Composite Veneers vs Porcelain Veneers

When seeking to camouflage a severely stained or irreparably damaged tooth, your dentist may recommend a veneer as an option to consider. While all veneers perform essentially the same function, which is to overlay the damaged tooth with a thin shell that serves as the new cosmetic face of the tooth, there are some different kinds of veneers to consider. Two of the most commonly used veneers include composite resin and porcelain; this article will describe the major differences between them and outline some of the main pros and cons to each choice.

Differences Between Composite and Porcelain Veneers

Composite veneers are made of composite resin, a fairly frequently used material in the dental world. In the creation of a composite veneer, the composite can be layered directly onto the tooth where it is then shaped, molded, hardened, and polished by your dentist.

Porcelain veneers, in contrast, are created in a lab and then cemented on to the top of the tooth; before beginning the adhesion process, some of the enamel of the tooth must be removed. Because of the length of time it takes to create porcelain veneers, some patients choose to use temporary veneers while they are waiting for their porcelain veneers to be created.

Pros and Cons of Composite Veneers

One benefit of composite veneers is that they are significantly less expensive than their porcelain counterpart. This is partially because the material itself is less expensive, but it also has to do with the fact that the process of creating and placing them is less labor-intensive.

In addition to being available at a lower price point, composite veneers offer a speedy solution. In many cases, they can be created the same day that the decision is made to get them, as they are formed directly on the tooth and do not rely on lab technicians to create them.

Unlike porcelain veneers, composite veneers do not have to be a permanent installation in the patient’s mouth. Because significant amounts of enamel do not have to be removed to place them, composite veneers can be removed without being replaced. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, are permanently necessary once initially installed.

However, while composite veneers are quicker and less expensive, they are also less durable; typically, they last around 5-7 years in contrast to the 10-15 years that porcelain veneers last.

Pros and Cons of Porcelain Veneers

Because porcelain veneers are made from a higher quality material than composite veneers, they enjoy increased function and cosmetic appearance. A well-made porcelain veneer is difficult to distinguish from a natural tooth, which is an important cosmetic consideration.

Though higher in price than composite resin veneers for this reason, they are also available at a lower price point than Lumineers, another ceramic veneer option that are thinner in profile but also more expensive in cost.

Furthermore, porcelain veneers are more durable, lasting upwards of ten years when cared for properly. This can contextualize the price difference between composite and porcelain veneers somewhat; while porcelain is more expensive, they last twice as long, so the cost savings with a composite veneer might not the that considerable in the long run.

While porcelain veneers have a number of advantages over composite, it should be noted that they are more susceptible to staining, so care should be taken to remove stain-inducing substances from one’s teeth shortly after consuming them.

For more information on what kind of veneers might best suit you and your lifestyle, give us a call today.

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