Benefits of Dental Veneers

Part of that impression that someone is a “natural” beauty is the glow that someone radiates- and part of that glow is the smile (and teeth).

Natural teeth have a translucent quality- they have a glowing appearance as if light were coming through.  This is actually not far from the truth.

Normal tooth enamel is translucent- light shining on the surface of a tooth, gets absorbed into the enamel layer.  As the light penetrates through the complete enamel thickness, it bounces off the opaque dentin layer that is located just beneath the enamel and then emits back out of the tooth.

This behavior of light passage and reflection off the tooth layers is responsible for the lustrous attribute that teeth possess.

Our technology in the past did not enable us to synthesize a material that duplicated this lustrous appearance.  Prior fabrications were only semi-translucent so that shining ight hitting a repaired tooth would bounce off the exterior as opposed to being absorbed into the bonding.  So, despite the improvement to the tooth shape and appearance, there was no luster.  Instead it was dull and very distinguishable.

Life-Like…Real or Not?

Because porcelain veneers are ceramic or possessing a glass-like composition, they are not only functional but also translucent which is a great advancement.  After a porcelain veneer is made adherent to the dental surface, it will very accurately act like normal dental enamel in its light handling characteristics.

Just like a normal healthy tooth, when light hits the exterior façade of a tooth with a porcelain veneer, it penetrates into the veneer in the same manner that it would absorb through normal dental enamel.

Having crossed through the full thickness of the porcelain, the light will bounce off the opaque cement and dentin which lies underneath and then out the tooth again. This mimics the same lustrous effect and translucency trait that makes it seem like a natural, healthy tooth.  It is so natural, it is hard to distinguish between the two.


Because porcelain is a “glass-like” ceramic, the porcelain veneer is extremely stain resistant.  This advantage bypasses the dental bonding materials of the past which did not have the capacity to avoid discoloration.  This was a distinct problem in those people who smoked or who ingested foods with rich pigmentation containing tannins and chromogens such as those found in coffee, tea, wine and berries.

It is still a good idea to limit the exposure of the veneers to these staining foods and beverages since the cement used to adhere the veneers are not stain-resistant and could discolor as time progressed if consumed excessively.

So to “recap” having porcelain veneers allows you to “act natural”!