Porcelain vs Composite Veneers – Everything You Need to Know

  • Dental Health   •  Feb 22, 2021

If you are one of the many people who would like to improve your smile,  veneers could be a great option to give you a rockstar smile to be proud of!  This article explains everything you need to know about veneers and how they can help you smile brighter! 

What are Veneers?

A veneer is a thin shell made of porcelain or composite resins. Veneers are attached to the front surfaces of the teeth and are used for correcting a variety of cosmetic dental problems. Unlike crowns, which are directly placed over the teeth, veneers are indirect restorations meaning that they are prepared in the laboratory and are then bonded to the prepared tooth surface of your teeth. 

Who Can Benefit from Veneers?

Dental veneers are useful for correcting the following problems:

  • Chipped or crooked teeth 
  • Cracked teeth 
  • Permanently stained teeth which cannot be professionally whitened
  • Excessive gaps between adjacent front teeth 
  • Mildly misaligned teeth

What are Different Types of Veneers?

Dentists mainly use two types of veneers for fixing dental problems – composite and porcelain veneers. Composite veneers are prepared from polymer resins. They are similar in composition to the composites used as filling materials for damaged teeth. On the other hand, the porcelain veneers are made from high-quality dental porcelain, which are shaped and colour-matched to your natural teeth. 

Porcelain and Composite Veneers – What’s the Difference?

While both types of veneers offer excellent aesthetic results, they differ in their composition and how they are prepared in the laboratory. Knowing the difference between each veneer type can help you make an informed decision in consultation with your dentist. 

  • Aesthetics – porcelain veneers are naturally translucent, just like the outer enamel layer of our teeth. As a result, they offer lifelike aesthetics and are often difficult to distinguish from the natural teeth. Therefore, when it comes to aesthetics, the porcelain veneers offer a more natural look when compared to composite veneers. 
  • Durabilityporcelain veneers are strong and durable. Your porcelain veneers can last anywhere between 10-20 years with proper care and oral hygiene maintenance. Composite veneers, on the other hand, are not as strong or wear-resistant as the porcelain veneers and usually last  5 to 7 years.
  • Preparation Techniqueboth the porcelain and composite veneers are prepared in the dental laboratory. However, composite veneers can also be designed in our clinic. After removing a thin layer of the dental enamel (about 1mm), to create space for your veneers, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth and send it to the dental laboratory for fabrication. The fabrication of porcelain veneers is a more demanding and exacting process when compared to composite veneers.
  • Tooth Conservationone of the benefits of composite veneers is that they require less healthy tooth removal than the porcelain veneers. This is because porcelain veneers need to be prepared in greater thickness, requiring more natural tooth removal. 
  • Attachment to the Toothboth the composite and porcelain veneers are bonded to the prepared tooth structure with adhesives. However, due to the difference in their chemistry and physical properties, they are bonded using different adhesives. 
  • Repairabilityit is possible to perform minor repairs on composite veneers. In contrast, porcelain veneers have limited repairability. If damaged or broken, porcelain veneers usually need to be replaced. 
  • Costdue to their superior aesthetics and durability, porcelain veneers tend to cost more than the composite veneers. Porcelain veneers can cost you around $1650 each, while the composite veneers cost around $450 each. You can ask your dentist or insurance provider to check whether veneers are covered under your private health insurance plan.  
  • Treatment Timeporcelain veneers require more steps for their fabrication and fitting than the composite veneers. In some cases composite veneers can be prepared in our clinic whereas porcelain veneers are produced in a lab and require a number of appointments to measure, design and then fit.
  • Damage to the Opposing Teethporcelain veneers have excellent hardness and veneer resistance. Therefore, the porcelain veneers are not recommended for individuals who have a habit of grinding their teeth excessively or jaw clenching – as it can cause wear of the opposing natural tooth. 

Which Option is Best for Me?

Both the composite and porcelain veneers have their own pros and cons. Your dentist can help you choose the best option while considering various factors such as your oral health, the extent of the aesthetic flaws and your budgetary constraints. In some cases, if there is extensive tooth damage, your dentist may recommend porcelain crowns instead.

Are you looking for the best veneer dentist in Southport? Look no further! At Starbright Dental, we have a team of highly qualified and experienced dentists who know the art and skill of turning flawed smiles into rockstar, picture-perfect smiles! Book an appointment with us today and let us take care of all your dental needs under one roof.

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