Have you ever looked at someone with a perfect smile and wondered how they achieved it? For many people, the answer is dental veneers. Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are placed over the front surface of a tooth to improve its appearance and to enhance the overall look of your smile. If you are considering having veneers placed, it is important to note that there are different types of dental veneers: composite and porcelain. Porcelain veneers are a popular choice for those looking to improve their smile, as they offer many benefits over composite veneers. If you’re considering getting veneers, read on to learn more about veneers, as well as the benefits of porcelain veneers over composite veneers.
Veneers can correct a range of cosmetic concerns.
Dental veneers are one of the most commonly performed cosmetic dental procedures because they can correct a number of cosmetic concerns all at once. Additionally, veneers can also be used to protect the teeth and prevent the need for other restorative treatments.
At a glance, veneers can correct:
- Damaged teeth, such as those with cracks, chips, or a dull appearance.
- Enamel erosion, which occurs when diet, genetics, and/or certain medications causes the enamel to wear down over time.
- Sensitive teeth, which occurs when the enamel wears down and exposes the dentin. In this case, veneers can act as a protective shield to decrease sensitivity.
- Spacing issues, such as gaps between the teeth or overlapping teeth.
- Stains, which can occur due to diet, age, genetics, or certain medications. Veneers are especially helpful for stains that do not respond to teeth whitening treatments.
- Uneven teeth, which can occur as a result of wear and tear, an uneven bite, or genetics. Veneers can correct teeth that are too small, mismatched, or oddly shaped to create a more uniform smile.
What are composite veneers?
Composite veneers are a type of dental veneer made from dental composite, which is a mixture of resin and glass. In fact, this composite is the same material used for composite fillings and cosmetic bonding. Dental composite is applied to the tooth as a thick liquid or gel, and then shaped by the dentist. The final veneer is then hardened over the natural tooth structure using a special curing light.
Because the veneers can be fabricated directly in the mouth during a single office visit, composite veneers are known as direct restorations. This is one main reason why people choose composite veneers. Additionally, composite veneers can also be placed quicker and are a more affordable option compared to porcelain veneers.
- Made of dental composite
- Same material used for composite fillings
- Direct restoration
What are porcelain veneers?
Like their name suggests, porcelain veneers are a type of dental veneer made from porcelain. Dental porcelain, also sometimes known as dental ceramic, is a biocompatible dental material that is known for its natural appearance. In fact, porcelain offers the same type of translucency as natural teeth. Additionally, porcelain is also extremely durable and resistant to both damage and staining.
Unlike composite veneers, porcelain veneers are classified as indirect restorations. This means that they are custom-made by a dental laboratory to fit the specific shape and desired color of each tooth. Because of this, two dental appointments are needed to place porcelain veneers.
During the first visit, the dentist will prepare your teeth by removing a small layer of enamel. This is necessary to make room for the veneers and to ensure that they fit properly on the surface of your teeth. Once your teeth have been prepared, a dental impression will be taken and sent to the laboratory. This information will be used to customize each individual veneer. The second visit is then used to bond the veneers into place using a special type of cement.
- Made from dental porcelain (aka: ceramic)
- Known for durability and stain resistance
- Indirect restoration
Benefits of Choosing Porcelain Veneers
When comparing porcelain and composite veneers, there are several key differences to consider. These key differences are what make porcelain veneers superior to composite veneers.
Porcelain veneers are more durable than composite veneers
Porcelain veneers offer a durable and long-lasting smile makeover solution for individuals wishing to correct cosmetically imperfect smile results. Porcelain ranks as a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, while enamel ranks as a 5-6 and dental composite ranks at a 5. Porcelain’s hardness makes it the preferred type of veneer for those seeking a more permanent smile result, as porcelain is not prone to chips, cracks, or surface abrasions.
Porcelain veneers resist staining better than composite veneers
Porcelain veneers come with a lot of advantages compared to composite veneers, and one of them is being more resistant to staining. Both dental composite and enamel are porous, meaning that they absorb colored pigments found in foods and drinks. This ultimately means that stains or discolorations will form over time as more pigments are absorbed. Porcelain, on the other hand, is a non-porous material that does not absorb colored pigments. This means that it won’t change color over time due to external sources. In fact, porcelain veneers are recommended for people who consume coffee and other colorful foods frequently since they will look like new longer than their composite counterparts!
Porcelain veneers give your teeth a natural appearance
Porcelain veneers are an excellent choice for those looking to give their teeth a cosmetic upgrade without looking like they had dental work done. For starters, porcelain can be designed in various shades to match the desired smile look. Not only that, but porcelain offers the same translucency as tooth enamel, meaning that the veneers will be indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Finally, porcelain veneers are thicker than their composite counterparts, which means they will completely conceal the underlying tooth. Some types of composite veneers are too thin, which allows the underlying tooth to be visible and takes away a natural appearance. Porcelain veneers can be fabricated to perfectly reflect the color, shape and size alterations you want to give you a naturally beautiful smile.
Composite veneers can be less expensive than porcelain veneers, but they don’t last as long
One of the most common reasons people opt for composite veneers is due to their affordability. While it is true that composite veneers are the more affordable of the two, they do not last nearly as long. Porcelain veneers can remain on your teeth for many years with proper care and maintenance, whereas composite is usually only temporary. On average, porcelain veneers can last around 10-15 years, while composite veneers only have a lifespan ranging 5-7 years. This means that you could actually end up spending more money on composite veneers in the long run. Not only that, but you’d be spending more and getting less benefits for your money. It’s best to think about these factors carefully before making a choice and discussing them with your dentist in order to choose the option that is best for your budget and needs.
Choose the right type of veneer for your needs – talk to your dentist about which one is best for you
Different types of veneers have different features. While composite veneers are primarily valued as convenient solutions that can produce results instantly, porcelain veneers provide more benefits in the long run.
Here is a table comparing composite and porcelain veneers:
|Feature||Composite Veneers||Porcelain Veneers|
|Material||Resin and Glass||Ceramic|
|Resistance to Stains||Lower||Higher|
|Placement Time||Single Visit||Multiple Visits|
Note: The information presented in the table is a generalization and may not apply to all cases. The best way to determine which type of veneer is right for you is to consult with a dental professional.
In conclusion, both composite and porcelain veneers can correct a range of cosmetic concerns, however porcelain veneers offer several benefits over composite veneers, including:
- Porcelain veneers are more durable than composite veneers
- Porcelain veneers resist staining better than composite veneers
- Porcelain veneers give your teeth a natural appearance
- Porcelain veneers are long-lasting
While they may be more expensive and require more than one visit to the dentist, they are a good investment for those looking to improve the appearance of their smile. If you are considering dental veneers, it is important to discuss your options with one of our cosmetic dentists today to find out which type of veneer is best for you.