Composite or Porcelain veneers! With modern dentistry, dentists don’t have any barriers in designing and delivering the exact smile you desire. With several tried and true procedures, dentists can improve the shape, shade, and position of your teeth, to create a nature and esthetic smile that matches your smile type, face, and personality.
However, whenever consulting with dentists on these procedures, we are often left with one crucial choice to make. The choice has to do with the type of material to be used for your smile makeover: composite or porcelain.
In the hands of an experienced dentist, both materials can provide profound results, but which type is right for you and your goals? In this article, we hope to give you all the information you need to make the right decision.
What Are Composite Veneers?
Composite is a general term used for “white filling” materials. They come in many different shades and formulations, from many different manufacturers. The main use of dental composite is to restore cavities and replace those cavities with fillings that look and feel exactly like your natural tooth. Because these dental composites come in different shades, they can also be molded as a thin covering on the outer face of your teeth, therefore controlling the shade and shape of your tooth.
Composite Veneers: Time Advantage
The main advantage of composite veneers is time. Composite veneers can be fabricated while you wait, either actually hand sculpted by your dentist, or manufactured by a dental laboratory, and delivered on the same day. The tooth shaped composite is applied directly to your tooth, bonded, and hardened with a high intensity light. Once finished, the resin must be polished to elicit a more natural tooth like appearance.
Composite Veneers: Cost Advantage
The other advantage of composite veneers, as compared to porcelain is cost. Because composite filling materials are generally cheaper than porcelain, you can expect a cost of between $300- $900 per tooth. On the other hand, porcelain veneers can cost up to twice as much, as porcelain is a more expensive material and has to be carefully hand crafted by a dental laboratory to exactly match your smile makeover goals.
Downsides of Composite Veneers
However, there are some downsides also. Dental composites, when applied as a thin layer, are more prone to fracture and chipping. When composite veneers chip, they can be fixed by reapplying composite to the chipped area, but once chipped; the veneer is more prone to further fracture. On average, studies have shown that composite veneers have a lifespan of 3-5 years.
The other downside is aesthetics. A natural healthy tooth has many different shades within on tooth, and is not one uniform shade of white. Unfortunately, since dental composites only come in uniform shades, when applied to the tooth, studies have shown that one’s smile can be viewed as less natural than an untouched tooth.
What Are Porcelain Veneers
Veneers are porcelain facings that are bonded to the front surfaces of your teeth to perfect the shape, size, and colour of your teeth. Veneers can also be used to close gaps between teeth, smooth rough surfaces, repair chips, change the shape of an uneven smile, and a solution for those stains that never go away.
Porcelain Veneer Pros and Cons
The main advantage of porcelain veneers is durability. Porcelain is much stronger than composite resin. If porcelain veneers are maintained properly, they can last up to 15-20 years on average.
Furthermore, most dentists agree that porcelain veneers offer the most natural and tooth like esthetics. Porcelain has a translucent quality that is quite similar to tooth enamel. It is also highly resistant to staining and chipping due to the strength of the material and the glaze that is applied after treatment. On the other hand, composite veneers are more porous and therefore susceptible to staining, meaning that you may need to adjust your diet in order to avoid certain stain-causing foods. Composite also needs to be polished in order to achieve a tooth-like esthetic. And even then it doesn’t quite compare.
More Viable Solutions
Moreover, porcelain veneers offer a viable treatment solution for all cases of worn enamel, wear, and tear, genetic defects, uneven teeth, etc. Composites may not be a viable option for severe concerns. For example, significant discoloration or spacing issues may not be adequately treatable with composite veneers, making porcelain your only option.
The main downside of porcelain veneers is the time taken for the procedure to be completed. Usually, porcelain veneers take two appointments to complete, because the actual porcelain needs to be designed and manufactured by a dental laboratory. This needs to be done in order to meticulously design each tooth to your desires, capturing all the details involved in creating a natural esthetic smile.
Let’s talk about it
Choosing the right option for your smile makeover can seem like a daunting process. It is very important to speak to your dentist to choose the option for you, as not all procedures are suitable for all cases. It is important to choose a procedure that is right for your immediate and long-term goals.
Feel free to reach out to any of our locations, to speak to any of our dentists to choose the right pathway for you.
Luna Dentistry Mount Pleasant
Luna Dentistry Richmond Hill