Porcelain Veneer for One Front Tooth - Is This Possible?

I chipped my front upper tooth in and my dentist told me she is going to put on one veneer that will match the other teeth. She told me that nobody will notice it is a veneer. Is that possible? What are the other risks of having just one veneer? In 10 or 15 years, will there still be a match?

Doctor Answers 15

Single porcelain veneer on a middle tooth is challenging!

Doing ONE middle tooth by itself is about the toughest thing we encounter as cosmetic dentists.  The 2 middle teeth should be as close to identical as possible, or the smile tends not to look right no matter what. It's not impossible, however, and if the rest of your teeth are light in color and mostly monochromatic (uniform color-not much characterization), it becomes a little easier to manage. I usually recommend that my patients bleach first, then doing just one becomes a bit easier.

Chicago Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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A Veneer On One Tooth?

With today's ceramic technology, the possibility of placing one single veneer on a front tooth is quite feasible.  Based on the translucency of your teeth (or lack thereof), your clinician can make an educated decision on what type of ceramic is best for your particular situation so that the artificial substrate (in this case, the "porcelain veneer") will match the natural substrate (i.e., your tooth) most accurately. 

Good Luck!

Michael Gulizio, DMD, MS
Manhattan Cosmetic Dentist

One Veneer Can Look Great

I recommend you find out if your front tooth can be repaired with bonding.  If it is not possible, and bleaching and bonding will also not work, then interview until you have found the best dentist and go with a single veneer.

I have done many single veneers in the front but they are very hard and you must be committed with time and energy.  I know that my veneers have lasted over time.

Re-whitening and eventual replacement can be necessary but seeing your dentist every 6 months and good care should help it last.  You can always re-do it!!

Wendy S. Spektor, DDS
Bellevue Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

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Veneer one fron tooth - is it possible?

Most certainly one tooth can be veneered.  In cases where the tooth has a small chip, a direct composite filling is the most likely way of correcting the chip.  However, for larger chips or other problems in length, shape or color, porcelain veneers are typically better.

Of the two aforementioned, because porcelain is stronger than composite, a porcelain veneer should last way longer.  Also, you seemed to be concerned about color matching.  Porcelain veneers are extremely color stable, and should have the same color for years to come.  Composite bonding is much more likely to stain and change color over time.  

Regarding the match, doing a single upper central incisor is oftentimes considered one of the most challenging cosmetic dental restorations to do.  It's not just because of getting a perfect color match, but also there are discrepancies in the shape, length, position and gums.  Therefore, in a great majority of situations when patients have high expectations, cosmetic dentists will often advise doing two porcelain veneers instead of just one.  This allows much more control over the variables required to get the best match on the front two teeth.

If your dentist is telling you than nobody will notice that you have one veneer on your front tooth, then she seems pretty confidant in her ability.  That is great!  She'll probably do a super job for you.

Norman Huefner, DDS
Laguna Niguel Cosmetic Dentist

Single Veneer

This is the most challenging case for a cosmetic dentist. It is possible to match a single veneer to a natural tooth. It may take several attempts by the dentist and the laboratory to get the match perfectly, so be patient with the process.

It is hard to tell what will happen over time to the color. The veneer should be color stable, but your natural tooth may darken over time. 

Single Veneer on Front Tooth

Without question you can have a single veneer on a front tooth.  This is the most challenging thing to do in cosmetic dentistry,  but we do it frequently with success in our office.  The key to success with these cases is for great communication between the doctor and the laboratory that will fabricate the veneer.  The doctor should take great digital photos of  your full face, smile, and an up close photo of the front two teeth.  This will give the lab everything they need to match the shape and color of the adjacent tooth perfectly.  

Scott Young, DDS
Houston Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Single front tooth veneer.

Hi 513573anon!

You bet its possible.  With the many different types and shades of porcelain available we can match the adjacent teeth without too much difficulty. 

The downside is that over time as the non-veneered teeth naturally change shade, the veneer will start to become slightly noticeable, and you may need to change it.  Also it might take some extra time at the appointment  for custom staining. Generally a single anterior veneer will cost slightly more because of the extra customization required.

Of course the better solution is to have the veneers place symmetrically from the middle out.  This will provide you with a better and longer lasting esthetic solution.


Dr. Alper

Steve Alper, DMD
New York Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Porcelain Veneer for One Front Tooth

My lab can custom stain a simple veneer to match adjacent teeth. So to match the teeth now would not present a problem. As we get older, our teeth naturally darken (some peoples teeth darken more than others). The veneer will never stain or change color, the surrounding teeth however may stain and darken. The average life expectancy of a veneer is 10 – 15 years. Having said that, if over time bleaching methods fail to maintain a perfect match between the veneer and natural dentition, when replacing the single veneer 15 years down the road, additional veneers can then be added to brighten the smile.

Benjamin S. Fiss, DDS
Chicago Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Porcelain veneers, cosmetic dentistry

The answer is yes. Is it easy? No, however, it can be done and done well in the hands of an artistic cosmetic dentist who has a close relationship with their lab ceramist.  In almost all of our single veneer or crown cases on the front teeth, it is necessary to custom shade the veneer in the mouth to obtain that natural look that will blend in with the natural teeth.  It is not only the shade that will influence the outcome but also the shape, contours, and anatomy of the veneer.  Often, I will shape and contour the single veneer in the mouth as well.  

Finally, it is definitely worth the time and effort if all your other teeth are healthy. 

Ronald Konig DDS
Houston Cosmetic Dentist

Can One Porcelain Veneer really Match?

Matching ONE tooth is a cosmetic challenge, but it can be done and done well. Typically, in this situation you will want to use a cosmetic dentist who can show you other similar results. Many dentists think they can do this, and many do an adequate job, but few do an exceptional job. 

All your teeth change over time, so you are correct that it may not match perfectly many years later. Sometimes teeth whitening for the non-veneered teeth can make a big difference and keep the overall result looking good.

Before you have this one veneer placed, spend some time with your cosmetic dentist and review your WHOLE smile. It's possible that there may be some other minor changes you want to address. If so, then do all of them now.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.