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Porcelain Veneers

At NYC Smile Design, located in the heart of Manhattan, veneers represent the pinnacle of cosmetic dentistry, offering a blend of aesthetic enhancement and functional improvement. Under the expert guidance of Dr. Elisa Mello and Dr. Ramin Tabib, our practice specializes in providing personalized, cutting-edge veneer treatments.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin shells of medical-grade ceramic that are attached to the front surfaces of teeth to enhance their appearance. They are custom-made for each patient and are designed to look like natural tooth enamel while providing strength and resilience comparable to natural tooth structure. Veneers are often used to rectify a variety of dental issues, including stained, chipped, misaligned, uneven, or abnormally spaced teeth. The process of applying veneers involves removing a small amount of the tooth's surface to accommodate the shell, ensuring a seamless fit and a natural look. Porcelain veneers are popular in cosmetic dentistry due to their ability to provide an immediate transformation to one’s smile, offering a durable and aesthetically pleasing solution.

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Material Types Used to Make Veneers

Each type of material used to make a veneer has its own specific applications, advantages, and considerations, and the best choice varies depending on the individual's dental needs, aesthetic goals, and budget.

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Composite Resin Veneers

Made from a tooth-colored resin material, composite veneers can be sculpted directly onto the teeth. They are less expensive than porcelain and require less tooth enamel removal, but they may not last as long and can be prone to staining. Because the material is directly applied to the tooth chairside, it is typically a 1 visit procedure.

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Feldspathic Veneers

Made from layered feldspathic porcelain by skilled ceramic artisans. They are customizable because of the layering of the porcelain powders and have a high esthetic value. The material has high translucency and is optically very close to natural teeth. However, they are not as strong as pressed or milled ceramic porcelain. But with modern advanced bonding agents, strength can be increased with strong bonds to the enamel.

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A brand of ultra-thin porcelain veneers, Lumineers are known for being about as thin as a contact lens, requiring minimal to no tooth reduction. They are durable and can be an option for those who wish to avoid extensive dental work. However, there are limited situations where they are a healthy fit as they are placed directly over existing tooth structures at the gum tissue level. This can cause gum tissue inflammation and periodontal problems if they are over-contoured with unnatural emergence profiles, which is a description of how the veneer seats under the gum and the contour the veneer has by the gum line.

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Zirconia or Lithium Disilicate Veneers

Developed to address situations where feldspathic veneers will not be strong enough. Made from strong pressable or milled ceramic material, these veneers are ideal for patients with teeth that have significant damage or decay with strong biting forces. They provide excellent strength and are resistant to wear and staining.  Drawbacks to these include the need for surface stain and glazing to build in esthetics and reduce their monochromatic look which tends to lower the optical value of the restoration. There is also the need for more aggressive tooth preparation to be able to add esthetics with possible layering over the monochromatic base.

What is the Process of Applying Porcelain Veneers?

The process of applying porcelain veneers typically involves several steps and usually requires at least two visits to the dentist:

Consultation and Planning

During the initial visit, the dentist discusses the patient's goals and evaluates their dental health to ensure porcelain veneers are suitable. This may involve taking X-rays, making impressions or 3D scans of your teeth, and discussing the desired shape, color, and appearance of the veneers.

Tooth Preparation

To prepare the teeth for veneers, the dentist removes a small amount of enamel from the front surface of each tooth. This is usually about 0.5 millimeters, roughly the thickness of the veneer, to ensure it fits seamlessly and looks natural. Anesthesia is usually used to prevent any discomfort during this process.

Impression or 3D Scan Taking

After the teeth are prepared, the dentist takes an impression or 3D scan of the teeth. This mold or scan is sent to a dental laboratory, where the custom veneers are crafted to fit the patient’s teeth precisely. This process can take a few days to weeks, during which temporary veneers are placed. The temporary veneers will be evaluated and used to help refine the size, shape, length, and color of the final porcelain veneers.

Veneer Fitting

Once the porcelain veneers are ready, the patient returns for fitting. The dentist places the veneers on the teeth to check their fit and color, making any necessary adjustments. The patient will have the opportunity to evaluate and approve the veneers before the bonding process. The teeth are then cleaned, polished, and etched to allow for a strong bonding process.


When bonding a veneer, a special adhesive is applied to both the veneer and the tooth before the veneer is placed onto the tooth. Once properly positioned, a special light beam is used to activate chemicals in the adhesive, causing it to harden quickly and securely bond the veneer to the tooth.

Final Adjustments and Review

After the veneers are bonded, the dentist makes any final adjustments to ensure a comfortable bite and perfect appearance. A follow-up visit may be scheduled to check the veneers’ placement and the patient's response to the treatment.

Benefits of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers offer several advantages, making them a popular choice for enhancing smiles at NYC Smile Design:

Aesthetic Improvement: Porcelain veneers provide a significant cosmetic upgrade, effectively addressing various dental imperfections. They can alter the size, shape, color, and overall appearance of teeth, making them ideal for creating a uniform, bright smile.

Durability: Porcelain is a strong and durable material that can withstand the rigors of daily use. With proper care, porcelain veneers can last for many years, often ranging from 10 to 15 years or longer, providing a long-term solution for cosmetic dental concerns.

Stain Resistance: Unlike natural tooth enamel, porcelain is highly resistant to staining. This makes veneers an excellent choice for those looking to maintain a whiter smile without constant worry about discoloration from coffee, tea, red wine, and other stain-inducing substances.

Natural Appearance: The translucent properties of porcelain closely mimic the natural appearance of tooth enamel, ensuring that veneers blend seamlessly with the surrounding teeth. This natural look is a key reason many patients choose porcelain veneers for their smile makeovers.

Minimal Tooth Structure Removal: Porcelain veneers require the removal of a small amount of tooth enamel, less than other restorative procedures. This conservative approach preserves more of the natural tooth structure, contributing to the overall health and strength of the tooth.

Improved Confidence: By transforming the appearance of one's smile, porcelain veneers can significantly boost self-esteem and confidence. Patients often report feeling more comfortable and positive about their smiles after the procedure.

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Problems Addressed by Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are a versatile cosmetic solution, effectively addressing a range of dental issues:

  • Discoloration: Veneers can cover stains and discoloration that teeth whitening procedures cannot remove, including stains from medications, excessive fluoride, or root canal treatments.
  • Chips and Cracks: Minor chips and cracks in the teeth can be concealed with veneers, restoring a smooth and unblemished appearance to your smile.
  • Gaps and Spacing: Veneers can close gaps between teeth, providing a more uniform and evenly spaced smile without the need for orthodontic treatments.
  • Misalignment and Irregular Shape: For teeth that are slightly misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped, veneers offer a cosmetic solution to create a more harmonious look without extensive orthodontic procedures.
  • Wear and Tear: Natural wear of teeth from grinding (bruxism) or age can be corrected with veneers, restoring the original contour and functionality of the teeth.
  • Size Discrepancies: Veneers can alter the size of teeth that are too small or disproportionate, achieving a balanced and proportionate smile.

Am I a Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?

To be considered for porcelain veneers, you should first undergo a comprehensive dental evaluation. Ideal candidates have good oral health, meaning no active gum disease or tooth decay is present, and have properly aligned teeth and a stable comfortable bite. These conditions need treatment before veneer placement. A key factor in the candidacy of veneers is having sufficient enamel, as a small amount needs to be removed to fit the veneers properly. Veneers are versatile, effectively correcting various cosmetic issues such as discoloration, chips, gaps, and minor misalignments. Maintaining these enhancements requires good oral hygiene and managing habits that could damage the veneers, like teeth grinding.

Understanding what veneers can achieve and their longevity is crucial. They offer a transformative solution, but it’s important to have realistic expectations about the procedure and its results. For those exploring the possibility of enhancing their smile with veneers, the first step is a detailed consultation. At NYC Smile Design, we assess your specific needs and goals to determine if porcelain veneers are the most suitable option for you.

For more insights into the process and to better understand how many veneers might be needed to achieve your ideal smile, we invite you to read our detailed blog, "How Many Veneers Do I Need?" This resource provides additional information to help guide your decision-making process.


Our Veneer Patients' Stories

Discover the transformative journeys of individuals who have chosen veneers at NYC Smile Design. Their stories offer a glimpse into the personalized experiences and life-changing outcomes achieved through our expertise in cosmetic dentistry. Each narrative is a testament to the power of veneers in crafting beautiful, confident smiles and the dedicated care provided by our team.

How To Care for Your Veneers

Maintaining your veneers is crucial for ensuring their longevity and preserving the beauty of your smile. Proper care involves regular brushing and flossing, using non-abrasive toothpaste, and attending routine dental check-ups. It’s also important to avoid habits that could damage your veneers, such as biting on hard objects or using your teeth as tools. Choosing the right toothpaste is vital for veneer maintenance. Our blog "Best Toothpastes for Veneers and Bonded Teeth" provides guidance on selecting products that are safe and effective for cleaning veneers without causing damage.

Also, veneers are a durable and aesthetically pleasing solution for enhancing your smile, but they require care to maintain their integrity and appearance. One important aspect of veneer care is avoiding hard, crunchy, or extremely tough foods. Biting down on hard objects like ice, nuts, or hard candies can exert excessive force on veneers, leading to chips, cracks, or even dislodgement.
Protecting your veneers from damage ensures their longevity and keeps your smile looking its best. By being mindful of your diet and avoiding biting into hard substances, you can prevent unnecessary stress on your veneers and avoid costly repairs or replacements.

To further understand the durability of your veneers and how to protect them, read our blog "Can My Veneers Break". This article delves into the strength of veneers, potential risks, and tips for preventing breakage.

Your Veneer Smile Transformation

Porcelain veneers offer a transformative option for those looking to enhance their smile's aesthetic, addressing various dental concerns with a durable and natural-looking solution. Understanding the process, benefits, and considerations of veneers is crucial in determining if they are the right choice for your dental needs.

At NYC Smile Design, we are committed to providing personalized care that aligns with your dental goals and expectations. Our team, led by Dr. Elisa Mello and Dr. Ramin Tabib, leverages cutting-edge technology and their extensive expertise to craft smile makeovers that not only look stunning but also promote overall dental health.

If you're contemplating porcelain veneers or wish to explore other cosmetic dentistry options, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with us. Together, we can discuss your aesthetic aspirations, evaluate your oral health, and develop a tailored treatment plan to achieve the radiant smile you deserve. Visit NYC Smile Design to embark on your journey to a brighter, more confident smile.

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Expand Your Knowledge

The NYC Smile Design Learning Center page is your go-to resource for comprehensive and insightful information on cosmetic dentistry, offering expert guidance from Dr. Elisa Mello and Dr. Ramin Tabib to help you understand the wide array of dental treatments available, ensuring you make informed decisions for your smile makeover journey.


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