Veneers are one of the most widely used dental restorations, especially for cosmetic purposes. Dentists use veneers to treat oral conditions such as cracked or chipped teeth, severely discolored teeth and excessive space between adjacent teeth or to bring about a makeover in the aesthetics of one’s smile.
You may be wondering what material are veneers made from. Let’s discuss the different options available for your teeth makeover and the pros and cons of each.
What Are Veneers?
Dental veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that can be applied to your teeth’s front surfaces to improve the look of your smile. These custom-made covers bond to your teeth to correct minor imperfections and can change the color, size, shape or length of your tooth. Unlike crowns, which encase the entire tooth, veneers only cover the front of the tooth that’s visible when you smile.
Veneers can address numerous cosmetic dental concerns, including chips, cracks, discoloration or smaller-than-average teeth. Dentists can also use them to create an even, symmetrical smile.
What Are Veneers Made Of?
Veneers can be fabricated from two prominent materials — dental-grade ceramic and composite resin. As the name implies, ceramic veneers, commonly called porcelain veneers, are created in an offsite dental laboratory from specialized porcelain customized to fit your teeth.
Composite veneers are made from a resin composite material, the same type used in tooth bonding. Because composite veneers are shaped and sculpted onto your teeth rather than produced offsite, this allows for same-day treatment.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Choosing Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are excellent dental restorations. For decades, patients have been transforming their smiles with these wafer-thin dental applications. While there are a few downsides, choosing veneers has many advantages over other more complex cosmetic dental procedures. Benefits include:
- Simplicity: Veneers are simple restorations. They can be completed in two visits to the dentist’s practice and in a very quick time span.
- Time: The procedure involved in fabricating veneers can be completed in a few days. If the dental practice has CEREC, the entire process can be completed in a single visit to the dentist’s practice.
- Customization: Veneers can be personalized as required to match the exact color, contour and appearance of your natural teeth. This keeps them completely inconspicuous.
- Longevity: Veneers offer excellent durability and longevity. With appropriate care, they last for several years without any hassle.
- Aesthetics: They do a great job of covering the surface imperfections on the teeth.
To ensure you have a full picture, here are some of the disadvantages of dental veneers:
- Permanence: Because your dentist must remove a thin layer of enamel before application, veneers are irreversible.
- Artificiality: Although realistic looking, veneers are artificial applications — not a more natural dental solution.
- Possibility of breaks: Porcelain veneers are very tough, but they are not impervious to chipping or breaking with excessive force or impact.
- Criteria: Patients with dental conditions like decay or inadequate enamel may not be candidates for veneers.
Ceramic vs. Composite Veneers
Composite and porcelain are the most common materials used to fabricate dental veneers. While both types of veneers can help transform your smile, there are distinct differences between these two materials. How do you know which is the right option for you? It all depends on your unique needs and the characteristics most important to you, including appearance, fabrication process, life span and pricing.
Here are some of the notable features of ceramic and composite veneers:
- Appearance: Both ceramic and composite veneers have an excellent appearance as they are made from tooth-colored material. They can be customized to mimic the exact aesthetics of the underlying teeth, thus keeping them indistinguishable. However, most dentists agree that porcelain veneers offer a more natural result. Their translucent quality is quite similar to real tooth enamel.
- Stain resistance: Ceramic veneers are highly resistant to staining as their surface finish is extremely fine. Composite veneers may slightly stain when you eat a lot of colored foods.
- Fabrication: Composite veneers are comparatively easier to complete. The dentist will match the color of the resin with that of your natural enamel and apply it to your teeth. They can be completed in a single consultation. On the other hand, ceramic veneers are fabricated in a dental laboratory after taking precise digital impressions of the teeth. It would require two visits to the dental practice.
- Life span: Porcelain veneers exhibit better durability and strength compared to their composite counterparts. They are known to last upward of 10 years without any hassle, provided you take good care of them. Composite veneers do last long, but not as long as ceramic veneers. They have a life span of five to eight years, after which they have to be replaced with new ones.
- Pricing: Since ceramic veneers require a more detailed procedure and more man-hours to fabricate, they are a tad more expensive than composite veneers. Both types of veneers are worth the investment, thanks to all the advantages they offer.
Where to Get Porcelain Veneers in Los Gatos
If you would like to transform your smile, it’s time to contact Dr. Mahsa Esfandiari Dental Group. During your appointment, you can learn more about dental veneers and how we work with you to give you the smile of your dreams. We offer various cosmetic dentistry services at our Los Gatos office, including porcelain veneers! Call today or schedule an appointment online to get started.