There are many advantages to using dental veneers to improve your smile. For those with gaps between the upper front teeth, severe discoloration, or chips and cracks, veneers are a restorative solution for a natural-looking, healthy smile. In addition, they are relatively quick, non-invasive, and affordable. However, not everyone can benefit, and before you make…
Smile Makeover With Porcelain Versus Composite Veneers
Patients interested in cosmetic dental treatment may consider a smile makeover. During this procedure, a dentist transforms a patient's smile using restorations. People who want to improve certain aspects of their smiles, such as misshapen teeth, slightly crooked teeth, chipped teeth, discolored teeth, and gaps in between their teeth, may want to consider dental veneers. These are thin shells that are applied to the front of the teeth to cover up imperfections.
Dental veneers, a popular treatment, are commonly made of two materials: Porcelain and composite. There are advantages to both kinds, but patients should also be aware of the disadvantages. Consider these facts about these two materials.
Dentists often call composite veneers chairside or same-day veneers. These restorations, made of a resin-based material, come in multiple shades. The patient and dentist determine what size, shape, and color the veneers should be. The dentist prepares the tooth by slightly shaving down the front surface. Then they bond the composite material to the tooth.
Composite veneers are an attractive option for many patients because the procedure does not require multiple visits, and it is considered minimally invasive. The patient leaves with veneers in only one day. These restorations are very natural-looking, and in some cases, the dentist does not have to remove as much tooth structure as with porcelain veneers. Resin-based veneers are easier to repair, as the dentist can often add more material if one of the veneers chips. Composite veneers are also less expensive than porcelain ones.
A smile makeover is a big decision. Patients need to be aware of the benefits and the limitations of treatment. Composite veneers do not last as long as porcelain ones. On average, patients can expect to have these restorations for five years. Because the dentist has shaved down the teeth, the procedure is irreversible, so the patient will always need a veneer or crown to cover the teeth. Fortunately, though, composite veneers are easily replaced, or the patient can switch to porcelain veneers later.
According to the California Dental Association, a dentist first invented dental veneers in the 1920s. However, most dentists did not adopt the technology until the 1980s-90s. Many patients select dental veneers to repair cracked teeth. Others choose this treatment to make teeth appear larger; some request these restorations to change the shape of the teeth. Dental laboratories make porcelain veneers from an impression of the patient's teeth.
One advantage of porcelain veneers has better stain resistance compared to composite veneers. This stain resistance is essential because teeth-whitening agents do not work on dental restorations. They also are better at covering up darker-stained teeth and more obvious imperfections such as incorrectly positioned teeth.
Porcelain veneers have a wide range of color selections, and patients can choose the shade they prefer for a natural look. These restorations last longer than composite veneers; patients can expect to have them for 10 or more years.
As with any dental treatment, porcelain veneers do have some downsides. They are a more expensive option, although their longer lifespan helps counteract this disadvantage. Dentists usually have to remove more tooth structure for porcelain veneers. This means the patient will always need to have veneers to cover this up.
The final results using porcelain veneers are not as immediate as composite ones. Because the restorations are made in a dental lab, the patient must wait a few weeks to get the final product. However, a dentist can fabricate temporary veneers so that the patient's smile looks natural while waiting for the final result.
Proper care of veneers
No matter which type of veneers a person chooses, there are some ways to extend their life. Avoiding hard foods, ice chewing, and pen chewing will help to prevent chipping of the veneers. To prevent and minimize staining, dark liquids, such as coffee, tea, sodas, and red wine, should be minimized. Other tips for proper care include:
- Brush teeth right after consuming dark-colored food or drink
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles
- Use toothpaste specifically designed to polish veneer materials
- Avoid baking soda-containing toothpaste
- Avoid smoking
A smile makeover is a rewarding treatment for patients who want to feel confident smiling again. With a variety of methods available to fix certain cosmetic issues, patients should research the pros and cons of each before making a decision. To learn more about dental restorations like veneers, patients should schedule a consultation with a dentist.
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