What’s the difference between composite and porcelain dental veneers?
Find the best dental veneers for your smile
When it comes to investing in your smile, a dental veneer can work wonders. The veneer sits discretely over your tooth and can fill a gap, improve the colour or cover up a chip to create a smile you’ll be proud to show off.
But when it comes to choosing your dental veneer, which type is best for your smile?
There are two main types of dental veneer: composite or porcelain. But what you really need to know is:
- what’s the difference between a composite and a porcelain veneer?
- how do they work? and
- which is best for you?
If you’re one of those people, then never fear. We’re here to answer all your questions.
We’ve put together this jam-packed blog to tell you about the different types of veneers and which will suit you.
Let’s start at the beginning.
What does a dental veneer do?
A dental veneer is a layer of material that is put over the front surface of your tooth. It’s designed to improve the appearance of your tooth or teeth to get you smiling with confidence.
It can be used to change the colour of your tooth, the position of your tooth, or the size and shape of your tooth. We’d use a veneer to enhance teeth that are:
- Separated by gaps
For example, your teeth might be naturally crooked or have changed after an injury or trauma. A veneer is the perfect treatment to get them looking like an A-list smile (watch out world!).
What’s the difference between a dental veneer and a crown?
Ohhh, now we’re getting technical.
Veneers and crowns are both used for cosmetic dentistry, which means they’re tools we use to get your smile looking picture-perfect.
Without going into too much detail the main difference is that we need to reshape more of your tooth with a crown as it covers your whole tooth from front to back.
Whereas a dental veneer sits only over the front surface of your tooth, so it’s less intrusive to fit. If your tooth is heavily damaged, misshapen or misaligned, a crown may be more suitable.
Both guarantee a great result and it’s worth speaking to us to see which is best for you and your smile. You can read more about crowns on our blog, where you’ll also read about Dr Anand’s favourite ‘toy’ that makes crowns in a day.
If you want more information about crowns or dental veneers you can book a free smile consultation here in lovely Warragul.
Now back to veneers….
What are the different types of dental veneer?
The two main types of veneer are dental porcelain and a composite material, and we offer both here at Warragul Dental Care.
Let’s open wide and let’s explore the difference between porcelain and composite veneers.
Porcelain dental veneers
This is the glass slipper of the veneer world. It’s delicate, looks great and will last you way beyond midnight.
The best way to describe a porcelain veneer is that it’s like a very thin false nail, that’s as hard as nails. It has the look and feel of glass and looks completely natural alongside your other toothy mates.
One of the best features of porcelain is that it’s super-tough, not only does it last a long time (up to 20 years), but they’re resistant to staining which makes them easier to maintain compared to a composite veneer.
The great thing about porcelain veneers is the choice of shades. We can find exactly the right shade to match your natural teeth, so no one will ever know you’re got a veneer.
Composite dental veneers
Composite veneers are similar to a tooth-coloured filling. The texture is more like plastic as opposed to the glass-like material of the porcelain veneers.
These veneers are made of a composite resin that we bond, or stick, directly to your tooth.
We make the composite veneers in-house using a ceramic reinforced composite resin which sounds really fancy, and that’s cos it is! Our composite veneers have more polish, better surface shine and will last longer than the standard composite used in many dental practices.
Do you enjoy a curry or glass of red? Get your toothbrush ready! Composite veneers are more vulnerable to wear and tear and discolouration than the porcelain veneers, so expect to book in for a few little touch-ups over their lifespan.
In general, composite veneers will last anywhere between 3-10 years but as with all teeth, that depends on how well you look after it.
Here’s all that juicy info summarised in a handy picture:
So which dental veneers are better: composite or porcelain?
That’s the million-dollar question! The good news is that at WDC we fit both porcelain and composite dental veneers so you get the full choice.
Choosing the right veneer for you comes down to factors, such as:
Composite veneers are around $1-1.5k per tooth, whereas porcelain veneers are $2-3k per tooth. The composite material we use is incredibly strong (stronger than most dental practices) but still won’t last as long as porcelain and will need more maintenance to keep them looking good.
Your unique smile
Do you want a gap filled, the right shade of tooth or straighter teeth? We might recommend one veneer over another depending on the enhancements you’re after. We might even advise braces or a crown rather than a veneer. There are lots of choices when it comes to cosmetic dentistry and Dr Anand can talk you through each one. We’ll advise you about this in our free smile consultation.
Easy to look after
If you’re after a veneer that’s easy to care for then we’d recommend porcelain over composite. The composite material will need a little more care to keep it looking good.
Lasts a long time
Do you want to keep updating your veneer or have it fitted for 10 years+? The tough-as-boots porcelain will last longer than composite, so if you want something that’s in for the long-haul, you might want to consider porcelain.
What’s the process for fitting veneers at Warragul Dental Care?
As with all things at Warragul Dental Care, we take great care to make sure your treatment is perfect from beginning to end.
Here’s the journey for getting your veneers:
1. It starts with a free smile consultation
This is a relaxed 1-1 chat with one of our experienced practitioners. We’ll talk about the results you want for your smile and we might even discover you don’t need veneers! Dr Anand can offer all forms of cosmetic dentistry, so he’ll know exactly the right option for you.
For example, an alternative treatment plan might be Invisalign clear braces, which will give you a beautiful straight smile using super-discreet aligners.
2. We will take a full record of your mouth
We’ll book you in for a comprehensive look at your mouth and gums to check for any weaknesses or issues. We’ll take photos, a 3D scan of your teeth and a full dental examination of your teeth and gums, including a mouth cancer check. We’ll then analyse your mouth and smile in detail to make sure we’re offering you the right treatment. Then we draw up your dental plan.
3. We’ll talk through your dental plan
We’ll book you in for an appointment to chat about your treatment choices. We’ll run you through the pros and cons of each choice and you can ask any questions. We’ll even make you a cuppa if you like.
If we’re suggesting significant changes to the shape and position of your teeth, we’ll show you a mock-up of the end result so you can see what your smile will look like at the end of your treatment (this is the fun part!).
4. The treatment
Then it’s time to do the treatment.
If we’re making a big change to your smile we’ll reshape your teeth ready for your veneers then make provisional veneers to try out at home for a few days. Then we will call you back in and check that you’re happy with the shape before making your final veneers.
We can tweak the shape until you’re happy with the result, so don’t worry if it’s not quite right the first time.
Our porcelain veneers are sent away to a master ceramicist who will custom make your veneers using high quality aesthetic multi-layer ceramic that beautifully mimics your natural tooth.
We make the composite veneers in-house using a hybrid ceramic reinforced composite resin. You don’t need to know the name, you just need to know that the composite veneers we make have a higher polish, better surface shine and more durability than most other composite veneers. Pretty good hey?
5. The fitting
This is the exciting part, it’s time to fit your new smile. We’ll book an appointment, wrap you up with our creature comforts and fit your new veneer.
6. The check
After a few weeks of wearing your new veneers we’ll call you back in for a review to check they’re still looking and feeling great.
Three cheers for ya new veneers
Phew! That was a lot of veneer info!
We hope it’s helped answer your questions. If there’s anything we’ve missed don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team by calling 5623 5588 or live chatting with us online.
So how about it, are you ready for your smile transformation? The team are ready and waiting.
To get the ball rolling and book your free smile consultation call the team today! We can’t wait to see you.