Dr Shrey Shah is an experienced dental practitioner offering a range of dental services including complex restorations, full mouth rehabilitation, Smile design, Dental implants, Wisdom teeth extractions, Root canal treatment, Crowns and bridges, Paediatric dentistry and Family dentistry. Dr Shah graduated from Gujarat University in India in 2011. He practised in India for a multi-location practice for two-and-a-half years before moving to Australia in 2014. He completed his Australian registration requirement in 2016 and since has been working in a number of private practices. Throughout his career, he has always been up to date with the latest innovations in dentistry and keeps enhancing his skills with continuing professional education to provide his patients the best service possible. Dr. Shrey has been a local since 2018. In his free time Dr Shrey loves to play tennis, watch movies and enjoys spending some quality time with his family.
Choosing to have dental veneers placed is the first step to improving the aesthetics of your teeth and getting that winning smile you’ve longed for.
Composite and porcelain are the most commonly used materials in the veneer fabrication process. In the hands of an experienced cosmetic dentist, both materials can beautifully transform your smile. But how do you know which type is right for you? This comes down to your specific needs and which factors are most important to you (cost, treatment time, etc.). Let’s evaluate some of the differences between composite and porcelain veneers.
Advantages of Composite Veneers
Composite veneers have several advantages over porcelain, chief among which is cost. On average, porcelain veneers are twice as expensive as composites, which is very important for some people given that most treatments are not covered by insurance, meaning you are likely paying out-of-pocket for treatment. The cost of veneers varies based on several factors, This can add up quickly in a smile makeover.
Another advantage that composites veneers have over porcelain is the fact that composites can typically be fabricated while you wait, making it a same-day treatment. Direct composite veneers (also referred to as composite bonding) are sculpted on your teeth rather than in an offsite lab. The tooth-shaded resin is applied to teeth directly (hence the name) where it can be shaped and sculpted by the dentist. The shaped resin is hardened using a high-intensity light, after which additional layers of resin can be applied and sculpted as needed to elicit the desired aesthetic outcome. Once finished, the resin must be polished to elicit a more natural, tooth-like appearance. The composite procedure therefore tends to be much less invasive and noticeably quicker than porcelain.
Arguably the biggest advantage that composite veneers have over porcelain is reversibility. Porcelain requires reshaping of your natural teeth to fit the veneer. When it comes to composites, minimal prep work is required on your natural teeth, meaning that they are not permanently altered to such an extent that the composite material cannot be removed and replaced as needed.
Advantages of Porcelain Veneers
Although composite veneers have several advantages, there is one area in which they cannot compete with porcelain: durability. Porcelain is a far stronger material than composite resin (even with the improvements in resin materials over the years). Well-maintained porcelain veneers can last 10 to 15 years, compared to the five- to seven-year average lifespan of composites. It’s important to consider this trade-off if you’re thinking of having veneers placed. That is, while composites may cost half as much as porcelain, they last only half as long. So, which is the better value?
Most dentists agree that porcelain veneers offer the most natural, tooth-like aesthetics. Porcelain has a translucent quality that is quite like tooth enamel. It is also highly resistant to staining and chipping due to the strength of the material and the glaze that is applied after treatment. On the other hand, composite veneers are more porous and therefore susceptible to staining, meaning that you may need to adjust your diet to avoid certain stain-causing foods. Composite also needs to be polished to achieve a tooth-like aesthetic. And even then, it doesn’t quite compare.
The porcelain veneer procedure is more involved, and often requires temporaries be worn while you wait for the veneers to be sculpted in a lab. However, more and more dentists are embracing chairside CAD/CAM technologies that help to speed up the process by allowing for on-site fabrication. If you are looking for a porcelain veneers solution, it’s important to evaluate the sort of technologies that your dentist has available. You could end up drastically reducing the overall treatment time. Lastly, porcelain veneers offer a viable treatment solution for all cases of worn enamel, wear and tear, genetic defects, uneven teeth, etc. Composites may not be a viable option for severe concerns. For example, significant discoloration or spacing issues may not be adequately treatable with composite veneers, making porcelain your only option. Your dentist will conduct a thorough oral health evaluation as part of your consultation to determine your options.
Composite or Porcelain… What’s the Verdict?
At the end of the day, the only way to determine whether a composite or porcelain veneer solution is right for you is to speak with your dentist about your aesthetic goals and to weigh your personal considerations. In other words, what is most important to you? If you’re looking for the most cost-effective solution, then a composite veneers treatment plan will probably be a good fit. However, if you have a severe aesthetic concern, or you’re looking for the most natural and durable treatment solution (and cost is not a consideration), then porcelain veneers will give you a fantastic result.
Regardless of which material you opt for in the end, you can rest assured that both offer fantastic smile enhancement.
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