What to Choose: Composite or Porcelain Veneers?
Veneers are most often used to create the Hollywood smile or correct cosmetic defects of the teeth. These can be special thin porcelain plates (made of ceramics) or overlays made of special composite material. How to determine which type of veneers is right for you? What are the advantages of composite and porcelain veneers? Do they have disadvantages?
In this article, Dr. Svetlana Anokhina makes an assessment of some of the differences between composite and porcelain veneers.
Fabrication and placement timing
The veneer is made directly on the tooth during one visit to the dentist office. The doctor grinds down the enamel (literally 0.2-0.3 mm) of the problem tooth and applies composite material layer by layer, treating each layer with light radiation for curing. In the final stage, the dentist polishes the finished veneer, and the patient can rejoice in a beautiful smile again.
Computer diagnostics to detect hidden inflammatory and carious processes, professional oral hygiene, grinding of tooth enamel, taking impressions, and fixation of temporary veneers (7-14 days) for the fabrication period of permanent plates are made after the initial assessment of health and oral hygiene.
How many years will they last?
On average, they last 3-4 years and lose their original color even faster – regular professional polishing is required already after six months. Composite is not the strongest material and is prone to chipping. However, one of the advantages is its repairability. That is, if a piece of the therapeutic veneer breaks off, it can be restored. Porcelain veneers cannot be repaired – they need complete replacement only.
Porcelain veneers last for more than 20 years.
If we talk about the durability of ceramic veneers, it is worth noting the following features:
They much longer retain their original color (5-7 years) and are not stained by food or drinks
They are resistant to abrasion, last 3 times longer than composite
Biocompatible, do not cause allergic reactions
Easy to care for, they do not accumulate plaque.
Doctor’s opinion: How to take care of any veneers?
If you want to enjoy a beautiful smile for longer, follow these simple recommendations:
- Brush and floss regularly
- Abstain from certain bad habits (nibbling sunflower seeds, biting the floss with your front teeth, etc.)
- Have professional oral hygiene once every six months.
How well do they protect your teeth from decay?
In addition to their short lifespan, composite veneers have another significant disadvantage – they do not provide a snug fit to tooth enamel. This causes plaque and bacterial buildup, which lead to tooth decay and gum inflammation as a result.
Completely seal the tooth, protecting it from the development of caries and further destruction for 15-20 years.
What aesthetic problems do they solve?
Can return your teeth to their natural color (if the tooth enamel is not too dark) and hide minor cracks or chips in the smile zone. However, they are not effective against:
Bite anomalies and bruxism
Pronounced darkening of tooth enamel
As close as possible to natural enamel, as well as:
Excellent for masking noticeable chips and cracks in severe tooth abrasion
Conceal wide dental gaps
Bring back the natural beauty of tooth enamel (even with severe staining)
Correct the shape of the teeth
Achieve a visible change in the position of an incisor or canine.
How much do composite and porcelain veneers cost?
The cost of composite veneers starts at $250. It depends on the city where you plan to buy them and the dental work to be done before they are placed.
The starting price for porcelain veneers is $550 (US). The starting price in Miami is from $899. Why are they more expensive than their composite counterparts? They are made of a more expensive material in a dental laboratory. They require more time, additional procedures, and an experienced dentist.
The main differences between composite and ceramic veneers
Compare the main parameters of porcelain, or ceramic, and composite veneers
|Fabrication time||1-2 hours||7-14 days (in the lab)|
|Aesthetics||Satisfactory, but for a short period||Excellent — from 20 years|
|Can it be repaired?||Yes||No (replacement only)|
|Number of visits||1 visit||2 visits|
|How long do they last?||3 to 5 years||from 15 years|
|Price||from $250||from $899|
So which is better: Composite or porcelain veneers?
Composite veneers are the best option when the budget is limited, for partial restorations (1-2 teeth), and if the problem must be solved right away. If we are talking about long-term restoration of the entire smile zone, it is better to choose ceramic onlays. They last 3 to 5 times longer and keep your teeth from decaying.
In addition, the choice of treatment directly depends on the severity of the aesthetic problems. If they are pronounced, then ceramic veneers, which guarantee a fantastic result – the Hollywood smile, are more likely to suit you.
In any case, to determine the best treatment option, first of all, schedule an appointment for a consultation at our clinic, where you will see a qualified dentist and have all the necessary equipment for a thorough diagnosis.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some people think that the advantage of lumineers is that they are placed without having to resurface the tooth enamel. However, pressed ceramic structures can also be made thin, eliminating or minimizing preparations. At the same time, there is no need to overpay 25-35% – this is how much more lumineers are expensive.
Each method has its own indications, so the best solution to eliminate the aesthetic defect is selected by the dentist, taking into account the clinical picture.
It is definitely better to put a crown if:
- Tooth is devitalized
- There is a serious chip or crack
- The patient suffers from bruxism.
It is better to choose a veneer for the front unit if:
- It is only slightly damaged (minimal resurfacing is required, so there is little or no damage to the anatomical shape)
- You need to hide small interdental gaps
- The patient has changes in enamel color (stained enamel, fluorosis, tetracycline teeth).