What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are an incredible way to improve your smile in two visits. You can brighten your smile, straighten teeth without braces, change the shape of your teeth, lengthen or rotate teeth, all with this simple procedure.

Porcelain veneers are thin tooth-colored shells of a porcelain glass-like material that is custom-made to fit over the front of your tooth. They are extremely natural-looking and reflect light similarly to your own natural teeth. Dr. James R. Donley in North Muskegon, Michigan, has been placing porcelain veneers for over 20 years. He has an amazing dental lab technician close-by that assists with the actual fabrication of the veneers and then Dr. Donley bonds them to your teeth. This procedure is the more common and preferred method for doing a Smile Makeover.

Some of the benefits of Porcelain Veneers are:

  • They can accomplish a lot in terms of esthetics in just two visits.
  • They are the longest-lasting option we have available.
  • They have been around for over 30 years with a proven track record of longevity.
  • They are conservative – in most cases, only 0.7 mm or less – or in some cases, NO reduction is needed to place them. Compared to a crown, they are able to be done and preserve much more tooth structure.
  • Because they have no metal, you will never see a “dark margin” like some of the earlier crowns displayed.
  • You can close gaps and rotate teeth visually in just two visits – versus orthodontics which can take several months, or in some cases years, to accomplish the same effect.
  • It is a great procedure to conservatively treat a fractured top edge of a tooth since they are strong and can withstand chewing forces.


How long will Porcelain Veneers last?

Generally speaking, the Porcelain Veneers could last twenty years or longer. If you are involved in contact sports and don’t wear a sports guard, or if you clench or grind your teeth at night, those factors can affect how long they will last. In addition, if you are a smoker and have receded gumline or drink a lot of acidic drinks such as coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages or sodas and don’t rinse out afterwards, it could stain them at the edges and potentially expose them to risk of leakage and decay. Often, if we do multiple veneers, especially when in the front of the mouth, we might recommend a night guard to protect the teeth from any clenching or grinding. This can help them last much longer. 

How Would I Know if I’m a Candidate for Veneers?

While not all patients or situations would be best treated with veneers here are a few situations when it might not be the optimal restorative procedure:

If you have very dark purple tetracycline stained teeth – the veneers pick up some of the ultimate color from the color of the tooth structure below it. A masking material can sometimes be used if the staining is not too significant. The other option is to use a very dense material such as zirconium or even metal under the porcelain to block the shine-through of the dark purple tetracycline staining.

If you are missing multiple teeth, especially in the front areas. Porcelain bonding does have limitations in its strength that it can handle when you put pressure on it.

If you already have a crown on a tooth. By definition, a veneer is a thin facing that would go on one side of a tooth. A crown, on the other hand typically covers the entire tooth inside. It is also possible although significantly less common, to put a porcelain veneer on the inside (lingual) of a tooth. This might be done if there was a significant amount of erosion or abrasion.

In some cases, if the teeth are severely worn down and you are a heavy clencher or you grind your teeth, then a full coverage crown might be a better option.

Many of our patients at Lumbertown Dental Wellness, here in Muskegon County have porcelain veneers done, and you wouldn’t even know it, as they look so natural. Our patients appreciate that Dr. Donley keeps up on the latest technologies for his patients and helps them keep their teeth not only healthy, but also beautiful.3