Porcelain vs. Composite Veneers

Dental veneers can really improve the look of your teeth. They’re thin shells that are made especially for you, and they’re attached to the surface of your teeth to cover up skew teeth, gaps between teeth, badly yellowed teeth or chipped and cracked ones.

If you think dental veneers will add to your confidence, discuss the procedure with your trusted cosmetic dentist, explain what you don’t like about your teeth and how you would like them to look. Your dentist will talk you through the whole process and will offer you a choice between composite and porcelain veneers. What’s the difference, and which should you choose?

How do porcelain veneers compare to composite veneers?

dental veneers

Composite veneers are cheaper and you need only visit the dentist once to get them fitted, but porcelain veneers have several advantages that may influence your choice.

  • Porcelain veneers are stronger and can last a good 15 to 20 years if you take care of them.
  • Although composite veneers look natural, porcelain veneers are more similar to natural tooth enamel.
  • The smooth surface of porcelain veneers resists staining.
  • Bonding porcelain veneers to teeth requires very little interference to the surface of the tooth.

This said, composite veneers area perfectly acceptable choice and the slight disadvantages of porcelain veneers are the reason why many people opt for composite veneers instead.

Is there are a downside to porcelain veneers?

  • Porcelain veneers are made in laboratory, while composite veneers are built up onto your tooth in the dentist’s office. You would have to see your dentist at least twice for porcelain veneers, while a composite veneer only takes one dental appointment.
  • You will pay more for porcelain veneers, and placement of the veneers may take longer.
  • If your veneers break, you will need new veneers, whereas composite veneers can be repaired.

What does the procedure consist of?

Your first appointment will last one to two hours. If you are choosing composite veneers, this will be the only visit that’s required not counting an initial checkup to see if you are a suitable candidate for dental veneers.

A tiny amount of tooth enamel is removed to accommodate the veneers. This means that you won’t notice any feeling of bulkiness, and it also prepares the tooth surface for bonding of the veneers. If you are getting composite veneers, they’ll be applied right away, but for porcelain veneers to be made, an impression is made and sent off to a lab. Depending on the amount of enamel that has to be removed, your dentist might give you temporary veneers.

Once your porcelain veneers are ready for you, you and your dentist will check them for the right fit and color, and if you are both satisfied, the dental veneers can be applied right away. A dental adhesive is used to bond them onto the surface of the teeth, and the dentist uses a curing light to set the adhesive. Now your veneers are polished, and you’re ready to face the world with a smile!

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