If you’re looking to improve your smile, porcelain veneering is your best option. Porcelain veneers, also called dental veneers, is a cosmetic dental treatment, covering your selected tooth or teeth with thin shells of porcelain, a medical grade ceramic. These thin shells will replace the tooth’s original enamel, giving you a natural looking teeth with same visual characteristics, such as shape, light reflecting, colour and length of an untouched and natural tooth.

porcelain veneers

Regarding strength, they can be compared, if not equal, to the natural tooth enamel. Being made of porcelain makes them stain resistant. These veneers are designed specifically for one patient, and no two porcelain veneers for two different patients are the same.

To tell whether the patient needs porcelain veneer and to determine the best choice of material for their dental veneer, the patient must consult with his/her doctor.

Situations that dental veneers are used and problems they fix

  • Damaged enamel: Some lifestyle habits such as smoking and some eating and drinking habits, such as drinking soft drinks, tea, coffee or even some genetic factors play role in wearing down the tooth enamel, which is a natural protective layer on teeth. Worn enamel affects the appearance of teeth. By covering the frontal surface of teeth with dental veneers (specifically porcelain veneers), the patient can regain confidence and more importantly protect their teeth from further damage.
  • Broken, cracked or chipped teeth
  • Age-related teeth damage: As we age, our teeth lose their strength and are susceptible to breaking and cracking, which can also give them an uneven appearance. Some are unpreventable. And some are reversible, by bonding a layer of porcelain veneer on a broken or cracked tooth.
  • Genetically uneven, irregular shaped teeth.
  • Teeth with abnormal gaps and spaces between them.
  • Discoloration: Tetracycline (antibiotic), Root canal induced discoloration may not be fixed with teeth whitening method, cosmetic dentistry such as porcelain veneer treatment can be executed on the selected teeth.
  • Improve alignment: If the patient wants to straighten their teeth without braces, he/she have the option of applying porcelain veneers.

Am I a candidate for porcelain veneers?

To determine whether the patient is a suitable candidate to get porcelain veneer, at first they must make an appointment with their doctor, for teeth and mouth examining, and generally for consultation purposes.

The doctor will evaluate the patient’s oral and dental health, and discuss the best options available. As this treatment is irreversible and the doctor cannot undo the steps taken, so it is highly important for the doctor to discuss the other available and alternative options matching the patient’s criteria. After coming to the point where the doctor and patient both agree with porcelain veneer treatment, the doctor will go through the treatment steps, from preparation to application of the veneers.

The patient must specify how they want their smile to look. Based on the patient’s preferences and expectations, such as shape, colour and size (length, width), steps will be taken to make sure their expectation will be fully met. The consultation session needs the patient’s active participation, in order to get their desired results. During this appointment, the doctor might order x-ray of the patient’s mouth and teeth and check the current tooth condition. He/she might look for any gum disease, which might also need to be addressed and treated before making and applying veneers.

Porcelain veneer procedure

After consultation session, approximately two appointments will be required for making and then applying the veneers. porcelain veneers might be used on more than one tooth.

The steps taken are as below:

  • Preparatory works: In order to prepare the teeth for dental veneers, the doctor will need to trim the teeth and remove about 1 mm of enamel to reach the width of the porcelain veneer and a right height and size for placing the veneer. With some veneers, no enamel trimming and removing is needed. This process should not be painful because there are no nerves present on the tooth itself, but as a precaution, local anaesthetic may be used based on the doctor’s discretion. If the patient has decided to use porcelain veneers on some but not all of his/her teeth, and also wants to make their teeth whiter, they better do a brief whitening process on other surrounding teeth before going through with porcelain veneer treatment. Also, if the veneers are made to match the cleaned and whitened teeth, then they need to regularly do overall dental cleaning and teeth whitening.

Afterwards, the dentist will make a model of patient’s teeth and send the model to the dental laboratory. Each veneer is crafted separately in the laboratory. It usually takes 1 to 3 weeks for the porcelain veneers to be ready and sent back to the doctor’s office. For the teeth on the back side of patient’s mouth, those that cannot be seen, temporary veneers can be used. Sometimes the patient will be given temporary dental veneers, while he/she is waiting for the permanent dental veneers to be ready. This is to protect the prepared teeth during this time.

dental veneers
    • Fitting and bonding: When the porcelain veneers are ready, the patient will be asked to visit their dentist. At first, the doctor will temporarily place the veneers on the patient’s teeth, in order to check their size, colour and how they fit. If both the patient and doctor are satisfied with the result, the bonding phase will start. Before permanently placing the dental veneers, the dentist will thoroughly clean patient’s teeth again. The teeth will be polished and cleaned. An acid substance will be used to roughen the surface of teeth and veneers. Before placing the veneers on the teeth, a special cement is applied on them. After placing them on the teeth, a beam light is shed on the teeth, in order to activate the chemicals in the mentioned cement. This process may take more than 2-3 hours. In some occasions, it’s done under general anaesthesia, not because it’s painful, but because it might be hard for some patients to stay still for a long time. In the end, the excess cement will be removed. The doctor will also check the alignment and how the teeth sit on each other when the mouth is closed, in other words, the “bite” will be checked and corrected if necessary. The patient is advised to come for a follow- up in the next few weeks, to see how the gums and mouth in general respond to the treatment.

    The difference between porcelain veneers and dental crowns

    • Preparing the teeth for dental crowns requires trimming over 50% of the single tooth’s anatomical crown which is the part of tooth above the gum line. As for the Porcelain Veneers, only about 3% of a single tooth, above the gum line will be trimmed.
    • Thickness: Dental crowns have a thickness of over 2 mm, but dental veneers are 1 mm thick or even less.

    PROS and CONS of porcelain veneers


    • Natural looking teeth: What this means is, the light is reflected off the dental veneers as it does off natural teeth, so it’s as translucent as natural teeth’s enamel. The reason for that is that it reflects the layer below the surface of the porcelain veneer.
    • Stain resistant: The stains on the veneers can be wiped off easily.
    • Durability: porcelain veneers will last up to 10 to 20 years
    • Not having to wait a few months to see the results of this beauty treatment is one of its most obvious features. The patient can see the results in only a few weeks.
porcelain veneers before and after
  • CONS:
    • Damage possibility: Although porcelain veneers are known to remain strong for years ahead, there’s always a chance of breakage, falling off or chipping. In case of falling off, it will most definitely be reattached by the dentist, but if it does break in any way, the patient must go through the whole process all over again, which might not be pocket-friendly.
    • Irreversible process: Once the porcelain veneers are bonded, there’s no turning back to how it was before the preparation and application, because the trimming that is done for preparation, entirely changes the shape of the selected teeth.
    • Teeth sensitivity: After the trimming of the teeth, a part of the enamel will be removed, that is why the teeth will be more sensitive to hot and cold.
    • These people are not good candidates for porcelain veneer treatment:
    1. People who are susceptible to gum disease or have an active gum disease.
    2. People who clench or grind their teeth.
    3. People with weakened enamel.

    Special care for dental veneers

    Regular brushing and flossing, as we normally do with our teeth, is also highly necessary for porcelain veneers. One thing must be noted that the toothpaste must be a non-abrasive fluoride type of toothpaste. It’s better to limit the use of tea, coffee, red wine and other stain-causing foods and drinks.

  • Alternatives for porcelain veneers

    Crowns are the alternative for Porcelain veneers. The difference is that crown is suitable for a person who wants a more dramatic change of appearance, colour and shape of their teeth, more than they would with porcelain veneers.

    Porcelain veneers in IRAN

    All-Ceramic veneers are widely used in Iran. PFM veneers although cheaper, are less commonly used in Iran, especially in the capital, Tehran, by the majority of dentists and dental beauty specialists. Specialized dentistry clinics offer the best and most affordable medical and cosmetic dentistry services, including veneering, in Tehran, Mashhad, Shiraz, Tabriz, Kish Island, etc.

    Dental veneers cost in IRAN

    Dental veneers are quite expensive in Iran. Porcelain veneering costs around $200-250 per tooth in Iran. This is while a typical veneering costs between $800 to $1000 in the US, $500 to $700 in the UK, and $350 to $600 in Turkey.