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Marylebone Smile Clinic Cosmetic Dentistry
66 Harley Street, London W1G 7HD
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Different Types of Veneers Explained

If you are looking to improve your smile then veneers will likely be your best solution. Veneers can fix a variety of aesthetic problems, are relatively cheap, and produce outstanding […]

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If you are looking to improve your smile then veneers will likely be your best solution. Veneers can fix a variety of aesthetic problems, are relatively cheap, and produce outstanding results.

And if your first thought when hearing the word veneers is ‘you mean when they shave your teeth down to little stubs?’ then don’t worry! You have probably seen pictures of someone who has travelled abroad for their treatments for a service commonly referred to as Turkey Teeth, but what we professionals prefer to call dental tourism. Usually, the people who do this are actually receiving crowns and not veneers (often without being aware that this is the case).

Fortunately, we do not perform such dramatic shaving at our clinic in Marylebone, London. Some tooth shaving may be necessary to achieve ideal results, but in general we want to keep this to a minimum and retain at least 70—95% of your natural tooth. Excessively shaving the teeth puts the patient at risk of tooth loss and persistent pain. Luckily, veneers are incredibly thin and so only a tiny amount of enamel needs to be shaped in most cases.

At Marylebone Smile Clinic, we offer a range of veneer treatments and can advise on what would be best for you after going through an initial consultation. Some treatment types may be better suited for certain cases, or you may have your own personal preferences. Either way, we will advise you as best as we can so that you can make a fully informed choice regarding your dental aesthetics.

What types of veneers are there?

There are multiple types of veneers on the market, each with its own pros and cons. The most common types are ceramic and composite veneers, but there are also alternative options such as Lumineers and clip-on veneers.

You may be offered a choice on what type of veneers you would like, or you may be advised that due to your personal dental circumstances you may need a specific type.

Price also varies between each type of veneer. Some are more expensive than others, but generally you get what you pay for when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. The more expensive treatments will be longer lasting, more reliable, and offer better aesthetics than cheaper alternatives.

Ceramic or porcelain

Ceramic veneers, sometimes interchangeably referred to as porcelain veneers, are the best-in-class veneers that you can get, and our preferred choice. This material most closely resembles natural teeth, is the most reliable, and is suitable for the vast majority of individuals.

A set of ceramic veneers should last you between 10 and 20 years, during which time they require no extra maintenance than you would perform on your natural teeth. These veneers are custom-made to your exact measurements and choice of colour, and are stain resistant so they will keep their appearance over their lifetime.

When receiving ceramic veneers, you will need to attend a consultation with your chosen cosmetic dentist who will inspect your mouth and make sure you are eligible for treatment. If you need remedial dental work, then this will need to be performed before you can receive veneers. But if all looks well, some shaping of your natural enamel may be required and then your measurements will be taken via a scan.

Your veneers will be crafted according to your specific needs and will be fitted at a later date (if you have required some shaving or dental work first then you will be provided with a set of temporary veneers while you wait for your fitting appointment).

With quality does come cost, as these are more expensive than alternative treatment options. At our clinic, ceramic veneers start at £795 per tooth. In our opinion, you cannot put a price on quality and in this case, we think that the results you get are definitely worth the cost.

Before ceramic veneers
After ceramic veneers


The second best option for most people will be composite bonding. These veneers are made out of resin as opposed to thin layers of strong ceramic material and are therefore not as durable, and their appearance is also slightly inferior.

Composite veneers are expected to last around 5 years before they will need to be replaced, which is dramatically less than the up to 20-year lifespan of ceramic veneers. And over time composite veneers will become stained and lose their shine, whereas ceramic veneers will not.

However, composite bonding does have a place in the arsenal of cosmetic dentists. It is much quicker to apply to the tooth, and can often be performed in one appointment. As well as this, next to no enamel needs to be shaped before a patient can receive composite bonding, which means that they will be able to receive ceramic veneers at a later date when their composites expire.

For the patient, one of the biggest advantages is their price. At our clinic, composite veneers currently start at just £2495 per tooth. Yet when you consider the rate they need to be replaced and their reduced quality, they come out lesser than ceramic veneers. For this reason, we often only advise patients with very minimal issues receive composite bonding.


Lumineers are probably the most well-known brand of ultra-thin veneer alternatives. They are still made from a porcelain material, yet it is not as strongly layered and therefore the material is less durable.

Because of their ultra-thin dimensions, less (or no) shaping of the natural tooth is required before they are fitted. This means that they are technically reversible, as you could have them removed and return to your natural teeth underneath.

In most cases, Lumineers are only viable options for individuals with discolouration and minor shape issues, whereas ceramic veneers can fix a wider variety of problems.

Prices for Lumineers are slightly less than ceramic veneers, but they are not as reliable and will not last as long as ceramics despite the manufacturers claiming that they can last for up to 20 years (most evidence points to them lasting closer to 10 years).

Clip on veneers

As the name suggests, clip-on veneers are removable sets of veneers that require no removal of natural enamel.

The main benefits of clip-on veneers are that they are cheap and quick to fit. Rather than having to attend multiple appointments and receive some dental treatment, you will usually be able to receive clip-on veneers in one appointment.

While some people may like being able to remove their veneers, most people will find it to be a hassle and wonder why they didn’t opt for permanent veneers instead. What’s more, the aesthetic results of clip-on veneers are far behind that of ceramic or even composite veneers. Your teeth often look bulky within your mouth which can draw attention to your smile.

Best type of veneers

It is well regarded that ceramic is the optimal material for veneers. It is the strongest, most durable, and most natural-looking of all available options.

At our clinic, we generally advise that patients seeking veneer treatment invest in ceramic veneers and we see that our patients are incredibly happy with the results. And when you look at a breakdown of what you will pay over 40 years after replacements and repairs, ceramic veneers actually come out on top in terms of value.

TypeCostLifespan40-year cost
Ceramicfrom £79510-20 yearsfrom £1590
Compositefrom £2955 yearsfrom £2360
Lumineersfrom £70010 yearsfrom £2800

Please note that we do not offer Lumineers or clip on veneers at Marylebone Smile Clinic.

Is there a cheaper alternative to veneers?

Depending on what your dental issue is and your age, you may be able to receive an alternative treatment on the NHS. For example, children under the age of 18 can receive braces free of charge to fix orthodontic issues.

If your only issue is discolouration, then you can get your teeth whitened to try and fix this which will save you money compared to veneers. Yet there is a chance that whitening will not work depending on what type of staining you have, and you will not be protected from damages in the future as you would be with veneers.

For adults with multiple issues with their teeth and who will have to pay for treatment, veneers are highly likely to be the most cost-effective treatment to create your dream smile.

Veneers at Marylebone Smile Clinic, London

For more information on receiving veneers, please see the rest of our website or get in touch with us directly to book a consultation.

We can even perform a virtual consultation if you send us pictures of your teeth along with what your treatment goals are. This gives us a head start on deciding the best treatment for your needs, and gives you more information at the outset for you to make an informed decision.

Virtual Consultation