What are composite veneers? All you need to know.
Achieving the smile that you’re looking for can be an exciting journey and offers an incredibly satisfying result. However, with a variety of options on the market, knowing what option is best for you and your teeth can quickly become an overwhelming and confusing choice to make.
In this ‘new normal’ we are living in, after lengthy periods at home (and much time to think!), it’s very possible we’ve become more conscious about what matters most to us. We are thinking more about connection with others, how we look and feel, and taking more care in the ways we spend our money moving forward. If you’ve been thinking about improving your overall smile with veneers, and in particular, wondering what composite veneers are, how they work, plus how they compare to porcelain veneers, then this article is for you – we’ve answered the most common questions below. It is important to note that here at The Dental Room, we do not offer composite (otherwise known as resin) veneers, however it’s always useful to understand the bigger picture, to enable you to make an informed decision – after all, a winning smile is everything!
What are Veneers?
A veneer is a wafer-thin piece of porcelain that is permanently bonded to a tooth to mask its natural colour, shape, or positioning in the mouth. There are two main materials used when it comes to veneers: resin or porcelain. Many people call composite veneers ‘resin bonding’, seeing as resin is the material used. By the time you’re choosing between the resin or porcelain material for veneers, you’ve most likely already made the great decision to improve your aesthetics of your teeth with veneers. You can either choose a veneer for one tooth (perhaps you knocked it when you were a child, and now it has a gray cast to it), or you can apply veneers to multiple teeth. There’s also the option to cover your teeth partially, or in full – it really depends on your needs and budget.
Results may vary between individuals. Any dental procedure carries risks and benefits.
How Long do Composite Veneers Last?
Composite veneers last from five to seven years on average. So, an important factor in deciding if resin is for you, is to weigh up the cost and length of time they will stay put, in comparison to well-maintained porcelain veneers which can last from 10 to 15 years (but do cost twice as much – it’s a trade off!). Value is a big consideration when deciding which veneer is for you so ensure you make a consultation with your cosmetic dentist to discuss.
How Much do Composite Veneers Cost?
The cost of veneers varies based on a number of factors, but composites cost (on average) between $250 and $650 per tooth. Of course, if you take into consideration that they last between five and seven years, don’t forget that you will be heading back to your dental clinic to pay for replacements in less than a decade (let’s face it- five years can fly by before you know it, as much as we hate to say it!). Many treatments are not covered by health insurance (and instead come out of your pocket), so composite veneers may seem a more appealing option at the time.
How do Composite Veneers Compare to Porcelain Veneers?
This is a great question, and one we’ll focus an entire article on discussing composite vs porcelain veneers , but for now, here’s what you need to know in order to weigh up the pros and cons of both composite and porcelain veneers.
Composite resin veneers have a number of advantages over porcelain veneers, with the top one being a lower cost, as mentioned (however, do weigh up the value!). Resin materials have advanced over the years, now with better polishing capability, and a variety of colours to choose from which allows mimicking of the tooth and light reflection. Despite this, porcelain is a far stronger material than resin, and porcelain veneers have a translucent quality that is quite similar to the tooth enamel, which leaves your smile looking more natural. Team this with porcelain veneers’ strength, durability, and the fact they’re a viable solution for all cases of worn enamel, wear and tear, genetic defects, uneven teeth etc., you’re on the path to design the right smile for you. Direct composite veneers (also known as composite bonding) can be fabricated while you wait, making it a same-day treatment; these are actually applied directly to your teeth, where they can be shaped and sculpted by the dentist. A high-intensity light is used, after which additional layers of resin can be applied and sculpted as needed, depending on how you would like it to look. Once finished, the resin must be polished in order to elicit a more natural, tooth-like appearance. Minimal preparation work is required on your natural teeth, meaning they are not permanently altered, and future reversibility is an option. The flip side of this is that composites may not be a viable option for severe concerns. For example, significant discoloration or spacing issues may not be adequately treatable with composite veneers, making porcelain your only option. Your dentist will conduct a thorough oral health evaluation as part of your consultation, to determine your options.
So… What’s the Veneer Verdict and What Next?
Hopefully by now, you understand what composite veneers are, what composite veneers cost, and how they differ to porcelain veneers. You may have gone back and forth in your head, weighing up the value proposition of both, and perhaps you’ve decided which is best for you. If you have, or if you haven’t quite decided yet, in both cases the only way to determine the ideal veneer solution, is to book a cosmetic consultation with one of our professionals at The Dental Room to discuss your aesthetic goals and what is most important to you. We’ll chat about how you feel about your current situation, how much you are willing to spend, and how much of a commitment you are able to make. This is the first step to transforming your smile!
About Dr Shawn Rama
Dr Shawn Rama is the Principal Dentist and Founder of The Dental Room with more than 20 years’ experience in his field. Over the years, he has steadily raised his profile as one of Australia’s elite dentists in the field of aesthetic dentistry, and along with his top in-house ceramist, is adept at designing customised, bespoke, porcelain veneers that transform smiles. Dr Shawn has created a unique clinic where as soon as you step in the door, you are greeted by warm and friendly dental professionals that put you first as the client, delivering an exceptional experience every time.