As much as we may wish for it – teeth do not heal.

So from the age of 6-12 and on, your smile is changed by everything that comes at it, whether that’s a carrot or a baseball.

That’s a lot to ask!

That’s why, whether by accident or by the nature of your teeth, many people will need some type of false tooth (or teeth). Today, there are a variety of ways a dentist can help.

For those whose damage doesn’t extend below the enamel, veneers are an easy way to fix damage or even tweak the look of your smile.

What are tooth veneers?


Dental veneers are thin, tooth-coloured shells that are applied on top of your existing teeth. Essentially, they replace damaged or discoloured enamel.

So, in simple terms, a veneer is kind of like a mask for your tooth.

Just like a mask, they can be used to cover up a variety of problems with your teeth, including:

  • Pitted or pockmarked teeth
  • Gaps in your smile
  • Under-developed or under-sized teeth
  • Discolourization
  • Asymmetrical smile

How are veneers applied?

Unlike masks, veneers require treatment before they are applied.

Often, that means a layer of your tooth is removed to make way for the veneer. However, with new, composite resin veneers, the enamel of your tooth may just require some etching before it is applied.

Once your tooth is prepared, the dentist then glues the veneer onto the tooth.

While this sounds quite simple, preparing the tooth can be a painful process and is irreversible. That means if you lose your veneer, which is possible, you’ll have to get it replaced (which can be expensive) or even need to replace the whole tooth.

Different types of dental veneers

Porcelain veneers

These are the traditional veneers. The material is very durable and closely resembles the look of your natural tooth enamel. However, they require a more intensive procedure to apply.

Composite resin veneers

These veneers are ultra-thin, and because of that, they do not require as much of the original tooth to be removed before application. That makes them a more affordable option as well. However, along with typically not being as durable, they also don’t match your natural enamel’s appearance as closely as the porcelain option does.

How long do tooth veneers last?

The good news is if you take care of your teeth and avoid chewing on excessively hard things (like your fingernails or ice), veneers can last a very long time. Porcelain veneers can last up to 10 years, while resin-based veneers usually only last between 5 to 7 years.