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Veneers - the Pros & Cons

We all recognise the critical importance to patients of the appearance of their teeth, and their smile, to family, friends and to business colleagues; indeed to all aspects of everyday life!


We know that an attractive smile has a major impact on the self confidence of our patients.  Veneers can be a successful treatment option.  Even when they are the right clinical and aesthetic option they do need to be prescribed and fitted with care. On occasion it may be necessary to advise a patient that fitting veneers is not the appropriate clinical option and that alternatives would deliver a better outcome for them.


Unfortunately we frequently see examples where the preparation and placement of veneers has not resulted in the best outcome for a patient.  We are often asked to correct these problems, caused by less experienced practitioners.


Dr Guy Robertson is further qualified as a Specialist in Restorative Dentistry and sees patients from many counties as well as from the UK.


This page first discusses the pros and cons of veneers and then highlights some of the problems that we see in patients referred to us from other dentists.


The pros of veneers

  • Without doubt the most important benefit is the marked improvement is self-confidence that comes with a pleasing smile! Our patients regularly confirm this to us.

  • Veneers closely match natural teeth and reflect light in a similar way

  • As veneers are largely stain resistant there is less concern about discolouration

  • Veneers can correct minor cosmetic problems with your teeth

  • Veneers are a very good way of treating enamel erosion, perhaps from highly acidic food or drink,  or enamel abrasion, perhaps from over-enthusiastic brushing

  • With appropriate care veneers are long lasting; 10-15 years can be expected


The cons of veneers

  • As some enamel is removed to fix the veneers the process is irreversible, but it is unlikely that you would wish to do this!

  • There remains the possibility that some chipping or breaking of the veneer could occur although this risk can be mitigated with normal sensible eating habits avoiding very hard foods

  • Depending on the degree of preparation required there is a possibility of increased sensitivity to hot and cold; we will discuss this with you

  • Teeth can still decay behind the veneer so should not be fitted where there is a history of some dental problems

  • Fitting veneers is a precision skill so unfortunately the price has to reflect this.  A typical veneer costs from £1,800; see our fees page.


Problems that we see in referred patients

Among the problems that we see in referred patients are:-

  • A failure to deliver a harmonious and symmetrical result, giving an unbalanced appearance

  • Veneers from the dental laboratory ceramist that are non-uniform or not natural.  We work only with top London laboratories

  • Poor shade selection

  • Too high opacity, giving an unnatural appearance

  • Inadequate clinical pre-op assessments, including a lack of photographs.  We make extensive use of photographs as a diagnostic tool and as an important way of communicating with our patients (see also our blog about intra-oral photography)

  • Unsightly staining under the veneers showing through to the surface

  • Veneers that overlap the tooth too far and are therefore vulnerable to damage, chip or failure

  • 'Black triangles'; the gap between the teeth at the gum line showing dark behind

  • Teeth that have been over-prepared and have cut into the dentine below the enamel, resulting in vulnerability to failure and to causing pain.


Above all, we see examples where there was a failure to have an in-depth discussion with the patient.  It is critical to establish a very clear mutual understanding of what can be achieved and what cannot.  This includes mock-ups of the expected final result; mock-ups are a vital communication tool.  


When fitted by highly experienced practitioners in our surgery we would expect veneers to be a long-lasting and trouble-free option.

Please call (from a mobile) or email to arrange an appointment with Guy Robertson

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