Dental tool applying a veneer on a tooth


Pros and Cons of Veneers vs. Alternatives

Written By : Generations of Smiles Writers

Reviewed By : Charles Rodgers, DDS

Published: Apr 01, 2022

In This Article
Your smile says a lot about you – and you may be sending the wrong message if your teeth are not quite the dazzling, pearly-white you would like them to be. With significant advances in cosmetic dentistry and a variety of treatments available, it can be challenging to know what the best way is to get the smile you’ve been dreaming of. As with many situations in life, a simple pros and cons list can go a long way in determining the right decision for your particular situation.

What Is a Good Alternative to Veneers?

There are plenty of good alternatives to veneers. These are 4 of the most popular dental veneer alternatives:

Whether you’re looking into caps vs. veneers, bonding vs. veneers vs. lumineers, or any number of other combinations, with so many options available, you’re certain to find the right one for you. Take stock of your own teeth – do you have broken, chipped, or cracked teeth? Or are you looking for a purely cosmetic result that will give you a beautiful smile? Knowing the root cause of the issue and your personal “why” will be helpful in making the right decision regarding treatment.

Veneers vs. Crowns

Veneers are primarily cosmetic, being applied directly to the teeth to improve the color of your smile or cover chips and cracks in teeth; while a crown can serve a cosmetic purpose, it is mainly restorative in nature. If you suffer from cracked, chipped, or damaged teeth, a crown may not just be the right option – it may be the only option to restore the functionality of a tooth. Check out the crowns vs. veneers pros and cons to ensure you have all the facts when taking the first steps toward your brand-new smile.


Crowns are custom-made to fit over the tooth in question, acting as a complete covering to resolve any issues caused by a damaged tooth. They are more durable than veneers, with the strongest crowns being made of porcelain. Crowns can go over any tooth, be it a molar or your very front tooth. Porcelain crowns are a great option for front teeth, especially as they not only restore function but also improve the aesthetic appearance of your smile.


Although they are more durable than veneers, crowns are certainly not invincible. A poorly placed bite or unexpected injury can have you in the dentist’s chair with a cracked crown in no time. The process of applying a crown is also more invasive than other cosmetic treatments, such as veneers. Quite a bit of enamel must be removed from the tooth before putting on a crown, so reversing the procedure in the future is not a possibility. Crowns can also cause tooth sensitivity, which most likely will be temporary – but could definitely cause some discomfort in the short term.


The cost of a crown can vary based on the type of crown you get and the location within the mouth. Options range from more affordable metal crowns to higher-priced porcelain ones. Both can be effective, but metal crowns will likely cost less than porcelain.
There are many ways to achieve a radiant, sparkling smile with an open sparkly mouth

Veneers vs. Bonding

Veneers are like shells that are applied as a covering to a tooth after removing some enamel; bonding is a resin applied directly to the tooth after some etching of the enamel has been done by the dentist. Both are cosmetic treatments that can improve your smile by covering stains, chips, and other minor imperfections. While bonding does not last as long as veneers usually do, it is still a great alternative to veneers in many cases.


Dental bonding is great at repairing chips and gaps due to the coverage provided by resin that is applied to the surface of the tooth. Bonding usually takes less time to apply than veneers, as no molds have to be used to create the material that is put on the teeth. The bonding is applied directly and then carefully molded to be the desired shape and size. This allows your dentist to have control in the moment of application as to how the bonding looks when complete.


Bonding is not as durable as veneers and is unlikely to last as long. You will probably have to have dental bonding redone in anywhere from three to ten years, whereas veneers are intended to last from ten to twenty-five years. The resin is also more prone to staining, so it could cause issues in the future if you enjoy food and drinks that are likely to cause discoloration, such as coffee, red wine, and berries.


As with most dental procedures, the cost can vary based on your geographic location, the dentist you choose, and whether you have insurance. In many cases, insurance will cover dental bonding. If you don’t have insurance, the good news is the cost of bonding can be almost three times less than the cost of veneers.

Veneers vs. Lumineers

When it comes to Lumineers vs. veneers, pros and cons can be crucial in determining which option is best for you. Veneers and Lumineers are both “shells” applied to the surface of a tooth. Lumineers are about half as thick as veneers, so they are less invasive – the dentist does not have to remove any enamel in order to apply them. Veneers are more labor-intensive since the tooth must be shaved down in order to accommodate the thickness of the material being placed on the surface.


Lumineers are more easily applied to teeth and may require no removal of the natural tooth. They look beautiful and, because of the material they are made of, Lumineers reflect light in a way that is more congruent with natural teeth. While veneers are not reversible, Lumineers often are. In most cases the fact that no enamel is removed from the tooth before application, it is not necessary to keep the tooth “covered” forever if you don’t want to. But if you do want it covered, Lumineers can last about 20 years – double what some traditional porcelain veneers are likely to last.


Because there isn’t a lot of tooth reduction or reshaping, Lumineers do not allow for as much correction when it comes to the actual shape and size of the teeth.


Lumineers can be more expensive than traditional veneers, although they have gradually become increasingly more affordable over the years and fallen closer in line with the cost of porcelain veneers. Unfortunately, both options are typically considered purely cosmetic, so insurance is unlikely to cover them.
Mouth with veneers being placed. Veneers are primarily cosmetic

Veneers vs. Teeth Whitening

The truth is that veneers offer much more coverage than teeth whitening. But if you aren’t looking for opaque coverage or to reshape the teeth and cover imperfections, professional teeth whitening treatment may be the way to go.


Teeth whitening can be a great alternative to veneers. Professional whitening treatments can be applied in one visit if the teeth have been prepped, so there isn’t the same delay as there is when waiting for molds to be made for veneers.


Teeth whitening may not cover stains that are intrinsic or below the surface level enamel of the tooth. Tough, stubborn stains often do not respond or cannot be cleanly erased even with the most powerful whitening treatment. This procedure can sometimes cause sensitivity, so it’s important to keep that in mind if you’re already struggling with pain or discomfort due to sensitivity.


If you’re strictly looking to whiten your teeth, veneers can rack up a hefty bill. If the discoloration is so severe that even professional whitening treatments won’t work, the veneers may become a good option for you – despite the cost. Most types of veneers are quite expensive due to the material and labor that goes into making them, as well as the knowledge and experience necessary on the part of the dentist when it comes to applying them to the teeth.

Additional Dental Veneer Alternatives

There are many ways to achieve a radiant, sparkling smile. If you have extensive damage or decaying teeth, you may be considering veneers vs. implants or veneers vs. dentures. This decision largely depends on the extent of the damage to your teeth and is a decision best made under the wise counsel of a dental professional. Another thing to bring up with your dentist is veneers vs. Invisalign – veneers can sometimes be applied to give the appearance of straightness when in reality, the same result could be achieved with a more permanent solution, such as invisible braces.

Find a Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

No matter how you go about getting it, a beautiful smile is priceless. There are many cosmetic dentistry options that can restore both the functionality and the beauty you share with the world through your smile. If you’re considering veneers vs. lumineers vs. crowns or any other combination of options and are having trouble deciding what the right choice is in your particular situation, it may be time to seek the wise counsel of a dental professional. Check out the Smile Generation search tool to find a caring, capable cosmetic dentist near you to learn more about the veneer process. Bonus tip – if you are concerned about the cost of alternatives to veneers, Smile Generation Financial is available to find the payment solutions you need to get the smile you’ve always wanted.


Find your trusted, local dentist today!




Smile Generation blog articles are reviewed by a licensed dental professional before publishing. However, we present this information for educational purposes only with the intent to promote readers’ understanding of oral health and oral healthcare treatment options and technology. We do not intend for our blog content to substitute for professional dental care and clinical advice, diagnosis, or treatment planning provided by a licensed dental professional. Smile Generation always recommends seeking the advice of a dentist, physician, or other licensed healthcare professional for a dental or medical condition or treatment. 

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