If you’re interested in improving the appearance of your teeth, you’ve probably stumbled on a question that pops up more and more frequently in the cosmetic dentistry niche: what is the difference between standard dental veneers and composite veneers?
The main differences between standard veneers and composite resin veneers lie in their different procedures. Here, you’ll find the procedures, benefits, and risks.
PROCEDURE FOR COMPOSITE BONDING
Composite bonding is a simple, non-invasive procedure that usually requires no more than two visits to the cosmetic dentist.
The first visit is the consultation, where the dentist will conduct an oral examination of your mouth. The dentist will determine if you are an ideal candidate for the procedure and will listen to any requests you have before giving suggestions. Once the dentist knows exactly what he’s going to do, a second appointment will be scheduled where the actual procedure will be carried out.
The procedure usually begins with the dentist cleaning your teeth thoroughly in preparation for the application of the resin. A very thin layer of enamel might have to be removed in severe cases, however, teeth don’t need to be cut if only minor shape and color changes are needed.
Before the material is added, your teeth will be lightly etched (that is roughened) to aid the adhesion.
After that, adhesive glue will be added to your teeth to help the composite resin material stick to your teeth. Finally, very thin layers of the composite resin are added to the tooth surface while being molded into the ideal shape.
The cosmetic dentist will then cure (i.e quickly harden) the layers of the resin with a special high-intensity light. If needed, you will receive further trimming and shaping to perfect the appearance. After one last polish, the work is done.
You should select a shade of white that is just right for you so the teeth look natural.
- They are quick and easy to attach.
- They are generally non-invasive.
- They are notably cheaper than veneers.
- It stains over time.
- It is less biologically compatible with the gums, therefore it tends to collect bacteria and causes inflammation of the gums much more readily than porcelain veneers.
- It is porous (i.e it has tiny holes and voids in its surface).
- It is only a temporary solution and can only last for about two to three (2-3) years before it needs to be replaced.
PROCEDURE FOR STANDARD DENTAL VENEERS
Veneer fixing usually requires three steps (that is, three different trips to the dentist). The first will be for a consultation and general diagnosis while the other two will be for the creation and application of the veneers.
During the consultation, a diagnosis and then a treatment plan is made. You’ll have to tell your dentist where and how many veneers you want to get (only one tooth can need veneers or all of them). Your dentist will then examine your teeth to determine if veneers are right for you while enlightening you on the procedure and some of the limits and risks.
An X-ray scan may then be taken. Sometimes, an impression of your mouth and teeth will be made.
To prepare your teeth for the application of the veneers, your tooth surface will need to be reshaped in an amount that is nearly equal to the thickness of the veneers that is to be bonded to the affected teeth. This is done by trimming down your tooth surface (the enamel) using a grinding device. You’ll have to decide with your dentist if you’d prefer the area to be numbed first. In severe cases where your tooth will have to be drilled past the enamel, anesthesia is used.
Next, a mold of your teeth will be taken which will be sent to the laboratory where the veneers will be custom-made. This process usually takes about two to four (2-4) weeks before the veneers are retrieved from the laboratory. Usually, temporary veneers are administered to you to use in the meantime.
Once the veneers are made, it will be time to bond them to your teeth. Bonding is the process whereby a tooth-colored luting resin is applied to your teeth to permanently attach the porcelain veneers. It works by “bonding” to the tubules in the tooth structure, thereby creating an incredible strength of adhesion.
The veneer is constantly placed on your tooth to check the fit and coloring while it is being trimmed to achieve a perfect fit. After this, the tooth surface will be polished, cleaned, and roughened to ensure that a reliable bond will be made. The bonding cement is then applied to the veneer, which is in turn placed on your tooth. Once it is properly positioned, a special light beam will be shined on the cement to activate the chemicals, thus hardening it very quickly.
The final step involves the removal of excess cement, checking your bite, and ascertaining if you need any adjustments. You may be asked by your dentist to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check your gums and the veneer placement.
- They look like natural teeth.
- The gums have tolerance for the porcelain.
- They are stain-resistant.
- They are strong and durable.
- They are usually expensive.
- Cracked or chipped veneers usually can’t be repaired.
- Your teeth may become sensitive to hot or cold foods or drinks because the enamel is removed.
- The color of veneers cannot be altered once applied so make sure to choose a color that best matches your teeth.
- They are not suitable for people with unhealthy teeth and gums, missing teeth, or people who have problems with clenching their teeth.
Both veneers are relatively expensive, so take your time and explore your options and the pros and cons of each one before you decide. You should consult a dentist for advice on the best choice for you.