composite vs porcelain veneers – Everything You Need To Know

If you are unhappy with your teeth and you don’t feel confident in your smile, then dental veneers could be the ideal solution. Veneers are highly effective at correcting badly shaped, broken or chipped teeth.

Veneers are designed to enhance the appearance of your teeth cosmetically. They are one of several treatment options available when you are looking for a full smile makeover. But what are the options & how can you decide which are best for you? 

Composite Veneers

Composite veneers are made of a tooth-coloured resin, which is matched with the shade of your existing teeth. It is applied to the surface of your tooth in thin layers and sculpted in your mouth to get the perfect shape and appearance. 

Composite veneers are ideal when there is discolouration, chipping or alignment issues with existing teeth and can help you achieve a confident smile. 

Porcelain Veneers

As you might expect, porcelain veneers are thin translucent shells made of porcelain that are custom made to fit over your existing teeth, covering any defects. Porcelain mimics the look of natural teeth due to its translucent nature.

When bonded correctly, the strength and durability of a veneer is comparable to that of a natural tooth. Indeed, due to a meticulous approach to veneers, we have patients who have had their veneers for many years.

Since both types of veneers have pros and cons, this article can help you understand the benefits and pitfalls of both.

Who can have veneers? 

Dental veneers can be ideal for teeth that are misshapen, chipped, broken, discoloured and stained. They can also help if the enamel on your teeth has eroded. Unlike crowns, veneers are thin and require less trimming of the existing tooth. 

Maybe your teeth are in decent shape, but you want to change the appearance, colour or shape. In this instance, veneers can be a good fit for you. 

Another instance where veneers might be a suitable option is where the tooth has worn down due to excessive grinding. 

If the tooth is quite severely damaged or broken, sometimes a crown might be a better option. Your dentist can help you to decide which option is best for you. At Alex Jones Dentistry, we offer a full smile makeover.

Composite Vs Porcelain Veneers, The Pros And Cons. 

There are many considerations with choosing porcelain veneers or composite resin veneers. Some of the factors to consider are durability, cost, permanence and how they will affect your natural teeth. here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages to consider when deciding on porcelain vs composite veneer treatment.

  • Porcelain veneers are long-lasting and durable. If you take care of them, with a good oral health routine and follow the advice of your dental practitioner, they can last 10-15 years. 
  • Composite veneers need replacing more often, as the composite resins used are not as strong and durable as porcelain. 
  • Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant from things like red wine, cigarettes, and other dark staining liquids. 
  • Composite veneers can stain and discolour over time, although modern designs have improved this significantly. 
  • If broken, a porcelain veneer can’t be repaired, your dentist will need to replace them.
  • Dentists can repair composite veneers. 
  • Porcelain veneers are more expensive than their composite counterparts. They are made in a dental lab, require more prep work and so they cost more. 
  • Porcelain veneers require at least a couple of visits to your dental practitioner to be prepared and fitted. 
  • You may need to have some of the tooth surface removed to have porcelain veneers fitted. This process is irreversible. 
  • Composite veneers bond to the surface of your tooth, and are not damaging or destructive to the original teeth. 
  • Composite veneers are overall less invasive and do less damage to the natural tooth.
  • Porcelain veneers provide a more natural appearance. 

Porcelain Veneers – The Procedure

If you are found to be a good candidate for porcelain veneers, the first step will be to visit your dentist for impressions and x-rays. 

A great cosmetic dentist will take the time to sit with you and discuss your goals. Next, the dentist will mock up the look of your new smile. A lot of time is spent on getting this right as you and your smile will be around for a long time! 

The next step is your veneers appointment. On the day of the procedure, the dentist removes a small amount of tooth enamel to create space for the thin veneer to adhere to your teeth, and not obstruct your natural bite. 

A putty mould is created of your teeth with the thin layer of enamel removed. This is then sent to a lab so your porcelain veneers can be created. 

Temporary veneers will be applied whilst you wait for the permanent porcelain ones to be fabricated in the dental laboratory. 

In your second appointment, the dentist will apply a gel to dissolve the minerals on the surface of your tooth, creating a rough surface for the porcelain veneers to adhere to solidly. 

Getting the veneers cemented in place is a quick process, and again light is used to rapidly harden the adhesive. Once this sets the veneers will be bonded to your teeth in a matter of minutes!

Composite Veneers – The Procedure

For composite veneers, the process can be done in a single visit. The dentist will clean your teeth to prepare them for the application of the composite resin. 

In preparation for the application of veneers, your dentist may need to remove a thin layer of enamel so that the material can adhere to your teeth, but this isn’t always the case, especially if the work is minor. in this case the treatment for composite veneers is minimally invasive.

Before placing the composite veneers, the dentist will etch the enamel of the teeth to help the material bond. 

Next, glue is applied to the tooth surface, to help the composite resin bond. Finally, very thin layers of the composite resin material are added to the surface of the tooth. 

This coating is hardened by using light. This process is relatively rapid. 

If the veneers are indirect, your dentist will take a mould of your teeth. The veneer is then sculpted outside of your mouth. Your dentist will then apply by etching your teeth and applying adhesive to help the composite material bond. 

When the resin material is applied, your dentist will tidy up any uneven edges and polish everything up to mirror the appearance of a natural tooth. 

The whole process is usually painless and doesn’t usually require an anaesthetic.

How long do composite veneers last?

These days, composite veneers are quite durable. They can last up to 7 years when properly cared for. Good oral hygiene routine can extend their life even further. 

Composite veneers do have a shorter life span than their porcelain counterparts which can last 10-15 years. 

Although composites handle stains quite well, some dentists may suggest you avoid things like red wine and coffee. composite veneers do not respond to teeth whitening.

The veneers can be removed and replaced by your dentist. 

How Much Do Veneers Cost? 

Cosmetic dentistry is an investment in yourself and needs to be carried out with high-quality materials and professional workmanship in order to last. Porcelain veneers can cost around £750 per tooth. We offer payment plans for veneers to help spread the cost. 

To Sum Up

If smiling has become a thing of the past, and you are self-conscious, then dental veneers could be the solution for you. Alex Jones been creating beautiful smiles for over twenty years & we are experts in cosmetic dentistry . If you are looking for a smile makeover, call our friendly team today and book a consultation with Alex Jones Dentistry. 

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