There’s no question that veneers are one of the most popular and effective ways of correcting some of the many factors that can take the dazzle out of your smile. These thin but strong shells, which are bonded onto your teeth to hide defects, certainly do the job, either on their own or when combined with other dentistry techniques.
So the big question while visiting a Vancouver cosmetic dentist is not whether or not to use veneers, but which type to use. There are two options, those made of porcelain and their composite resin counterparts. Both have their pros and cons.
Both types of veneer are used to meet the challenges posed by unevenness caused by wear and tear, age or grinding; cracks; chips; and stains that won’t respond to ordinary whitening processes. They can also be used to deal with small gaps.
Tooth-colored resin is the basis of the composite veneers. These can be created and applied in two different ways. The can be done directly as in right in your dentist’s chair, or indirectly, where an impression is taken and sent to a lab where the composite veneer is made, for application later. The direct option will be cheaper than the indirect one, and both are cheaper than their porcelain counterparts. Results with direct application of composite veneers are immediate.
Depending on your dentist’s skill and experience in moulding the resin, direct composites may look a bit more obvious than porcelain ones, as your tooth is literally made while you wait. The resin is bonded onto the front of your tooth while you’re sitting there. Your dentist then shapes it into a tooth that is both functional, and matches the rest of your teeth in terms of your bite and aesthetically.
Composite veneers don’t last as long as porcelain ones and are more likely to stain because the resin is more absorbent than glazed porcelain. They also require more maintenance and only last about 7 years. Their big advantages are in that they involve less tooth removal, can be removed and replaced if necessary, and their lower cost.
Porcelain veneers elicit a lot of “more’s”. They are more natural-looking, more long-lasting, and more resistant to staining. They also require the removal of more of more of your tooth for bonding, are a lot more expensive and involve extra visits to your dentist to complete the more complicated process.
Porcelain veneers are the best option for covering larger defects and are very strong if they are bonded onto healthy teeth. They can last for up to 20 years if you treat them well, avoid biting hard objects, and maintain a good oral hygiene routine. If they do break, they cannot be fixed. If you have a tendency to grind your teeth, it would be best to use a bite guard at night.
There’s no going back
There’s no changing your mind once you’ve decided on veneers. Some tooth structure is taken away to ensure they fit in with the rest of your teeth and don’t affect your bite. Some adjustments can be made, and veneers can be replaced, but your tooth can’t ever return to how it was before. You will also need to replace your veneers in the future, as they do have a limited life.