Porcelain vs Composite Veneers

Learn About Dental Veneers With Netter Family Dental in New Albany, IN

Whether you’re looking to have only a few teeth or all of your front teeth covered by dental veneers, you might be wondering, which material is the best, composite or porcelain? Dental veneers can be used alongside other cosmetic dental procedures to dramatically change the look of your smile. It’s an important question, so let’s dive in.

Porcelain vs. Composite Veneers: Lifespan

The lifespan of any dental veneer depends upon several factors. The most important of those is hygiene and overall oral health. Under ideal conditions, if a patient follows brushing, flossing, and twice annual dental checkup recommendations, both porcelain and composite veneers can last for many years. A common estimate for the lifespan of composite veneers is between 4 to 10 years. Porcelain veneers are estimated to last 10 to 15 years, if not longer.

Porcelain is generally fragile, but after being bonded to a tooth, it becomes extremely durable. Composite materials are strong as well, but once attached, they’re more prone to chipping than porcelain. However, composite veneers can be repaired, similar to fillings for normal tooth enamel, while porcelain veneers must be replaced entirely if they are damaged.


Porcelain vs. Composite Veneers: Cost & Time

Composite veneers have the advantage of a faster application process compared to porcelain. Composite veneers can be fabricated in-office and can be applied during the same visit when your teeth are prepped for them. Any dental veneers require some tooth material to be ground away to make room for them. With composite veneers, your dentist can complete that work, fabricate your veneers and apply them all in the same visit.

Porcelain veneers generally require at least two appointments. Your dentist will remove the necessary material from your teeth, take an impression mold, and wait for a special lab to fabricate your veneers. Temporary veneers are available between appointments, so it’s not like you will walk around with obviously incomplete dental work, but if time is a factor, this is worth considering. At your second appointment, your porcelain veneers will then be applied.

Porcelain veneers are also generally more expensive than composite. Because porcelain veneers cannot be fabricated in-office and are higher quality material, they cost more to create and apply. However, the initial cost of porcelain veneers compared to the repair and replacement of composite over time often becomes equal.


Porcelain vs. Composite Veneers: Look

Porcelain veneers, compared to composite veneers, look more natural. The way thin porcelain catches light, mimics a white tooth very closely. Composite veneers still look natural, but when considering cosmetics, porcelain does have the edge. Porcelain is also more stain resistant, related to its general durability edge, compared to composite.

Because composite veneers can stain, they naturally wear and change color like your other teeth. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, may start to stick out more over time compared to the teeth surrounding them. This might be because you will need to consider whitening your teeth to match the shade of your porcelain veneers as time goes on.


Which Dental Veneers Are Best?

There are pros and cons to both composite and porcelain veneers. The best material for your veneers is ultimately something you will need to decide for yourself based on your lifestyle and preferences. There’s a question of lifespan, upfront versus lifetime costs, look, and time to consider when deciding between the two. If you’re unsure, our dentists and staff are happy to help guide you through the decision-making process. There’s more information that can be provided to you and guidance that can be tailored to your specific needs and unique oral health situation.


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Is A Custom Mouthguard Right For Me? 

Mouthguards are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Even though mouthguards may look similar, they can provide different functions. They can be used for preventing teeth grinding, reducing snoring, sleep apnea relief, and protecting your mouth when playing sports. There are three different types of mouthguards: stock, boil and bite, and custom. Learn more about each option from our mouthguards service page.

Prevent Teeth Grinding 

Teeth grinding can cause soreness, tenderness, and tightness in your jaw, neck, and face muscles, commonly resulting in tension headaches. Mouthguards prevent the bottom and top teeth from clenching together so damage does not occur. Custom mouth guards are recommended to prevent teeth grinding because they provide the best fit for your teeth, last longer over time than stock or boil-and-bite mouth guards, and will be the most comfortable option for you while you sleep. 

Reduce Snoring or Sleep Apnea Relief 

Snoring occurs when air flows past the relaxed tissues in your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate when you breathe. While sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. There are two different types of mouthguards or oral appliances that can be used for snoring and/or sleep apnea:

  • Mandibular advancement device (MAD): This works by pushing the lower jaw forward, opening your airway while you sleep. 
  • Tongue retaining device: This works by gripping your tongue, preventing it from falling into the back of the throat. 

These oral appliances must be fitted by a dentist and worn in your mouth at night. There are many over-the-counter mouthguards that claim to prevent snoring or help sleep apnea, but the best course of action is to consult your dentist or doctor to see what is right for you. 

Sports Mouthguards 

Sports mouth guards can help prevent damage to the face and minimize the risk of broken teeth or injuries to your face, jaw, tongue, and lips. Certain sports have higher risks than others. It’s very important to wear a mouthguard if you play any of the following sports: football, boxing, hockey, or wrestling. Basically, when it comes to mouthguards, the better the fit, the better the protection. Stock mouth guards are the least expensive option for protecting teeth while playing sports. Boil and bite mouthguards are slightly more expensive, but provide a better fit, reducing the risk of injury. Custom mouthguards will provide the most protection as they will have the best fit/coverage of your mouth. 

We know you have many options for mouthguards, and if you’re unsure if a mouthguard will help or would like a custom-fit mouthguard consultation, contact us today!


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Netter Family Dental

4000 Technology Ave
New Albany, IN 47150
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