Difference between Porcelain Veneers and Composite Veneers

Dental veneers are the best solution when it comes to dental problems since they’re effective at addressing beauty issues due to damaged teeth. They help to give teeth new life after becoming cracked, worn or discolored. Veneers are thin shells fitted to existing teeth, acting as covers to improve their appearance. When choosing to repair your teeth in this way, you’ll need to choose between the two most common types of veneers available.

Patients come to the Hornbrook Center for Dentistry for one reason: they love their smiles. Our doctors and staff are on hand to help our clients understand and receive the best oral hygiene and care available. If you’re choosing between porcelain and composite veneers, call our San Diego, CA dental office at (619) 754-8827 to schedule a consultation today!

The people who decide on veneers have various issues with their teeth. The kind of veneer used depends on the condition of your mouth. Veneers can repair on one tooth or several depending on the need, and are constructed from two different materials: porcelain and composite. The differences come down to convenience and speed.

Porcelain Veneer

A porcelain veneer is also referred to as dental veneer or dental porcelain laminate. It is a wafer-thin custom-made shell used to cover and give different colors to the tooth. The veneer's main purpose is to improve the tooth's appearance. You can use a porcelain veneer to change the color, shape, or size, including the tooth's length. The porcelain veneer is used by those who want their teeth to look different from their normal look as well. It is also ideal for repairing broken teeth.

Composite Veneer

A composite veneer is a dental addition to the front side of a tooth made to restore your tooth to its shape. You could use this method to repair your tooth if cracked, chipped, discolored, or misaligned. This method uses two different types of composite veneer. The first, direct composite, is formed right onto the tooth’s surface. Indirect composite veneers are made of the same material but are pre-formed and attached to the tooth afterwards.

There are several benefits that come with each type of veneer you choose. Here are the benefits associated with Porcelain veneers.

  1. Porcelain Veneers Look Natural: The porcelain is an impression of your teeth, and therefore, they look more like your original teeth. The doctor takes an impression to create a shell that looks like your tooth enamel. At the same time, they do not feel different from your teeth since all that they do is cover damaged dentition. You can, therefore, east or drink without noticing the difference.
  2. They have low maintenance: You do not need any complicated teeth maintenance because of the porcelain veneer. Standard practices such as flossing and brushing twice daily should be all you need to maintain these veneers.. You also need to schedule a regular checkup with your dentist as well. The porcelain veneer is non-porous, and therefore you will not have to worry about cavities, as they protect even better than natural enamel.
  3. Porcelain Veneer Provides a Lasting Solution: Using porcelain as a veneer material is great for a more permanent solution to your dental issues. Not only can they cover chipped or damaged teeth, but they also protect your teeth for between ten to 20 years. With proper care, no one will even know you have them in your mouth at all.
  4. Porcelain Veneers Increase Confidence in Your Smile: Many people cannot smile in public for fear of displaying a set of cracked or discolored teeth. Using the porcelain veneer, you can cover any oral health issues and be able to smile without worries. That gives confidence in smiling anywhere at all times, as you know your teeth are looking great.

Cons of Porcelain Veneer

There are some drawbacks to using porcelain veneers over their composite counterparts. Some of them include:

  • You cannot complete the porcelain veneer procedure in one visit. You will have to take several trips to the dentist before being through with the process.
  • They are irreversible compared to composite veneers that you change at any time if you are not satisfied with them.
  • Porcelain veneers are more expensive and may not be the best option for patients on a budget.

Take the time to discuss these pros and cons with your doctor. There may be benefits and disadvantages to porcelain veneers that you haven’t thought of.

Benefits of Composite veneers

  1. Solves Multiple Problems: Like the other veneer type, a composite veneer can address multiple teeth problems. It can solve coloration, misalignment, cracked teeth, chipped teeth, broken teeth as well as gaps between teeth.
  2. Quick and Easy to Fix: One of the outstanding benefits of using this type of veneer treatment is the time taken to have the process complete. Unlike other materials, the process can be done in one day. You will only need to visit a dentist one, and the installation will be completed in a single appointment.. It also does not take long, as it can be finished in around 5 hours.
  3. Non- Invasive and Pain-Free: You should note that you do not need any prep for you to have the procedure done with the composite veneer. Since it is an additive procedure, you do not also undergo any pain during the installation process. Applying the composite resins to your teeth without interfering with your gum is important. You can go home from the dentist with a smile without enduring any form of pain.
  4. The Veneer is Repairable: After you have had your veneer, it is possible that it will get damaged or discolored over time. If this happens, you can have your veneer repaired rather than replaced entirely. If you notice any part of your veneer chipped or broken, you can visit your expert to have it fixed right away.
  5. Composite Veneers are less expensive: Of the two, composite veneers are the cheaper option. It only takes a single visit and no lab fees are associated with sending x-rays and models out of the office. Since your doctor is the one forming the veneer, there’s no technician fees, either.

The Cons of Composite Veneer

Just like porcelain options, composite materials do have their downsides as well. The most common issues are as follows:

  • The composite veneer is easy to crack and chip and even stain much faster than the porcelain veneers. These veneers are also porous and susceptible to stain.
  • They require repair or replacement more frequently than porcelain veneers.
  • Composite materials may fall off more easily.

If these are big concerns for you, make sure you discuss other options with your dentist as well teo help you make the best decisions moving forward.

Porcelain VS Composite Veneers

Porcelain is a single crafted veneer bonded to your tooth, while composite veneers are added in various layers. After fixing the composite layer it is hardened with light and then another layer is added. The process continues until your dentist has shaped the veneer to its proper proportions. The number of layers applied will depend on the dentist and your teeth' condition.

Your composite veneer's lifespan is between 4 to 8 years, while porcelain can serve 10-15 years. How well you maintain your veneer will determine how long it will serve you. It takes only one visit to have your composite veneer applied. You can have your composite veneer fixed the first day you visit your dentist. On the other hand, the porcelain veneer needs about three weeks to complete the whole procedure.

Composite veneers are best with small changes on your teeth. For more complex repairs you will have to think of porcelain veneer or other teeth treatment procedures. In addition, composite veneers aren’t suited for repairing large gaps and spaces in dentition.

Porcelain veneers are more durable when compared to composite veneers. They are also a good option when it comes to repairing several teeth all at once. Composite will be better if you are dealing with a single tooth that is not badly damaged.

When to Use Each Type of Veneer Application

Because of their inherent differences, each veneer will perform better in certain situations. Before making any decisions, take a look at the advantages that both have depending on the scenario in which they’re used. Composite veneer advantages include:

  1. Moderate price and one-day treatment
  2. Reversible procedure
  3. Direct application and will hide minor problems and
  4. Susceptible to stain
  5. Needs more frequent replacement due to chipping and falling off

Here is what you should expect if you choose to go for a porcelain veneer application.

  1. More durable product that will serve you for long
  2. Procedure is not reversible
  3. Higher price and not less than two visits
  4. Hide Most of the teeth problems
  5. Resistant to stain

Choosing which type of veneer is best can be a difficult decision to make on your own. Our Hornbrook Center for Dentistry team is ready to discuss all of your options to help you determine which treatment is best for you. Call (619) 754-8827 to schedule an appointment right away and get a head start on a bright smile and even brighter future!

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