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Zirconia Veneers – Benefits, Procedure, Costs & more

December 29, 2021

Since their invention by Californian dentist Charles Pincus in 1928, dental veneers have come a long way. In this guide, we’re going to give you the low-down on Zirconia veneers – a type of veneer that has boomed in popularity in recent years.

We’ll look at

  • What veneers are
  • The pros and cons of zirconia veneers
  • Procedure and costs of fitting zirconia veneers
  • Zirconia veneers vs porcelain and Emax veneers

and more. Before we get into Zirconia veneers, let’s look at them.

What are veneers?

What are Veneers

Did you know that 71% of Brits are not confident about smiling for a photo? Discoloured teeth seem to be the main culprit. So if you have chipped, uneven, stained, or discoloured teeth, veneers could be perfect for you. So what are veneers, exactly? Veneers are thin covers for your teeth. Think of them as clip-on nails or false nails but for teeth. Veneers are usually made of porcelain or composite bonding material and they are attached to the front surface of your teeth using dental bonding cement to create a more symmetrical or aesthetically pleasing look.

The most common types of veneers include

What is zirconia?

Two terms to understand here. Zirconium and Zirconia. Zirconium (Zr) is a METAL. It’s super strong and is quite similar to Titanium concerning its physical and chemical properties. Zirconia, on the other hand, is a CERAMIC. Also known as zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), it is formed by combining oxygen and zirconium at high temperatures. Zirconia that is used in dental implants and veneers is called partially stabilised zirconia that also contains traces of yttrium oxide.

Are Zirconia Veneers good?

Are Zirconia Veneers Good

A resounding YES! Why?

1. Their strength is unrivalled

Zirconia has been rightly termed “ceramic steel” as it’s the strongest ceramic material around. 10 times stronger than your tooth enamel, in fact.

2. They are durable

Zirconia veneers can last anywhere between 10 to 30 years with proper care, of course.

3. They are biocompatible

Zirconia is the most biocompatible dental material around, after gold. This means zirconia will not react to any chemicals in your mouth. Due to the lack of metal sub-structures, Zirconia veneers don’t cause allergies such as gingival recession, swelling, bleeding, etc., that porcelain veneers could cause at times.

What are the other pros of zirconia veneers?

  • They are as natural as it gets and blends in well with the rest of your teeth.
  • Better stain resistance. Can resist stains caused by tea, coffee, and even nicotine.
  • Fatigue resistance. They don’t break easily.
  • Withstand chewing. Can be used even for your posterior teeth as it can resist strong chewing and grinding.
  • Zirconia veneers are lighter in comparison to other veneers with metal supports.
  • No metal taste. They don’t cause that weird metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Smooth exterior. This means low to no abrasion of your surrounding teeth and gums.
  • Unparalleled comfort. They are so comfortable that you won’t even know they are there.

What are the cons of zirconia veneers?

  • Not an easy procedure. Fitting zirconia veneers takes a high level of experience as it is different from the fitting procedures of other types of dental veneers.
  • Longer procedure time. Dentists are required to follow a special protocol for fitting these veneers that usually takes longer than other veneer-fitting procedures.
  • Longer tooth preparation time. It takes a longer time to prepare your tooth enamel before your cosmetic dentist can fit the zirconia veneers.
  • Hard to adjust. Once your veneers are fitted, adjusting them is not easy.
  • Since the procedure requires high precision and expertise, zirconia veneers are pricier than other types of veneers.

What is the procedure for Zirconia veneers?

What is the procedure for Zirconia Veneers

At Natural Smiles, we follow the below procedure.

1. Preliminary appointment

Our experts will conduct a complete checkup of your dental cavity including X-rays to assess if you have any gum disease, tooth decay, or other dental issues. That’ll help us ascertain if veneers are the right option for you. We will also discuss your preferences and plan your smile using our Digital Smile Design software.

2. Tooth enamel preparation

The next step is removing a thin layer of your enamel (around 0.3mm).

This is to:

  • Make some space so that we can fix the veneer onto your tooth smoothly
  • Ensure your bite is not obstructed

Not to worry, though. You won’t feel any pain, but just as a precaution, we might give you a local anaesthetic.

3. Teeth impression

After this, we will take an impression of your teeth using a putty mould and also figure out your natural tooth shade. These details will be sent to our lab where our technicians will craft a bespoke veneer just for you. We will fit temporary veneers onto your teeth in the meanwhile.

4. Permanent veneer placement

After receiving your customised veneers and removing your temporary veneers, we will place your brand new veneers on your teeth and make any final tweaks to the fit, shape, colour, etc., if required. Once you’re happy with the look and feel of your veneers, we will proceed to deep clean your teeth.

Next, we’ll bond your veneers onto your teeth with some dental cement and also “cure” them using UV light to harden the adhesive. Finally, we’ll clean up any excess dental cement and ensure that the veneers fit you well and that your bite is perfect.

How much do Zirconia veneers cost?

The price of fitting a zirconia veneer can range anywhere between £675 to £1200.

Zirconia veneers vs porcelain and Emax veneers

In terms of strength, biocompatibility, and durability – zirconia veneers lead the pack.








Most biocompatible

Translucent and natural-looking

Most translucent


 20 years or more

10-15 years

Up to 15 years

Can be colour-matched












Tooth enamel removal


Yes (approx. 0.5 mm)

Very minimal

Veneer thickness

0.5 mm

0.5 mm

0.3 mm

Final words

Zirconia veneers can be an amazing way to restore your smile and your confidence. And now that your questions such as

  • Are zirconia veneers good?
  • Are zirconia veneers better than porcelain veneers?
  • How long do zirconia veneers last?

are finally answered, you’re just a few steps away from getting your bespoke veneers. Visit Natural Smiles or book a free consultation today.

Book your FREE consultation now

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