Is your smile being worsened by teeth discoloration, unevenness, chipping, or misalignment? Have you tried fixing that problem using cleaning, whitening or orthodontic treatment procedures with little or no success? If you answered yes to both questions, then perhaps it is time you tried dental veneers.
Dental veneers cover most teeth imperfections that keep you from smiling; they can brighten your smile and boost your self-confidence. If you are ready to achieve your best possible smile, this article is for you.
Among the most common veneer materials out there are composite resin and porcelain. Which one of the two should you go for? To help you find the answer, we shall focus on the three main deciding factors in the composite veneer vs. porcelain veneer debate: price, durability, and aesthetics.
Porcelain veneers are a custom-made layer applied to teeth in order to protect the tooth and enhance the beauty of a person’s smile. They are generally more expensive because they require more expertise, time, and resources as compared to composite tooth veneers. They are specially made in a dental laboratory and then sent to your dentist for permanent attachment to your teeth.
Because parts of your original teeth may have to be removed before the veneers are installed, alterations may need to be made before they will fit properly. This ensures a long-lasting, healthy, and perfectly functioning bite and smile.
From start to finish, your entire porcelain veneer placement procedure will take approximately 2-3 weeks.
Dental composite veneers, on the other hand, are hand-made by your dentist and their team for your mouth, so you will not need to make any additional office visits. Unless your teeth are significantly decayed or severely misaligned, your dentist will install these veneers without removing any of your tooth structure.
Besides the initial procedure, porcelain veneers become even more expensive because they cannot be repaired. If they break, they must be replaced. On the other hand, composite veneers can easily be repaired in case they are chipped or broken.
Naturally, porcelain is much stronger than composite, meaning that porcelain veneers are less susceptible to cracking and chipping. Also, because porcelain is glass-like, smooth, and impervious, these veneers are less porous, which means that they don’t get stained easily. They generally last between 10-15 years although you can extend their longevity to 20 years by maintaining the highest standards of oral hygiene.
Porcelain veneers are not affected by temperature changes; they will not wear or fracture when subjected to a hot cup of coffee or even a very cold bowl of ice cream.
Composite resin, on the other hand, mostly lasts for 5-7 years. But if you follow your dentist’s instructions to the letter, they may be perfectly fine for a year or two longer. The material is closer to reinforced plastic in nature and, therefore, too much exposure to hot drinks can make the veneers wear out faster. It is imperative that you avoid too hot or extremely cold foods and beverages. Instead, drink enough water and stay hydrated at all times for stronger gums.
Also, avoid strongly-colored, heavily pigmented, sugary, and acidic foods and drinks, for example, black coffee and red wine. Habitual grinding and clenching of your teeth, as well as cigarette smoking, can also shorten the life of your composite veneers.
Generally, both composite and porcelain veneers are harder and more resistant to damage compared to normal teeth. They will both last long if you floss daily and brush your teeth at least twice a day. That removes bacteria and food deposits that can cause a cavity underneath your veneers. Visiting your dentist at least once every six months is also a great way to protect your veneers. While you’re at it, avoid biting down on hard objects such as ice cubes, pens, hard meat, or pencils.
Opening a package or a bottle using your teeth, sustaining frequent sports injuries or accidents, excessive consumption of alcohol, and chewing gum and other sticky foods can also damage your veneers.
Because the main idea behind dental veneers is to restore your original smile, both porcelain, and composite resin will be fitted to match your smile as much as possible. Dentists try to color-match veneers so that they can blend in with your natural teeth. Also, both porcelain and composite veneers hold tightly to your tooth structure to create a solid, firm tooth restoration, making them unnoticeable.
That being said, however, porcelain veneers are often indistinguishably similar to natural teeth, whereas composite veneers are shaded to match your natural smile. The ceramic-like nature of porcelain gives it an uncanny ability to mimic natural teeth. Its translucent quality enables it to react to different lighting conditions almost in the same manner that tooth enamel does.
Composite veneers, on the other hand, need to be sufficiently flossed and polished in order to appear natural. Glazing the composite once in a while can leverage the natural translucency of the enamel so as to make it look less plastic and more enamel in appearance.
1. Are Composite Veneers better than porcelain?
Yes and no.
•Yes, because composite veneers are cheaper, they are easy to fabricate and install, and they are reversible (They require minimal reshaping of your natural teeth in order to fit).
•No, because they aren’t as durable as porcelain.
2. What is the best material for veneers?
At the end of the day, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all best veneer material. In most cases, however, dentists will typically use porcelain veneers for severely cracked or misaligned teeth and composite resin to fix mild problems, such as teeth discoloration or minor chipping.
Bottom line: The best thing is to discuss your aesthetic goals and other personal considerations with your dentist so that they can help you choose the right veneer material for your needs.
3. Do composite veneers ruin your teeth?
No, they don’t. The veneers are bonded to your natural teeth using a harmless resin that doesn’t affect tooth enamel or gums in any way. As a matter of fact, composite veneers protect your teeth from damages and/or straining.
Whichever veneer material you choose, you can be sure that it will restore the functionality and comfort of your original tooth, while at the same time maintaining the aesthetic appearance of your real tooth. That is, of course, if you choose the right cosmetic dentist to do the procedure for you.