Composite or Porcelain Veneers?
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Composite or Porcelain Veneers?

Composite or Porcelain Veneers?
Harpenden Dentist - Wayside Dental Practice
21, Jan 2022

It’s not surprising cosmetic dentistry now plays such a prominent role in the life of a dental practice. We all see so much media and imagery of perfect smiles; advertising on billboards and buses on product in shops, on tv and all across the internet; all day, every day. The good news is a dazzling, winning, beautiful smile is now not just the preserve of the rich and famous. At Wayside Dental Practice in Harpenden, Hertfordshirewe offer the full range of cosmetic dental treatments for patients either unhappy with their teeth and smile or who’d just like to treat themselves to a smile makeover to boost their appearance and confidence.

Two of the most popular procedures we offer are composite veneers (also known as bonding or same-day veneers), and porcelain veneers.

Why choose Dental Veneers?

If you’d like aesthetically pleasing, uniform, straight white teeth and a confident smile.

  • If you have crooked teeth.
  • If your teeth are misshapen
  • If you have discoloured or stained teeth
  • If you have worn or chipped teeth
  • If you feel your teeth are too small or too large
  • If you have unwanted or uneven gaps between your teeth

What is a Composite Veneer?

A composite veneer (sometimes known as composite bonding) is when we bond a composite resin to the front surface of your tooth to make its shape and colour more appealing.

The composite bonding material that’s used in this procedure is a similar product as used when completing a tooth-coloured filling. Bonding is available in several different shades, which allows us to deliver the precise colour you’d like to achieve.

What’s involved in a Composite Veneer procedure?

Veneers usually require two dental appointments although, depending on how many veneers you have, you may have the option for same-day veneers. To begin, our Harpenden cosmetic dentist will roughen the front surface of your tooth, and if needed, contour its shape.  The next few steps will consist of placing a few different prepping solutions on the treatment surface, ensuring the area is cleaned, and ready to accept the bonding material.

After you and the dentist have selected the best shade to use, we’ll place the composite resin over your tooth and mould it to the desired shape. Once we’re happy with the way it looks, we’ll shine a special light over the area to harden and cure the material in place. The final step is to smooth and polish your new composite veneer.

We’ll give you care instructions for your new veneers.  Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new veneers.

Pros and Cons of Composite Veneers

The main advantage of dental bonding and composite veneers is the cost. It’s one of most affordable cosmetic dental treatments and if you’d like a quick solution to chipped teeth or gaps the treatment can provide immediate results.

However, dental bonding or composite veneers can stain easily; so smoking and drinking a lot of dark liquids like red wine isn’t recommended.  The material or resin used is not as strong as porcelain so it’s easier to chip off if you bite into something too hard. This means replacement veneers will be needed. Since composite bonding isn’t the most durable of cosmetic treatment options, it’s probably best to limit it to just a couple of teeth and not a full set.  While there are different shades available to choose from, if you have an uncommon colour, matching it can also be difficult.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

A traditional veneer is a thin shell of porcelain that’s contoured to the shape of your new tooth.

Veneers slightly overlap to the edges of your teeth, allowing them to stay in place and hide the margins better. Unlike composite veneers, porcelain veneers are custom designed and fabricated at a dental laboratory.

Like same-day veneers, they’re used to alter the size, shape, and shade of your natural teeth.

What’s involved in a Porcelain Veneer procedure?

Porcelain veneers is a multi-step dental treatment. During the prepping procedure, our Harpenden cosmetic dentist will need to make room for the restorations to be placed over your teeth.  To do this, we’ll reduce the front and edges of each tooth. After this stage is complete, we’ll scan your teeth using a 3-D camera to show us a digital replica of your smile. The digital scans get sent to our dental laboratory, along with our design instructions (such as colour and size specifications,) where your custom veneers are made.  Since it’ll be a couple of weeks before they’re ready, we’ll make you some temporary veneers to wear in the meantime. We might also ask you to visit the laboratory so that the colour, shape and size of the veneer can be checked.

When you return to get your permanent veneers on, we’ll remove your temporaries and try on the porcelain veneers.  If everything meets with expectations we’ll attach them with a permanent bonding agent.

Porcelain Veneers Pros and Cons

Porcelain veneers are stronger than composite veneers, so they’ll work better if you’re looking to improve the appearance of several teeth. While porcelain teeth will still need to be replaced, they last a lot longer than composite veneers. They also don’t stain as much. As far as shade goes, custom-designed porcelain veneers can be specified to match any colour or hue. The material also reflects light very well, which means they look as natural as your very own teeth.

Unfortunately, porcelain veneers can’t be used to repair teeth that are badly broken and weak, in which case a crown may be needed to bring the tooth to full strength. They also come with a higher price tag than same-day veneers but as they last longer most dentists agree they provide better value in the long run.Though porcelain veneers are more durable than bonding, they can still break if you tend to clench and grind your teeth regularly.

Composite or Porcelain… What’s the Verdict?

If you’re looking for the most cost-effective solution, then a composite veneers treatment plan will probably be a good fit. However, if you have a severe aesthetic concern, or you’re looking for the most natural and durable treatment solution then porcelain veneers will give you a fantastic result.

In the first instance, our advice would be to book an appointment with Wayside Dental Practice and we can discuss your individual needs before deciding or why not try a contact us to discuss options from the comfort of your own home.