Porcelain or Composite Dental Veneers?
Individuals that are uncomfortable showing off their smile due to crookedness, stains or chips can benefit from dental veneers as they can improve appearance, thus boosting confidence. Composite and porcelain materials are the two options available, but knowing which to choose can prove to be difficult. This article covers what you need to know about each option to help make a choice.
Overview of dental veneers
Dental veneers are thin shells that are custom-fit and bonded to the front surface of the teeth. They can be fabricated from porcelain or strong composite resin.
These restorations can mask dental flaws, including chips, minor gaps or stains that cannot be removed with professional teeth whitening. Since the process requires minimal removal of the natural tooth enamel, they are considered more conservative than dental crowns, which are usually used to strengthen a severely decayed or damaged tooth.
Since they are produced to match the color and shape of the natural teeth, porcelain dental veneers look very much like natural teeth, so much so that it can be hard to tell them apart. They are highly durable, strong and resistant to stains. The procedure is irreversible because placing the dental veneer requires removing part of the tooth enamel to make room, meaning patients need to be sure of the decision. With good maintenance, they can last up to 10 years or more.
Applying the dental veneer
Porcelain veneers need to be created in a dental lab. The first step is to agree on the needed improvements and create a treatment plan. The dentist will prepare the tooth that will get the veneer by removing a portion of the tooth enamel on the front and side. Afterward, they will make impressions of the teeth, determine the proper shade and transfer them to the lab.
Since it takes about a week or two to complete the production of dental veneers, the dentist may place temporary ones on the teeth for protection. When the final dental veneers are ready, the fit, color and shape will be checked and any required adjustments will be made before the dental professional bonds the veneer to the teeth permanently.
Composite resin is a less expensive, tooth-colored material used for dental veneers. Composite veneers may be produced in the lab, with the same process required for porcelain ones. Alternatively, composite veneers can be fabricated and placed by the dentist during a single appointment.
After preparing and reshaping the teeth, the dentist will select the shade and apply the composite material directly over the tooth. They will sculpt it as desired and harden it with a special light to bond it over the tooth. They will smoothen and polish the tooth to give it a natural appearance.
Composite resin requires less preparation and is easier to repair than porcelain veneers. They can be completed in a single visit. However, they are not as durable as porcelain veneers and tend to wear down faster.
Dental veneers are a life-long commitment, so you need to be aware of the options before settling for a veneer material. The general dentist will work with patients to choose the best option in order to make smile improvements.
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