What are veneers?
Veneers are thin laminate coverings that can be applied to teeth to reshape them and transform your smile. Different materials can be used for this process but the two most common are composite resin and porcelain.
If you’re considering using veneers to enhance your smile, you should first speak with your dentist to find out if you are a good candidate. Sometimes a whitening procedure can solve discoloration or more robust orthodontic work may be necessary to solve alignment or jaw problems.
Additionally, people who grind their teeth during their sleep might not be good candidates for veneers, as consistent grinding pressure will weaken veneers quickly. Sometimes this can be resolved with the use of a bite guard or other retainer type.
Veneers are used to correct aesthetic issues and acute color correction, but they are not used for strengthening or replacing decaying teeth nor can they be used if the patient is seeking treatment for gum disease.
Once you are sure you are a candidate, you should be informed about composite vs porcelain veneer options as they both have advantages and disadvantages.
Composite veneers are made using a resin that is added in layers directly to teeth. Each layer is sculpted to build the desired length and shape of the tooth and then cured using a high-intensity light. The new veneers can then be polished to achieve a more natural tooth-like look.
Composite veneers can be color-matched to your teeth. The resin is a popular choice for fillings for this reason. Unlike porcelain, composite veneers can be applied in one visit as they are sculpted directly onto teeth the same day. Because of this, composite veneers are also much more affordable than porcelain ones.
Porcelain veneers are roughly twice as expensive as composite. The price of veneers is usually calculated per tooth, which means this difference becomes more extreme depending on the amount of work needed to get the results you want.
If you only need small repairs done, like to resolve small chips, slight discoloration or minor misalignment, composite veneers are an excellent choice because they can be applied quickly and cost-effectively.
Composite veneers are good for a quick and easy fix, but they aren’t meant to last as long as porcelain veneers. Composite veneers, with excellent care, can last from 5-7 maybe even 10 years at an absolute maximum. They aren’t as strong as their competitors and can be damaged with improper care. Luckily, damaged composite is relatively easy to fix. It can be resculpted with more resin to repair.
Composite veneers also stain easily, so patients will have to adjust their diets to avoid foods like coffee, red wine or tobacco — anything that could discolor the resin. That kind of lifestyle change is not always easy. If you can’t give up your daily cup, maybe you should consider a different type of veneer.
Porcelain is recommended for more serious aesthetic concerns, where much of the visual area must be reconstructed. Porcelain veneers require much more time and resources to make, which means typically two or more visits to the dentist as the veneers are fabricated in the lab and your teeth are prepared to have the veneers attached.
Porcelain veneers are one of the most popular choices because they are the most like natural teeth in appearance. They have a similar shine and reaction to light as real enamel. They are also much stronger than composite resin, lasting a solid 10-15 years with good care.
Porcelain’s slight translucence and authentic feel will allow you to own your smile and know that these teeth have always been yours. Additionally, porcelain veneers are highly stain resistant, so you can keep drinking coffee and wine without having to adjust your way of life. If you’ve been struggling with low confidence and want to reconstruct your look, porcelain will be the most lifelike and life-changing way to do that.
The process of making and attaching porcelain veneers is much more involved, so it is also more expensive. The veneers have to be made in a dental laboratory to specifications before they are put on. Before being attached, teeth must be prepared by trimming back the enamel on the outer surface as well as the bite area. It will take at least two visits before the job is done, and it will cost significantly more.
If they get chipped or broken, repairing a porcelain veneer is not easy. The veneer must be completely remade and replaced. Once you get porcelain veneers, you can’t go back. But, if you’re committed to the decision of revitalizing your smile and your life, why would you want to?
And the Winner Is…?
Composite versus porcelain veneers is not a quick decision, but it is an important one. Your choice will depend on what’s most important to you, and ultimately what you’re looking to gain from your new smile.
Composite veneers offer the chance to correct minor imperfections for a reasonable price and an easy dental visit. Porcelain veneers are more expensive but the look and feel of natural teeth is a hard thing to pass up. For someone looking for a temporary or reversible option, composite veneers can be removed or replaced later on, while porcelain is a lifetime commitment, but long-lasting and durable.
Whatever you decide, know that both can offer you the opportunity to change or hide visible flaws. With either composite or porcelain veneers, you can reclaim your look and be comfortable showing your teeth again. You deserve the chance to own your smile and let the world see the real you.
Still not sure which option is best for you? Give Dr. Mogren a call. Here at Mogren Dentistry, we offer veneers, as well as inlays and overlays, whitening, and a variety of additional cosmetic dentistry services. Give our office a call at 231-737-5500 or schedule your appointment online today.