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What are porcelain veneers?

If you’ve ever watched reality TV shows or scrolled through Instagram snaps posted by celebrities or influencers, there’s a good chance that you’ll have come across porcelain veneers. Veneers are delicate, tooth-shaped shells, which are usually made from porcelain. They are applied to the natural tooth surface to create a brand new smile. Composite resin can be used as an alternative to porcelain. Veneers are an increasingly popular cosmetic dental solution, as more and more people take steps to enhance and improve the look of their smile. A survey conducted in 2018 revealed that 43% of people wanted to have cosmetic dental treatment. Aesthetic dentistry was the most sought-after cosmetic treatment, with laser hair removal and tummy tucks in second and third place respectively.

Porcelain veneers are known for creating flawless smiles, and they provide a solution for individuals who feel self-conscious about specific aesthetic imperfections, as well as those who dream of a beautiful smile. Porcelain teeth can be used to address the following cosmetic flaws:

  • Staining and discolouration
  • Minor misalignment
  • Uneven, worn teeth
  • Misshapen teeth

When you have porcelain veneers, the veneers are placed onto your natural teeth. This means that the look of the smile is different, but that the veneers are not actually treating any of the imperfections listed above. In the case of misaligned, crooked teeth, for example, you would need to undergo orthodontic treatment to actually move the teeth into the correct position.

Porcelain veneers costs: How much are porcelain veneers?

Questions about the cost of porcelain veneers are among the most common dental queries. According to a survey carried out by the Oral Health Foundation, telephone and email enquiries about veneers and dental implants have increased by over 30% in the last decade, and after the last series of Love Island launched, online searches for veneers skyrocketed. Many people are interested in undergoing cosmetic treatment to enhance their smiles, but porcelain veneers cost is a barrier for many. The exact cost will depend on the clinic you choose and the number of veneers you require, but typically, in the UK, you can expect to pay upwards of £500 per tooth, with some practices charging over £1,500 per tooth. If you were to have a set of ten veneers, for example, you would be looking at a total treatment price of up to £15,000. While prices have become more competitive, and veneers are no longer accessible only to Hollywood A-listers and TV stars, there is no doubt that the price will put some people off. If you are thinking about having porcelain veneers, it’s wise to get some quotes and to compare prices from reputable clinics before you make a decision. There are different types of treatment, and there are also alternatives you can explore to save money.

What does the treatment process involve?

If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and finding out more about porcelain veneers, the first stage will involve having a consultation with a dentist. During the consultation, you can ask questions about the treatment and get a quote and your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure that you are a suitable candidate for porcelain veneers. If you are, and you want to go ahead, the process will unfold as follows:

  1. Your dentist will prepare the teeth. This means using specially-formulated instruments to gently remove extremely thin layers of the tooth surface and shape the teeth to make space for your new veneers. It is important to understand that the changes that are made to your teeth at this stage are permanent. The amount of preparation required will depend on the type of veneers. Some porcelain and ceramic veneers are very thin and this means that minimal preparation is needed. In other cases, a significant portion of the tooth surface will be removed. During this appointment, your dentist will also create impressions of your teeth. These moulds will be sent away to a dental laboratory and used as a template for your bespoke veneers.

  2. Once your veneers are ready (usually 2-4 weeks later), your dentist will place them onto the teeth. They will then check that you are happy with the look of your new smile before cementing them onto the teeth to secure them.

When your new veneers are firmly in place, you can set about showing off your new smile. It’s important to look after porcelain veneers in the same way as natural teeth. You will need to take good care of them to maintain good oral health and reduce the risk of chips and staining.

The lifespan of porcelain veneers will vary according to the type of veneers you choose, but on average, porcelain veneers last 7-15 years.

The pros and cons of porcelain veneers

Many people dream of showcasing a luminescent, straight, youthful smile when they open their mouths. In recent years, cosmetic dentistry has become more accessible, and there has been a significant increase in demand for services and treatments like porcelain veneers. Like everything in life, there are pros and cons, and it’s beneficial to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages before you decide whether to opt for porcelain veneers or an alternative solution.

  • Beautiful, natural-looking aesthetics
  • Versatile: you can use single veneers or full sets to address everything from staining and chips to misshapen, crooked teeth
  • Increased confidence
  • Suitable for a wide range of individuals
  • Results in 2-3 appointments
  • Expensive: for many, the cost of porcelain veneers is a barrier
  • Invasive: treatment involves reshaping the tooth by removing some of the enamel
  • Risk of increased sensitivity following the preparation stage
  • Temporary solution: veneers do not last forever, and they will need replacing with new veneers after 7-15 years

Is there an alternative? Introducing instasmile

If you love the idea of having a perfect smile, but you can’t afford porcelain veneers, or you’re reluctant to undergo invasive treatment, there is an alternative. Instasmile veneers are clip-on veneers, which provide a simple, safe, affordable option for those who want to enjoy improved confidence and a stunning smile without breaking the bank. Instasmile can be used to cover up to 8 of the front teeth on both arches, creating a stunning smile in an instant. Rather than cementing porcelain shells to the teeth, instasmile veneer treatment involves clipping the veneers onto your teeth. It takes a matter of seconds to transform even the most unsightly teeth into a spectacular set of sparkling pearly whites.

The benefits of instasmile

Instasmile offers a solution to many of the problems experienced by individuals who are considering porcelain veneers. The key benefits include:

  • Cost: porcelain veneers can cost more than £1,000 per tooth, making treatment unaffordable for many. Instasmile veneers are much less expensive. This treatment is available from £199 for a full upper or lower set of veneers. The low price makes this treatment accessible to everyone.

  • Treatment process: some people are reluctant to go through with porcelain veneer treatment because they don’t want to damage their natural teeth. The preparation process required for many types of porcelain veneers involves removing some of the tooth enamel and reshaping the teeth. Instasmile veneers are placed onto the natural teeth, meaning that no invasive treatment is needed and the natural teeth will be maintained and preserved.

  • Time: the process to create and fit porcelain veneers usually takes up to 4 weeks and it involves using temporary veneers, creating impressions and then applying the custom-made veneers to the teeth using strong adhesive. Clip-on veneers provide instant results with no need for messy, uncomfortable procedures along the way.

  • Diverse range of uses: Instasmile veneers address all of the aesthetic flaws covered by porcelain veneers, but they also provide a solution for individuals who have gaps in their smile and missing teeth.

  • Convenience: many of us lead hectic lifestyles, and it can be tricky to get time off work to attend dental appointments. With porcelain veneers, you’ll need to go and see your dentist several times before and after your veneers are fitted. With instasmile, you can complete the entire process from the comfort of your own home with no worries about spending too much time away from your desk or trying to sort childcare at short notice.


Porcelain veneers are an incredibly popular cosmetic dental treatment. Veneers are famed for creating stunning, healthy-looking smiles, but the treatment process and the cost can pose problems. If you dream of a perfect smile, and you don’t want to spend a fortune or undergo invasive treatment, instasmile could be the ideal solution for you. Capable of transforming smiles in a flash at a fraction of the cost of porcelain veneers, instasmile is a hassle-free, inexpensive, painless way to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.