Dream Dental Paul H. Kim, DDS

Veneers and Laminates


Dental veneers are thin shells that are bonded to the front surface of your natural teeth. They are usually made from porcelain or composite resin materials.  Veneers can improve your smile by correcting discoloration, damage, and misshapen or gapped teeth. You can use a single veneer to repair a single tooth, or you can apply multiple veneers to give your entire smile a makeover.

Did You Know?

Veneers are generally only applied to the visible teeth in your mouth. They are most commonly applied to your front teeth, but can also be applied to some of your side teeth that are visible when smiling or laughing.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Am I a candidate for veneers?

Illustration of a chipped tooth

You may be a candidate for veneers if you have teeth that are:

  • Worn down
  • Discolored or stained
  • Chipped or broken
  • Misaligned or gapped
  • Misshapen or uneven

You may also be a candidate for veneers if you are looking for a restoration method besides a dental crown. Additionally, you must have healthy teeth to attach the veneers to, as well as healthy gums. To find out if veneers are the right cosmetic dental option for your smile, schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul Kim of Dream Dental today.

What is the difference between porcelain and composite resin veneers?

Porcelain and composite resin are the two different materials used for making porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are custom fabricated in a dental laboratory and require a dental impression of the patient’s mouth. They also require that a tiny amount of your natural tooth structure is removed for their placement. Until the permanent veneers can be placed, temporary veneers are usually worn. Porcelain veneers are stronger and more stain resistant than composite resin veneers, but they are also more expensive and cannot be fixed as quickly if they become damaged.

Composite veneers, on the other hand, can be made by your dentist in your mouth during a single appointment. They require no tooth modification and the procedure can eventually be reversed, unlike porcelain veneers. They are a more affordable option and are easier to place, however they are not as strong and will not last as long.

How many veneers do I need?

The number of veneers you need will depend upon what your treatment goal is. Some people have a single tooth that has been damaged and only need a single veneer, while others may want to place veneers on any visible teeth. The amount of visible teeth can also vary with the individual. For some people, a grin shows about six teeth, while with others a smile can show up to twelve teeth. You can discuss your treatment goals with Dr. Kim and he can help advise you on how many veneers you will need to satisfy these treatment goals.

What can I expect when having dental veneers placed at Dream Dental?

Prior to having dental veneers placed, you will need to have your teeth properly prepared. This is an essential step for porcelain veneers and a suggested step for composite resin veneers. To prepare your teeth for veneer placement, about half a millimeter of your enamel will be buffed off the front surface of the affected teeth.

Veneer application

Once the necessary teeth have been prepared, a dental impression will be taken of your mouth by having you bite down into a mold. This mold will be used to make a model of your mouth that the dental lab will use to custom fabricate your dental veneers. Until the lab is finished with your veneers, you will be fit with temporary veneers. Between the first and second appointment, you may experience some minor sensitivity. This should fade once you get your permanent veneers. When your permanent veneers are ready, Dr. Kim will make sure they fit properly. Then, he will bond the veneers to your teeth and adjust their final shape and color.

How do I care for my dental veneers?

You will care for your dental veneers much like you would care for your natural teeth. As soon as you get your dental veneers placed, you can resume your normal dental routine. This should consist of brushing twice daily for two minutes using a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing once a day. Additionally, you will want to schedule regular dental checkups and professional teeth cleanings at least twice a year to keep your veneers clean.

Also, to avoid damaging your veneers, you will want to avoid detrimental behaviors such as smoking, nail biting, chewing on ice or excessively hard candy, and using your teeth to open packages. Additionally, you will want to avoid or limit foods and beverages that can stain your veneers such as coffee, tea, wine, berries, soy sauce, and tomato sauce. Just as these things can damage and stain your natural teeth, they can also damage and stain your dental veneers.

How long do dental veneers last?

The average lifespan for porcelain veneers is about 10 years, while composite resin veneers only last about 5 years. During your regular dental checkups, Dr. Kim will continue to monitor your veneers for signs of wear indicating they need to be replaced.

Woman smiling with perfect white teeth

As your veneers get older, there is the possibility that they may break or fall off. If this happens, collect any and all of the pieces and call our office. Never try to glue or reattach the veneer back on yourself. Depending on the extent of the damage, Dr. Kim may be able to repair the veneer or a new one may need to be placed.

How much do dental veneers cost?

The cost of your dental veneers will depend upon the quantity and type of dental veneers you choose. Potential cost is also determined by whether or not a dental laboratory needs to be used. Porcelain veneers are the most expensive variation of veneers, often because they require a dental lab for fabrication, and an average cost can range from $800-$3,000 per tooth. Composite resin veneers usually cost about half this amount because they can be directly placed and do not require a dental laboratory for fabrication. Although this may seem expensive, dental veneers are generally less expensive than the cost of a dental crown.

Dream Dental is committed to providing an exceptional dental experience to patients in Torrance, Palos Verdes, Gardena, and the surrounding South Bay areas. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul H. Kim today!

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