Veneers and Laminates


Dental veneers are a popular, conservative cosmetic dental treatment that corrects misshapen, damaged, irregularly shaped, or discolored teeth. Although many people commonly call them porcelain veneers, dental veneers, sometimes called laminates, can be manufactured from both porcelain or resin. These porcelain or resin shells are then bonded to the front surface of visible teeth to enhance the appearance of your smile. 

Did You Know?

When Hollywood’s elite wants a brighter and more symmetrical smile, they choose veneers as their cosmetic dental treatment. Hilary Duff, Miley Cyrus, and Hilary Duff have all seen a cosmetic dentist for their veneers and their glowing smiles. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Am I a candidate for dental veneers or laminates?

You may be a candidate for dental veneers or laminates if you are looking to correct broken, chipped, irregularly shaped, misaligned, or discolored teeth. Additionally, if your teeth have worn enamel or other signs of wear and tear, you may want to consider veneers. Finally, veneers serve as an alternative to dental crowns in some cases. To find out if you are an ideal candidate for dental veneers, schedule a consultation with one of our dentists at our Ferndale Bethesda Family Dentistry today. 

Which is better: porcelain or resin veneers?

Scattered veneers on a black background

Both porcelain and resin veneers offer different pros and cons, so determining which is better for you will depend upon your individual preferences and treatment goals. At a glance, resin veneers are more affordable, can be applied as a same-day treatment, and they require minimal preparation. However, resin veneers also have a shorter lifespan than porcelain. On the other hand, porcelain veneers  last longer, provide a more natural appearance, and are highly stain resistant. Although they are more expensive and require more preparation. 

Are there different types of veneers?

There are two main types of veneers: traditional and no-prep veneers. Traditional veneers require that a tiny amount of tooth enamel is removed so they will fit and look natural. No-prep veneers are ultra-thin shells that do not require any enamel to be removed prior to their placement. Just like with materials, each type of veneer has its pros and cons. This will often be discussed during your initial consultation to ensure that you are getting the right type of dental veneer for your individual dental needs.

What are the pros and cons of veneers?

Dental veneer pro and cons

What can I expect when having veneers placed at Bethesda Family Dentistry?

Veneer placement on a tooth

Before actually having your veneers placed, your teeth will need to be prepared and information must be sent to a dental lab in order to have your veneers custom made. Preparing your teeth for veneers consists of filing down a tiny portion of your enamel and reshaping the teeth so that a veneer can fit over it while maintaining a natural appearance. If you are using no-prep or composite veneers, this step may not be needed. 

Dental impression trays with impression material

After the teeth are prepared, we will take a dental impression to send to the dental lab. A dental impression uses a plastic or metal tray filled with a soft putty that is inserted into the mouth over the teeth. As it gradually hardens over the course of a minute, it creates an “impression” of your teeth. Depending on the location of your veneers, this can performed either on the top arch, bottom arch, or on both arches. After the impression is taken, temporary veneers may be adhered to your teeth while your permanent ones are being fabricated. 

When the dental lab has completed your veneers, you will return to our office for a second appointment so the veneers can be placed. Placing veneers is actually quite simple. First, they will be checked to make sure the fit and color are right. Then, a small amount of adhesive will be placed on the tooth, followed by the veneer. Finally, they will be hardened onto the tooth with a special curing light. 

What can I expect after having my veneers placed?

After your initial preparation appointment, you can expect that your mouth may be numb until the dental anesthetic wears off. To prevent injury, we recommend waiting until you have feeling in your mouth before eating or drinking. Because veneers are a minimally-invasive treatment, however, you will have no dietary or activity restrictions following your procedure. 

In between your first and second appointment, you may experience a period of tooth sensitivity to sugary, hot, and cold foods. This is because a tiny portion of enamel was removed and your teeth need time to adjust. Most cases of tooth sensitivity fade once the permanent veneers are in place. 

After the placement of your permanent veneers, some people complain about rough spots on or around the veneers. This is normal and is caused by excess adhesive that has dried. Usually these spots will disappear within a few days from eating and brushing, however you can also come into our office to have them filed down. 

What is the lifespan of veneers?

The lifespan of veneers can vary based on the type, material, and how well you take care of them. On average, composite veneers last around 5-7 years, while porcelain veneers last about 10-15 years. 

To get the most life out of your veneers, it is highly important to take care of them by practicing good daily dental habits. Such habits include using fluoridated toothpaste, brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time, and flossing once a day. Another important habit is to visit Bethesda Family Dentistry once every six months for your dental checkups and professional teeth cleanings, so our dentists can evaluate your veneers for any signs of wear. 

To prevent your veneers from wearing out prematurely or from becoming damaged, it is also important to protect them from excess strain. Things such as nail biting, chewing on ice, using your teeth to open packages, and teeth grinding can place excess strain on your veneers, causing them to become damaged. When veneers get damaged, they must be removed and replaced. This is why it is important to cease these behaviors or look into getting fit for a dental mouth guard if you grind your teeth. 

For a qualified, experienced, and caring approach to emergency dentistry, schedule a consultation with one of our dentists at our Ferndale Bethesda Family Dentistry office in Bethesda.