What Is the Difference Between Composite and Porcelain Veneers?
Veneers are often recommended for patients who have cracked, chipped, or stained teeth. These shells cover minor dental imperfections and give patients brighter, straighter smiles in minimal time. As an added bonus, there is often no discomfort when being fitted. Patients should understand the differences between composite and porcelain materials to have a knowledgeable discussion with the dentist as to which kind would be ideal for the individual's situation.
What are the differences between veneer types?
It may surprise patients to know that there are two prominent types of veneers. Both are designed to fit over the patient’s (usually front) teeth and adhere to the surface of the enamel. Both are also engineered to be a good match for human teeth in terms of size, shape, and color; however, there are significant differences between composite and porcelain options.
Composite veneers are made of engineered resin. This material is strong and durable, and the finished product looks like real teeth. If a patient desires reshaping, this can be performed by the dentist.
Composite can be quickly repaired if it is broken. A minor downside is that it may not look as realistic as porcelain. However, it is a great option for many patients, and it often depends on what the person’s wishes are for restoring or repairing the smile. For an entire smile makeover, though, porcelain may be a better choice.
Porcelain is more translucent than composite material; it reflects light similarly to natural tooth enamel. In short, this material looks the most like real teeth; however, this type of veneer is permanent, and it takes more time and money to replace one if it is broken. When taking into account the initial cost of porcelain and the fact that these veneers do not chip or break as readily as composite, it could be argued that the cost of the porcelain is evened out over time.
When should patients consider one type over the other?
While both porcelain and composite materials are utilized to fix minor dental issues or give patients with chipped or stained teeth a completely new smile, there are advantages to choosing one over the other. Patients who wish to get veneers as quickly as possible may want to go with composite ones. These can often be applied in one visit and polished to match the surrounding teeth.
Porcelain can be more costly than composite, and it often takes more time to make the mold for the patient’s teeth and adhere the appliance to the enamel. The wait is worth it, though: This type can last almost a decade longer than composite if cared for properly!
Neither type will be the right option for every patient. Choosing the right material is a personal process that must be discussed with a licensed dentist. This decision must take into account dental needs, lifestyle, and how well the patient cares for natural teeth. Whichever option is selected, for patients who desire a fresh look and a brighter smile, veneers are an affordable, durable option that can last for years.
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