Veneers: The secret to the perfect Hollywood smile

This page is for information only. DrSmile does not (yet) offer this treatment.

Stars like Kylie Jenner, Zac Efron and Hilary Duff work to outshine each other on the red carpets with their perfect smiles. The secret of their beautiful teeth are so-called veneers. The majority of people create attractiveness via the face, so the teeth play a very important role. Beautiful white teeth represent health and make a person look younger, happier and therefore more attractive. 

What are veneers?

Veneers are wafer-thin ceramic coverings that are permanently attached to the tooth using a special adhesive. The concept is thus like that of a facade. The special thing about veneers is that they can give the tooth a completely new shape and colour. So, you can not only close gaps and make the teeth bigger or smaller, but also use them as an alternative to whitening. It is possible to veneer individual teeth or, in the case of very small set of teeth, veneer all 10 visible teeth and thereby conjure up a completely new smile. The material is just as translucent as our own tooth enamel, which is why they cannot be distinguished from real teeth by the naked eye. Over time, different types of veneers have evolved, which are attached to the teeth by different methods.

Conventional veneers

With conventional veneers, the tooth is filed down slightly to create space for the up-to-1mm-thick veneers and also to ensure a better hold. The filing is performed on the upper layer of the tooth under local anaesthetic. The veneers are custom-adapted to the shape and colour of the patient's teeth in a special laboratory. Due to the special process and the elaborate production, veneers have a very long lifespan of up to 20 years. They can be used to correct a very large number of tooth misalignments where braces or other options have reached their limits. 

Non-prep veneers – Lumineers

At 0.3 mm, non-prep veneers are significantly thinner than "normal" veneers. The big difference is that they are attached without having to file down the teeth. Lumineers were the first wafer-thin non-prep veneers in the USA. The word is merely a trademarked brand name for these veneers. Since the teeth do not need to be prepared, the treatment is particularly gentle on the teeth. It is considered painless, which is why no anaesthesia is required. However, you can more quickly get to the point where the veneers do not hold properly and loosen over time. Due to the extremely thin material, non-prep veneers are not the ideal solution for every case. If the teeth are severely discoloured, for example, conventional veneers are much better.

Veneers to go – instant veneers

As the name suggests, veneers to go are put in place in just a single treatment, and your new smile is ready right away. There is no filing away of the teeth, and nothing needs to be produced in the laboratory. The instant veneers are either all-ceramic or made of a plastic-ceramic mixture. The dentist adapts the veneers to the patient's tooth on the basis of standardised veneer templates and fixes them directly in place. The procedure is mainly suitable for minor defects on the tooth.

Composite veneers

Composite veneers are similar to veneers to go and are attached directly to the tooth in just one session. Composite is a tooth-coloured, malleable dental material made from various plastics, which is also used for normal fillings. Composite is highly suitable for smaller blemishes such as a broken tooth; for larger tooth misalignments, other veneer alternatives make much more sense due to their durability. Nevertheless, a gap between teeth can also be reduced with composite. However, the skill and aesthetic eye of the dentist are very important here.

When do veneers make sense?

Veneers are particularly useful for minor tooth defects and can provide a quick remedy. Otherwise, veneers predominantly make for a good solution if the overall appearance of the teeth needs to be changed due to the shape, colour, or ratio between the width and length of the teeth. A completely new smile is formed here when there is complete restoration of the visible teeth. If the aesthetics are disturbed, for example by a so-called gummy smile, teeth that are too small can be enlarged following gum correction. In such cases, veneers are often the only option, because braces or aligners reach their limits here. Tooth gaps, diastema or dental arches that are too narrow can also be corrected with veneers. Veneers also represent a long-lasting alternative to whitening, although, again, one would have to plan for several veneers. 

How much do veneers cost?

Veneer procedure

  • Conventional veneers

  • Non-prep veneers

  • Veneers to go

Cost per tooth

  • £ 900 – 1500 

  • £ 700 – 1000 

  • £ 300 – 400 

Will my health insurance provider cover the costs?

Since veneers are generally not dentures and therefore not medically indispensable, they are considered a cosmetic measure. That is why the costs for veneers are only covered by health insurance providers in a few, particularly well-founded, exceptional cases.

If the treatment is medically necessary, we advise you to take out veneers insurance, since depending on the insurance, 70 to 100% of the costs can be covered.

Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of veneers:

  • Fast results after just a few treatments

  • Highly durable

  • Colour and shape can be customised

  • Plaque cannot adhere to its surface

  • The colour of the veneers is permanently retained

  • Natural, aesthetically pleasing result

Advantages, disadvantages and risks of ceramic veneers:

  • Ceramic veneers are particularly suitable for crooked teeth

  • Experience has shown that ceramic veneers will last for a long time (at least 10 to 15 years)

  • Toothache is possible

  • It is necessary to remove healthy tooth substance, and this will not be able to grow back.

  • A tooth will lose its natural appearance without a veneer, and the patient is always dependent on a veneer

Advantages, disadvantages and risks of composite veneers:

  • It is not necessary to file down the substance of the tooth

  • Painless

  • Serve as temporary veneers that can be used to bridge time until the conventional veneers can be attached 

Advantages, disadvantages and risks of non-prep veneers

  • No need to remove the substance of the tooth 

  • Painless

  • Increased risk of fracture

  • Secondary caries or marginal discolouration as a result of possible cervical overcontouring or a positive step at the transition from the tooth to the ceramic


The veneers last a very long time Within a period of 6 years, only about 2% detach from the tooth. In most cases, however, veneers last longer than 10 years and are also very well tolerated. 

The impressive results of veneers can be seen from the before-and-after pictures of patients. The blemishes to the teeth have been corrected, the gaps have been closed, and a bright white smile has been conjured up. 

An alternative to veneers are Lumineers, which are a kind of light version of veneers. These are particularly thin, clear ceramic shells that ensure a natural look. The shells are individually adapted to your teeth and cover discolouration, fillings, crooked teeth, chipped-off corners, gaps between teeth and other blemishes, especially in the anterior region. In contrast to veneers, they are particularly gentle, as none of the underlying tooth – or hardly any – needs to be filed down for bonding.

Straight teeth with DrSmile

DrSmile currently exclusively offers clear aligners for dental correction. Cutting edge aligners are an orthopedic treatment that moves teeth to the desired position within only 4-9 months. This means that crowing can be resolved, gaps can be closed and misaligned teeth can be corrected.

After a free consultation in a DrSmile partner practice, our experts create a customized computer-generated treatment plan showing exactly how your teeth should be moved.

Once you approve your personal treatment plan, the aligners are created specifically for you and sent to your homes. The entire treatment is controlled by app by the DrSmile partner dentist. DrSmile is a fast and safe route to a self-confident smile.

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