Porcelain Vs. Composite Veneers: Everything You Wanted to Know
December 2, 2021 – Dr. Patty
So you’ve finally decided to get veneers. Great! A good set of veneers can permanently transform a less-than-perfect smile into an Instagram-ready grin in just a few appointments.
Veneers are the restoration of choice for celebrities, influencers, and just about anyone looking for a beautifully aligned, pearly-white smile. Why? Because they’re fully customizable, allowing you to achieve exactly the look that you’re going for. In other words, veneers let you alter the shape of your teeth to make them bigger, smaller, whiter, fix that chip you got when you fell on your face wearing 5-inch heels, and everything in between.
That being said, the decision to get veneers is not something to be taken lightly. Since veneers are a big investment, and a permanent or semi-permanent solution, you first want to make sure you’re covered on all the facts. In this article, we’re breaking down the two main types of veneers: composite and porcelain – so you can make the best decision possible when it comes to your smile makeover.
But first – what are veneers, exactly?
Basically, a dental veneer is an ultra-thin, color-toothed layer designed to cover the outer surface of a tooth. Veneers come in different materials and are typically custom-made based on your face shape, desired outcome, and the current state of your teeth. You can have as little as one or two veneers put in to cover a specific imperfection, or you can opt for a full mouth makeover with 10 or more veneers for a completely new and improved smile.
What are the different types of veneers?
These days, veneers are so popular that you’ll find people selling all sorts of “fake teeth” online and calling them veneers. Don’t be fooled, though. One-size-fits-all clip-on smiles are not only not veneers — they also never look realistic and can actually harm your natural teeth. There are only two main types of real veneers: composite and porcelain, sometimes called ceramic veneers. Here’s a rundown on both:
Porcelain, which is a translucent type of ceramic, is by far the superior material for achieving the most flawless, natural-looking smile possible. Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin shells custom-made to fit directly over your teeth. They are stronger, more durable, and higher quality than composite veneers. Premium porcelain veneers, like the ones offered at Dr. Patty Miami, are handmade by top artisan ceramicists at specialized dental labs.
One thing that makes porcelain veneers so stunning is that they are translucent, meaning that they catch light just like natural teeth would. This gives them a super realistic depth effect that can’t be matched by composite veneers or snap-on teeth.
While the process for porcelain veneers is more involved and requires more visits, they are also significantly more robust and extremely durable. With proper care, porcelain veneers can last 10 to 15 years without chipping, staining, or losing their shine.
Potential disadvantages of porcelain veneers include:
- More expensive than composite
- May not be suitable for badly damaged or weakened teeth
- Longer process: require more than one visit and waiting for the custom-made pieces to arrive
Composite veneers are made from tooth-colored composite resin, the same material used with fillings and teeth bonding. They tend to be slightly more affordable than porcelain veneers and have the advantage of being sculpted directly into the tooth, which means that you can walk out with a new smile in just one appointment.
Another advantage to composite veneers is that they require minimal prep work on your teeth, and the material can be easily repaired or replaced by your dentist. And since your natural teeth are only minimally altered, composite veneers can be reversed or removed if necessary.
However, there are a few downsides to composite veneers that are worth considering:
- Composite veneers are more susceptible to discoloration or staining from smoking, drinking dark-colored beverages, eating dark foods or spices, and more
- They need to be refreshed or replaced more frequently
- The material is not as strong as porcelain and may chip more often
- Harder to achieve the same natural results as porcelain; the results rely heavily on the skill of the dentist
The verdict: composite vs. porcelain veneers – which is best?
Whether you want a full makeover or are looking to fix a couple of flawed teeth, dental veneers are a minimally invasive restoration that can make a huge aesthetic difference. The decision between composite and porcelain veneers largely depends on your goals, budget, and the current state of your teeth, but porcelain are generally the better-quality option.
It’s important to note, however, that at the end of the day, the success of your veneers will depend greatly on the skill of your dentist rather than the materials. Contact Dr. Patty Miami (###-###-####) or [click here] to book a free consultation and learn more about veneers today.
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