What Is The Difference Between Porcelain Veneers Vs. Composite Veneers?
Whether you want a complete smile makeover or a simple fix to a cosmetic dental problem, dental veneers are the ideal option. Dental veneers are thin wafers of porcelain or composite resin attached to the front face of your teeth to transform their external appearance. The dentist takes accurate impressions of your teeth, selects the appropriate shade, and applies the veneer to your teeth, transforming their external appearance. You can opt for dental veneers to correct or conceal a wide range of cosmetic flaws, such as stains on your teeth, gaps between your teeth, minor misalignment issues, intrinsically discolored teeth, and minor cracks on the teeth.
Dental veneers are available in two types: porcelain veneers and composite veneers. Porcelain veneers are made of thin shells of porcelain that are attached to the outer surface of your teeth, usually after shaving off some of the existing enamel. Composite veneers are engineered composite resin materials applied to the outer surface of your teeth. Both porcelain veneers and composite veneers can be matched according to your specific teeth’ shape and shade, thus improving your overall smile. But porcelain veneers and composite veneers also bear some major differences in terms of time, durability, aesthetics, and cost. Below, we highlight the differences between porcelain veneers vs. composite veneers.
Composite veneers are considered to be faster and more efficient than porcelain veneers. The entire composite veneers procedure can be completed in one dental visit. The dentist examines your teeth, takes accurate impressions of the shade of your teeth, and selects the ideal shade for the veneers (if you want to brighten your smile). After preparing and etching your teeth, the cosmetic dentist carefully applies the composite resin material to the front face of your teeth, following which a special light hardens the material. Finally, the cosmetic dentist polishes the composite veneers, so you can walk out of the dental clinic with a new smile!
Porcelain veneers generally take more time than composite veneers. In most cases, the entire porcelain veneer process takes two sessions spaced a few weeks apart. During the first session, the cosmetic dentist takes impressions of your teeth and removes a very thin layer of enamel from your teeth — the enamel must be removed to accommodate the porcelain veneers. The dentist also takes a mold of your teeth, which is sent to the dental laboratory to prepare the veneers. You have to wear temporary veneers for a few weeks until the permanent veneers are prepared. Once they’re prepared, the dentist bonds the porcelain veneers to your teeth with dental cement.
Composite veneers, also known as composite bonding, are suitable for patients with mild cosmetic concerns. If you have minor chips, cracks, or stains on some of your teeth, composite veneers can smooth and conceal them, making your teeth appear flawless. During a composite veneer procedure, the composite resin material is bonded to the front face of your teeth without removing any of the existing enamel surfaces. That means you can remove the composite veneers if you’re dissatisfied with the results, making the procedure reversible. Composite veneers will also gradually get discolored, just like natural teeth, especially if you drink a lot of coffee, tea, and red wine.
In terms of aesthetics, porcelain veneers are definitely superior to composite veneers. Porcelain is a tooth-colored material with similar properties to the enamel. Just like natural tooth enamel, porcelain is a translucent material, and it catches the light in the same way as enamel, so it looks indistinguishable from natural teeth. Porcelain veneers also have the same texture as natural enamel. Porcelain is a non-porous material, which means it can’t accumulate stains from coffee and tea, so it doesn’t get stained. As such, your porcelain veneers won’t get discolored over time — they will remain bright and white. But porcelain veneers are non-reversible because the enamel is etched off, so you can’t simply take them off.
Composite veneers aren’t as durable as porcelain veneers. Most patients need to replace the composite veneers after 4 to 8 years, and the composite resin material is also more prone to chipping. But composite veneers also have one distinct advantage — they can be repaired. If you chip or damage one part of the composite veneer, the dentist can simply bond additional composite resin material to smoothen the surface. You don’t need to replace the entire composite veneer.
Porcelain veneers are significantly more durable than composite veneers. When bonded to your teeth, porcelain veneers can last for 10 to 15 years with proper care and maintenance. In order to extend their longevity, you must maintain optimal oral hygiene and avoid biting hard objects like ice cubes and walnut shells. While porcelain veneers are stronger and more durable than composite veneers, they also have one drawback — they can’t be repaired. If a porcelain veneer is chipped or damaged, the entire veneer must be replaced.
Porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite veneers. The preparation of porcelain veneers is more expensive, and you also spend more time with the cosmetic dentist, so the dentist’s charges are also higher. Composite veneers, in comparison, are fairly reasonable. But porcelain veneers can also last 10 to 15 years with minimal maintenance, but composite veneers may need frequent repairs and replacement. In the short run, porcelain veneers are more expensive, but the cost evens out in the long run.
Schedule An Appointment To Explore Your Dental Veneer Options In Houston
DentistVeneersHouston is a state-of-the-art cosmetic dental clinic specializing in porcelain veneers and composite veneers. Our cosmetic dentists will carefully examine your teeth, discuss your goals and concerns, inform you about your options, and recommend the ideal dental veneer types for you. Both composite veneers and porcelain veneers have their advantages and drawbacks, so you must find a solution that works for you. Please schedule an appointment to explore your dental veneer options in Houston.