is placed first.)

Learn more about this type of application for veneers:

Veneer application #3: Using porcelain veneers to make color changes for teeth.

Porcelain laminates can be used to lighten the color of a person's teeth. This includes cases that are often problematic, such as those involving tetracycline staining, some types of fluorosis or teeth that have darkened in response to trauma or having had root canal treatment.

The patient's situation needs to be one where their teeth are structurally sound; they just need a simple color change.

Exceptions.

Veneers don't usually make a good choice for treating teeth that are exceptionally dark. When they are:

  • Aggressive tooth trimming may be needed (so the veneer can be very thick).
  • The completed teeth may be bulky or poorly contoured (because so much veneer thickness has been needed).
  • The use of exceptionally opaque porcelain may be required (resulting in a less life-like appearance).

A better approach would be to use routine whitening treatments (at-home with strips or trays, or in-office) first, so to lighten the teeth at least somewhat. That way the degree of change that the veneers must accomplish is reduced.

▼ Before.

Before porcelain veneer placement.

▼ After placing veneers on the upper teeth.

After porcelain veneers.

View this makeover's
Before-and-After animation.

Our digital makeover case.

The "before" picture - Each of this person's teeth show quite a bit of color variation, ranging from yellow to grey-blue.

Our "after" picture - We've illustrated placing porcelain veneers on the upper teeth (and crowns on the bottom ones).

Because the veneers cover over the entire front surface of each tooth, they could be expected to successfully mask the tooth stain and discoloration that lies underneath.

Issues to consider when using porcelain veneers for this application.

Advantages.

Since the upper teeth only need minor tooth shape adjustments, veneers can provide a workable solution for solving both problems (shape and color) simultaneously.

(In comparison, the lower teeth require quite a bit of correction. Only dental crowns would stand a chance of successfully accomplishing the degree of transformation we've shown.)

Disadvantages.

Veneers used to mask relatively dark staining may need to be made using comparatively more-opaque porcelain. If so, the result may be a "Chicklets" smile (non-characterized, uniformly white teeth).

Learn more about this type of application for veneers:

Veneer application #4: Instant orthodontics. (Using laminates to "straighten" teeth.)

Veneers can be used to improve the alignment of teeth.

If a person's tooth misalignment isn't too severe, veneers can be used to give their smile a more regular and even appearance.

This process is sometimes referred to as "instant orthodontics" because the transformation is made in just a short time span (usually two weeks or so) rather than the months or years needed for actual orthodontic treatment (braces).

Our digital makeover case.

The "before" picture - As compared to their neighboring teeth, this person's upper lateral incisors are slightly set back in position.

Our "after" picture - With this case, the goal would be to make veneers for the lateral incisors that are somewhat thicker than would normally be placed.

This extra thickness extends the front surface of these teeth out so they're more in line with their adjacent central incisors and canines. Doing so gives this whole smile a more normal and even appearance (and just by treating two teeth).

▼ Before.

Before porcelain veneer placement.

▼ After placing veneers on the lateral incisors.

After porcelain veneers.

View this makeover's
Before-and-After animation.

Issues to consider when using porcelain veneers for this application.

Advantages.

The convenience of this technique (the short time frame in which the transformation can be completed) is very appealing to some people.

And if the patient's teeth need both "straightening" and resurfacing (due to noticeable color or shape imperfections), this approach might make a reasonable plan.

Disadvantages.

In cases involving severely misaligned teeth, choosing this approach can make an exceedingly poor choice. It may result in:

  • Teeth that look nice head on but are otherwise strangely shaped (too thick and bulky) and therefore interfere with some routine oral functions.
  • Teeth that due to their new contours are now much harder to clean.
  • Veneers placed on teeth requiring aggressive trimming to get them back in line may prove difficult to keep in place.

For cases involving severely misaligned teeth, the ideal solution would typically involve orthodontic work (braces). Either as complete treatment, or partial treatment first and then following up with veneers to perfect the smile.

Learn more about this type of application for veneers:

Veneer application #5: Using porcelain veneers to close spaces between teeth.

Laminates can be used to close tooth gaps.

Porcelain veneers can be used to close spaces between teeth. In fact, they are ideally suited for this purpose.

That's because one of the disadvantages of placing them (the fact that they tend to increase the size of the tooth they're placed on) is instead turned into an asset.

We should point out however that with very small gaps dental bonding usually makes the better choice because it's a quicker, cheaper and more conservative (less tooth trimming is required) type of fix.

▼ Before.

Before porcelain veneers.

▼ After placing veneers.

After porcelain veneer placement.

View this makeover's
Before-and-After animation.

Our digital makeover case.

The "before" picture - When this person smiles they reveal a number of gaps between their teeth. While from a standpoint of dental health their presence is of no concern, they are a detraction.

Our "after" picture - Our after picture illustrates how placing porcelain laminates could give this person's teeth a more uniform and harmonious look.

The idea is that the veneers are used to increase the size and shape (primarily the width) of the teeth, thus filling in the spaces between them.

Issues to consider when using porcelain veneers for this application.

Advantages.

For sound healthy teeth, and especially those that have blemishes that need covering up, placing porcelain veneers should be considered a first-choice.

Disadvantages.

Case selection is an important consideration. If the person's situation is such that their teeth are routinely subjected to heavy forces (such as due to their alignment or a habit like tooth grinding), the strength characteristics of dental crowns may be needed instead.

(More information: What is the difference between porcelain veneers and dental crowns?)

Learn more about this type of application for veneers:
 
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