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Traditional Versus Ultra-Thin Porcelain Veneers

I’m looking at getting porcelain veneers but I can’t figure out whether to get the traditional or the ultra-thin types. There’s so much conflicting information from the dentists I’ve consulted with. I’m hoping you can give me an unbiased opinion because I live in a different area of the country and you can’t make money off of me. Haha.


Dear Lisa,

Porcelain veneers being held up by a dental tool

After your teeth are lightly shaved, a porcelain veneer is bonded to the front of each affected tooth

I’d like to think I’m the type of person who would give you an honest, unbiased opinion even if you were a potential (or current) patient. You are right that there are a variety of opinions on these choices. The reason for that is the different levels of cosmetic experience and expertise between dentists.

For instance, a child may tell you the best medium for drawing is a crayon. A teenager might say a pencil or colored pencils, and an artist might say charcoal or ink. That’s because they’re all at different levels with that particular art form.

That being said, a true artist could get beautiful results with any medium. That’s the key. Not the type of porcelain veneer, but who places them. However, that’s not what you asked. So, first, let’s talk about the main differences between the two types and then I’ll tell you how to find the right dentist.

The ultra-thin veneers are (obviously) thinner. This often means that less tooth structure has to be removed in order to place them. However, to put this in perspective, a traditional porcelain veneer is only a few millimeters thick about 1/2 the depth of a dime.

One heavily marketed brand of ultra-thin veneers, Lumineers, claims theirs are so thin they don’t require any tooth preparation. This is rarely true though without the results looking bulkier than patients want.

Which you use really depends more on the look you want along with the type of teeth you currently have. An expert cosmetic dentist knows which brands have which strengths and how they’ll effect the smile makeover you want.

Finding a Expert Cosmetic Dentist to Design Your Porcelain Veneers

You want a dentist who has invested in significant cosmetic dentistry training, all of which has to be done on a post-doctoral level. Additionally, they need to have quite a bit of experience so they know how theory works out in reality. Those two requirements are pretty quantifiable.

The toughest trait is an artistic eye. They have that special something. Think about two artists doing a painting or a sculpture. Invariably, one artist will just have more skill than the other. This is hard to quantify so you need to get a look at the results of their work.

As you can imagine, spending time researching the education and artistry of a dentist is quite time-consuming. That’s why I often recommend patients go to the mynewsmile.com website to find their cosmetic dentist.

When a dentist requests to be listed on their site, they do all the research for you. They will only list dentists with exceptional training, skill, and artistry.

Any dentist on their list will give you a stunning smile makeover.

This blog is brought to you by Naperville Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.