Ceramic or porcelain veneers are what people are usually talking about when they say they got veneers or when someone famous gets veneers. However, there is a an alternative…composite veneers. The difference is what the veneer is made of and how we make it. There are several circumstances in which composite is a much better choice than porcelain, but the majority of veneer cases are porcelain.
So when does the situation call for composite veneers????
Ceramic veneers tend to be a little nicer and last longer but there are possible reasons why composite would be preferable.
Top reasons to get composite veneers
1. A child or young adult with peg laterals. It is often best for adolescents to wait until done growing to get porcelain veneers.
2. An individual that only needs one or two veneers, typically this is also someone with peg laterals.
3. Someone with existing composite veneers that doesn’t want to change to porcelain ones.
4. Composite is usually cheaper than porcelain so anyone that wants to spend less money up front. Realize that composite also usually does not last as long so in the long run can cost more money.
Who does composite veneers?
Some doctors love using composite and have a lot of their patients get composite instead of the porcelain veneers. We feel that usually the downside of the composite veneers will outweigh any temporary benefits. We do, however, use them when the situation calls for it. Examples of when we use composite over porcelain are right above this paragraph.
What are the disadvantages of composite?
The major disadvantage is that they wear away and start to literally break down. They are also not as strong as porcelain and composite will stain. They do cost less initially, but over the course of a lifetime may actually cost more because of the maintenance costs. The main advantage of composite veneers is that the doctor has total control of the look of them and can easily make changes immediately. When a lab makes porcelain veneers for just one or two teeth, trying to get a perfect match is very difficult and maybe impossible in some cases. With composite veneers the doctor can fairly quickly make a great match to the neighboring teeth. Of course, if you are doing all your teeth this matching is irrelevant.
Before and after photos
The photo at the top of this page is a patient with 6 front composite veneers from Dr. Bauer. Below is an example of a woman that after whitening her teeth came to see that her old veneers were now much more yellow than her natural teeth. So without her even being numb we redid them and made everything match again.
If you or someone you love is considering a smile make-over give us a call and come on in and see us for a complimentary consultation. I have spent a lot of time and effort ensuring that I have the best products and techniques in existence so that I can give you the best smile available. Check out my work or check me out at the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentists. Besides the free esthetic consult we also offer complimentary orthodontic consults with my wife, Dr. Danielle Bauer. Call us at 630-665-5550 we would love to help you!
Trying to decide between porcelain veneers or composite veneers?
Greg had some issues with decay around an old veneer in front. Although esthetics was not his major concern we thought now would be the time to change things if we were ever going to. Since esthetics was not the major concern for Greg, rather than doing everything in porcelain, which costs considerably more, we opted to do some of the veneers in composite instead. This type of smile upgrade takes about 3 or 4 visits with only one visit taking over an hour. The other visits are typically 20-40 minutes long.
Do you think you can tell which are porcelain veneers, dental crowns, and composite veneers?
The final result turned out very nice. Although Greg was not initially concerned about the esthetics of his smile, once we were done he was very happy we had urged him to complete the work at this time.
If you or someone you know has interest in improving their smile, then give us a call! Although this type of work is not cheap there are options to make it more affordable.