Dental veneers are thin shells that are placed on the front surface of the teeth to improve their appearance. They are used to cover flaws such as cracks, chips, discoloration or gaps in teeth. Veneers are essentially tooth-shaped covers that go over the front of your whole tooth.
There are two types of dental veneers, composite and porcelain veneers. Both types of veneers have their own advantages and disadvantages. The choice between them usually depends on the patient’s preference. Read on to find out what type of veneers are best for you.
What are Composite Veneers?
Composite veneers are made from a tooth-coloured resin material that is bonded to the tooth. They are a relatively inexpensive option compared to porcelain veneers and can be attached in a single appointment.
Composite veneers are also reversible meaning they can easily be replaced or even removed altogether if you’re not happy with them. This makes them a good option for patients who want to try out veneers before committing to a permanent solution. Composite veneers require less tooth reduction than porcelain veneers as they can be bonded directly onto the surface of your teeth.
What are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers can be made from porcelain, as the name suggests, however they are usually made from a ceramic material which is why they are also known as ceramic veneers. The ceramic material is custom-made for each patient so they get the perfect fit for their teeth.
If you’re wanting your veneers to look more realistic, porcelain or ceramic is what you are wanting as they are able to mimic the same translucency and shine of real teeth. This creates a far more natural-looking appearance.
Porcelain veneers are more durable than composite veneers meaning you’re less likely to chip them while eating. They are also resistant to stains and discoloration which over time will help make sure they look as good as the day you got them.
For preparation, your dentist will need to file down your existing teeth in order to fit the veneer cover over the front surface. This means they cannot be removed as your teeth will permanently be reshaped. The only time they will be removed is when new porcelain veneers are replacing your old ones. The dentist will then make impressions of your teeth and send them off to a lab to make the veneers. In the meantime, you will be given temporary veneers to wear. Once your veneers are ready, they will be applied with an adhesive glue, in much the same way as composites.
Cost of Composite Veneers Vs Porcelain (Ceramic) Veneers
Composite Veneers start from £400 and Porcelain/Ceramic start from £750. Porcelain veneers are more expensive however you’re paying for the durability and other benefits they have.
How Long Do Composite & Porcelain Veneers Last?
Composite veneers can last around 5 to 7 years however this also depends on how well you care for your teeth. The amount of composite used is also a factor.
Porcelain veneers typically last between 10 and 15 years when cared for properly as they are made from a more durable material.
How Do You Maintain Composite & Porcelain Veneers?
Maintaining your veneers whether they are made from composite or porcelain/ceramic is very similar.
You should make sure to practise correct oral hygiene which involves:
- Brushing twice a day with a dentist-approved toothpaste.
- Flossing between teeth.
- Using mouthwash.
- Have regular dental checkups.
- Get your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist.
Another way to care for your veneers is to avoid chewing on anything hard. Things like toffees, boiled sweets and nuts can damage veneers causing them to crack the same way real teeth can. Obviously don’t use your teeth as tools to remove or open things either.
Composite veneers can stain so it’s best to limit or avoid dark-coloured food and drinks. If you want them to maintain that pearly white look, try not to drink coffee or wine too often. Smoking is also not recommended.
Grinding your teeth, known as bruxism, can easily damage veneers over time while also wearing your teeth’s natural enamel down too so you should avoid doing this.
Composite Veneers Vs Porcelain Veneers: Which is Right For Me?
The choice between composite and porcelain/ceramic veneers depends on the individual patient and their specific needs. A consultation with a qualified dental professional can help patients determine which option is best for them. With proper care and maintenance, both composite and porcelain veneers can provide patients with a beautiful, long-lasting solution for improving their smile.
The condition of the patient’s teeth should also be considered when deciding between these options. Patients with extensive wear, decay, or other dental problems may require more extensive treatment meaning porcelain veneers may be the best option. Those with a strong bite may also prefer the durability that porcelain veneers provide.