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.