If you’re yearning for a bright new smile, composite veneers could be for you.
Veneers are wafer-thin shells that snugly over the front of your teeth to give the impression of a flawless smile—other alternatives include enameloplasty, tooth bonding and crowns.
Porcelain and composite are the two main types of veneers. Porcelain veneers are made from, you guessed it, porcelain. Composite veneers are made from a tooth-coloured resin, just like the one used in tooth bonding.
Before deciding which veneers to choose for your smile, you should consider your options.
Who can get veneers?
The main reason for choosing veneers for most people is that veneers cover up imperfections in your smile, giving you an even and bright aesthetic.
If you have teeth that are eroded, crooked, misshapen, chipped, stained or discoloured, veneers could be the solution you’re looking for.
Types of veneers
There are three types of veneers to choose from potentially. Your dentist will probably have a recommendation of which to pick depending on the uniqueness of your situation.
Porcelain veneers are made bespoke for your teeth. To get porcelain veneers, your dentist will take impressions from your teeth to get the most accurate results from the molds in a dental lab. This could take up to a week so you’ll be given a temporary set of veneers while you wait.
When your custom-made veneers are ready, your dentist will cement them to your teeth and shape them to look natural.
Direct composite veneers
Direct composite veneers are named so because they’re made of composite resin and are applied directly onto your teeth.
This is a minimally invasive procedure, and it doesn’t take very long for the dentist to prepare your teeth either.
Indirect composite veneers
The material used for direct and indirect composite veneers remains the same. The difference is the application process.
Direct composite veneers are applied directly and sculpted to the teeth, while indirect veneers are made in the clinic or an external lab before being bonded to the teeth.
Just like with porcelain veneers, you receive a temporary set while you wait for your permanent ones to be made. When you return, the indirect composite veneers are applied on your teeth with a layer of adhesive.
So, are there any other differences between direct and indirect composite veneers? Yes, indirect composite veneers are more durable to the likes of abrasions and fractures than the direct version. However, direct composite veneers are more cost-efficient.
Composite Veneers Vs Porcelain Veneers
Composite veneers tend to be more cost-efficient than porcelain veneers. Plus, the process takes less time with direct composite veneers as well as all the other benefits we’ve covered like covering up misshapen teeth and discolouration.
However, a couple of downsides to composite veneers is that the material is overall weaker than porcelain and could chip. They’ll also need replacing more frequently than porcelain veneers.
Porcelain veneers are slightly more durable than composite veneers and are custom made providing a more natural appearance. Generally, they can fix darker stains in teeth or more severely incorrectly aligned teeth.
However, like with composite veneers, there are downsides to porcelain veneers. For example, they’re the more expensive option. The application process also requires more than one visit. As well as this, in very rare cases, porcelain veneers can work loose meaning they’ll need to get glued back on again.
Composite Veneers Procedure
First, your dentist will clean your teeth thoroughly as part of the preparation. They might have to remove a tiny bit of enamel to help the composite adhere to your teeth better. Sometimes, though, this isn’t necessary.
The next step will vary depending on whether you’ve opted for direct or indirect composite veneers. With direct veneers, the dentist will slightly roughen the surface on your teeth to provide grip.
Next, is the application of adhesive to your teeth, then the very thin layers of the composite are added to the surface of your teeth.
The dentist will then quickly harden the resin with light, and you and the dentist can choose together the colour of your veneers before the dentist mixes the colour and applies it to make it look as natural as possible.
With indirect composite veneers, the dentist will prepare your teeth and then takes a mold of your existing teeth. When your veneers are back from the lab, the dentist will install them by preparing the surface of your teeth and applying adhesive much like direct veneers.
They’ll then place the veneers and harden them with a light allowed by polishing and shaping them to look as natural as they can.
Most people don’t need anaesthesia during the process. If you do, you’ll be able to return to work as soon as it’s worn off.
How long do composite veneers last?
Composite veneers are now much more durable than they once were. You can expect yours to last up to seven years or longer. After that, you’ll need replacement veneers.
You can, however, extend the life of your veneers by taking good care of them. You can do this by using a non-abrasive toothbrush and breaking habits, if you have them, like chewing ice and other hard objects such as pen lids.
You should also be wary of coffee, tea, red rine and other things that could stain your veneers.
Are veneers different from crowns?
The only similarity between crowns and veneers is that they both cover parts of your tooth. However, crowns cover your whole tooth back to front. Veneers are thinner and just cover the front.
If you’re trying to decide between a crown and veneers and your teeth are in pretty good shape, it’s probably best you go for veneers. Crowns tend to be used more for restorative purposes like mending a broken tooth or after root canal treatment.
Can composite veneers be removed?
Composite veneers can easily be repaired or replaced by adding new composite material.
How much do composite veneers cost?
Cost of composite veneers can vary depending on things like where you live, where your dental work takes place and how many veneers you need.
So, if you’re conscious of your smile, veneers could be a good option for you, they’re a semi-permanent improvement to an imperfect smile. Talk to our friendly team today to discuss your best options.