Porcelain vs. Composite Resin Veneers

Porcelain veneers in Scripps Ranch

Veneers offer a quick and convenient way to improve the appearance of stained, misshapen, damaged or misaligned teeth. Imperfections are masked by strong, thin porcelain shields or bonded material attached to the front of your existing teeth. Below, experienced San Diego area dentist Dr. Jennifer D. Santoro outlines the benefits of porcelain and composite resin veneers, and suggests factors to consider in choosing between these two effective options.

Key Differences

Porcelain veneers are the most recent technological innovation, and are the more popular choice. Composite resin veneers are a lower-cost alternative with a similarly long record of satisfaction and success.

Composite resin veneers can often be attached to the teeth in a single day. Porcelain shields are fabricated by a laboratory and require a follow-up office visit. Composite resin veneers are like putty in the hands of a sculptor; the material is applied directly to the teeth and then shaped to perfection by your dentist. Each layer is hardened by focusing a high-intensity light on the tooth, and then polished.

For some patients, another important advantage of composite resin is that it preserves the freedom to change your mind. To make room for a porcelain veneer, and to firmly attach the veneer to the surface, some of the natural enamel is removed at the start of the procedure. Reshaping the existing tooth in preparation for a veneer is necessary to ensure your tooth will have the same thickness after placement, and to promote a strong bond between veneer and tooth.

The necessity of this also means that porcelain veneers are a permanent solution, and cannot be reversed. Very little preparation of the tooth is necessary for a composite resin veneer procedure. The material can be removed at a later date, if desired.

Composite resin is not as durable as porcelain, lasting an expected five to seven years. By contrast, porcelain veneers should last 10 to 20 years. The translucent surface of porcelain also provides a more natural look for the veneer, and is resistant to staining. With composite resin veneers, patients are advised to avoid certain foods that can cause discoloration of the material.

A Simple Fix

Both types of veneers are straightforward solutions for dental issues that might normally require more complex procedures. For example, veneers are a simpler and less costly alternative to dental crowns and orthodontic realignment. Veneers can add balance to misshapen teeth, cover gaps, make crookedness less noticeable, fill cracks, add volume to teeth with chips and cover up existing discoloration. To cover larger gaps between teeth, the stronger porcelain veneers may be the better option.

To schedule your appointment, or to learn more about veneers, call Dr. Santoro at (858) 566-8510, or email Village Center Dentistry in Scripps Ranch today.