By: Dr. Lahiru Chandraweera

May 05, 2023

Understanding the Different Types of Dental Veneers Available: A Beginners Guide

Our teeth can become discoloured, chipped, or misaligned as we age. Fortunately, dental veneer treatment is available to help restore your smile. Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells designed to fit over your teeth to enhance their appearance. They commonly address tooth discolouration, chipped, cracks, and minor misalignment issues.

This beginner’s guide will discuss the different types of dental veneers, including porcelain and composite resin veneers. Porcelain veneers are made from a strong, durable material that resembles natural teeth. In contrast, composite resin veneers are a more affordable option that can be easily applied in a single visit.

If you are considering getting dental veneers for your smile, you must understand the differences between these two types. This guide will help you choose which type of veneer is right for you.

Hills Family Dental Centre

Summary of the Content

  • Dental veneer treatment is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that can enhance the appearance of teeth and boost confidence.

  • The two main types of veneers include porcelain veneers and composite resin veneers.

  • Porcelain veneers are more durable and resistant to staining, while composite resin veneers are more affordable and require less tooth preparation.

  • After consulting with their dentist, dental patients should choose the type of veneer that suits their goals and individual needs.

  • The process of dental veneer treatment is usually done in a few visits to the dentist’s office. It involves tooth preparation, taking impressions, and bonding the veneers to the teeth.

  • Maintaining veneers requires good oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing regularly and avoiding hard or sticky foods.

  • Regular dental check-ups are crucial to monitor the teeth and veneers’ health and address any issues that may arise.

  • While veneers can provide an excellent solution for many cosmetic dental issues, there are some downsides, such as the cost and the need for occasional replacement or repair.

Types of Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are suitable for those seeking to improve their teeth’ appearance. They are thin shells custom-made to fit over the front surface of a tooth to address issues such as discoloured teeth, chips, cracks, and misaligned teeth. Different types of dental veneers are available, but the most commonly used types are porcelain and composite resin veneers.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are made of strong, durable material that can mimic natural tooth appearance. They are resistant to stains and chips, making them an excellent choice for those seeking a long-lasting solution to improving their smile.

Porcelain veneers require a two-step procedure. During the first dental visit, a thin layer of tooth enamel is removed to prepare the teeth for the veneers. Then, the dentist will take impressions of the teeth. The impressions are then sent to a dental laboratory, where the veneers are fabricated and customised to fit the teeth. The veneers are bonded to the teeth during the second visit using a dental adhesive.

Composite Resin Veneers

Composite resin veneers are another popular option for those seeking a beautiful smile makeover. They are cheaper than porcelain veneers and can be completed in a single visit. Composite veneers are made of resin composite materials applied to the front surface of the tooth in layers. The material is then shaped and polished to look like a natural tooth. Composite veneers are less invasive than porcelain veneers since less tooth enamel is removed during the procedure. In certain cases, trimming of the teeth may not be necessary at all.

Other Types of Veneers

Besides porcelain and composite veneers, other types of veneers are available. Removable veneers and temporary veneers are all alternatives to traditional veneers. Removable or snap-on veneers are thin, removable veneers made of acrylic that snap onto the teeth. Temporary veneers are similar to composite veneers but are not as durable and only intended for short-term use.

Porcelain Veneers: The Classic Choice

Porcelain veneers are a classic option for those seeking a beautiful, natural-looking smile. They are made of high-quality materials that closely resemble natural tooth enamel, making them a popular choice for those who want to achieve a long-lasting restoration of their teeth.

Benefits of Porcelain Veneers

  • Porcelain veneers have a natural appearance that closely resembles the look of natural teeth.

  • Compared to composite veneers, they are durable and resistant to stains and chips, making them a longer-lasting option. With proper care, they can last 10-15 years.

  • They can address a wide range of cosmetic issues, including gaps between teeth, crooked teeth, and dark or stained teeth.

  • Porcelain veneers can be customised to suit each patient’s individual cosmetic goals and dental situation.

Drawbacks of Porcelain Veneers

  • Porcelain veneers require the removal of a thicker layer of tooth enamel compared to other types of veneers, and some patients may experience tooth sensitivity after the procedure.

  • The procedure for porcelain veneers may take multiple visits to the dentist.

  • The cost of porcelain veneers is usually higher than composite veneers.

  • Porcelain veneers are a cosmetic procedure and may not be covered by dental insurance.

Procedure for Porcelain Veneers

The process of getting porcelain veneers involves multiple dentist visits. Here is an overview of the procedure:

  1. Consultation:
    The first step is to meet with a dentist to discuss the possibility of veneers and determine if they are the ideal treatment to achieve the patient’s goals.

  2. Tooth preparation:
    To prepare for porcelain veneers, the dentist will remove a thin layer of natural tooth enamel to make space for the veneer. This is a minimally invasive procedure, but it is irreversible.

  3. Impression:
    The dentist will take an impression of the prepared teeth and send it to a dental laboratory where a dental lab technician will fabricate the veneers.

  4. Temporary veneer:
    A temporary veneer will be placed on the teeth until the final dental veneers are ready.

  5. Final placement:
    Once the final veneers are ready, the dentist will secure them on the front surfaces of teeth using a dental adhesive. The veneers will be adjusted and polished to fit comfortably and look natural.

Composite Resin Veneers: A Versatile Alternative

Composite resin veneers are a flexible type of veneer that provides a solution for a wide range of aesthetic issues. They are made of composite resin applied to the tooth in layers, then shaped and polished to resemble a natural tooth.

Advantages of Composite Resin Veneers

  • Minimal tooth preparation is required, preserving natural tooth structure and enamel.

  • The procedure for composite resin veneers is conservative and less invasive than porcelain veneers.

  • The application procedure for composite resin veneers is typically quicker and requires fewer dental visits.

  • Composite resin veneers are a cheaper alternative to porcelain veneers. They are more affordable, making them accessible to more patients.

  • Composite veneers can be easily repaired in case they chip or break.

Disadvantages of Composite Resin Veneers

  • While composite veneers can produce satisfactory aesthetic results, they may not achieve the same level of translucency, shine, and natural appearance as porcelain veneers.

  • Composite resin veneers are less durable than porcelain veneers and may require more frequent replacement or touch-ups compared to porcelain veneers.

  • The material used for composite resin veneers is more prone to stains over time, making them less ideal for those who consume a lot of coloured substances such as coffee, tea, or tobacco.

The Process for Composite Resin Veneers

The procedure for composite resin veneers is usually quicker and requires fewer dental visits than porcelain veneers. Here is an overview of the process:

  1. Consultation:
    The first step is to meet with a professional dentist to discuss the choice of veneers and determine if composite resin veneers are the best option for the patient’s aesthetic goals.

  2. Tooth preparation:
    The dentist will remove a small amount of natural tooth enamel to make room for the composite resin veneer. However, in certain cases, tooth reduction may not be required, resulting in a less invasive procedure that preserves the natural tooth structure.

  3. Veneer application:
    The composite resin material is applied to the tooth in layers, shaped and polished to resemble a natural tooth.

  4. Final touches:
    The dentist will make final adjustments to the veneer to ensure it fits comfortably and looks natural.

Dental Veneer Options: Making the Right Decision

Choosing the right dental veneer option is an important decision that can greatly impact the appearance and health of your teeth. With different types of dental veneers available, including porcelain veneers and composite resin veneers, it’s crucial to consider various factors before making a choice.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Dental Veneers

  • Degree of strength:
    Consider the level of strength required for the veneer depending on the tooth’s location. Porcelain veneers are typically stronger than composite resin veneers and are better suited for posterior teeth.

  • Cost:
    Consider the cost of the veneer treatment plan and whether it fits your budget. While composite resin veneers are more affordable, porcelain veneers provide a longer-lasting solution.

  • Aesthetic goals:
    Consider the cosmetic goals you wish to achieve and which type of veneer can provide the best solution. Porcelain veneers are ideal for those looking for a bright, natural-looking smile, while composite resin veneers are better suited for minor imperfections in teeth.

  • Longevity:
    Consider the durability of the veneer and whether it can withstand damage over time. Porcelain veneers are more durable and resistant to stains than composite resin veneers.

  • Tooth preparation process:
    Consider the degree of enamel removal required for the dental veneer treatment. Composite veneers require minimal preparation compared to composite resin veneers, which can preserve natural tooth enamel and structure.

Consultation with a Dental Professional

Seeking a consultation with a licensed dentist is paramount when considering any dental treatment, including dental veneers. Making an informed decision about cosmetic dentistry treatments necessitates a comprehensive understanding of the veneer process, types of materials, and the potential benefits they can provide.

A dental professional’s expertise is invaluable in determining the most suitable veneer options for your unique circumstances and recommending the appropriate treatment plan. Moreover, they can offer guidance on dental care practices, including proper gum tissue maintenance, to ensure the longevity of your veneers and preserve optimal oral health. By consulting with a dental professional, you can make well-informed choices and receive personalised care tailored to your specific needs.

The Cost of Dental Veneers

The cost of veneers varies depending on various factors, including the type of veneer, the number of veneers needed, and the location of the clinic. Here are some factors influencing veneer pricing and payment and financing options available.

Factors Influencing Veneer Pricing

  • Type of veneer:
    The cost of veneers varies depending on the type of veneer used. Porcelain veneers are generally more expensive than composite resin veneers due to their superior strength and durability.

  • Number of Veneers:
    The number of teeth requiring veneers will impact the overall cost. Each veneered tooth incurs a separate fee, so the more veneers needed, the higher the cost.

  • Geographic Location:
    The cost of living and dental services can vary by location. Dental clinics in urban areas or regions with a higher cost of living may charge more for veneers compared to those in rural areas.

Payment and Financing Options

The cost of veneer treatment can vary greatly depending on the veneer type and the individual needs of the patient. Many dental practices offer payment and financing options to help make veneer treatment more affordable. Here are some of the payment and financing options available:

  • Payment plans:
    Some dental clinics offer payment plans that allow patients to pay for veneer treatment over a period of time.

  • Credit cards:
    Patients can also use credit cards to finance the cost of veneer treatment.

  • Health funds:
    Some health funds may cover the cost of veneer treatment, particularly if the treatment is deemed medically necessary.

  • Third-party financing:
    Some dental clinics offer third-party financing options that allow patients to finance the cost of veneer treatment through a separate financial institution.

How to Maintain Your Dental Veneers

Maintaining your dental veneers is crucial for their longevity and continued aesthetic appeal. By following proper care practices, you can ensure that your veneers remain in excellent condition.

Here are some valuable tips on how to properly take care of your dental veneers:

Oral Hygiene Tips for Veneer Care

  1. Brush and floss regularly:
    Maintaining good dental hygiene by brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day is important. This will help prevent any bacteria buildup that can cause damage to the veneers, tooth decay or gum disease.

  2. Use non-abrasive toothpaste:
    To avoid damaging the surface of the veneers, it is recommended to use non-abrasive toothpaste. This will prevent any scratches or damage to the veneers.

  3. Avoid chewing hard foods and objects:
    Chewing on hard foods or using your teeth to open bottles can cause damage to the veneers. Avoid such habits to ensure the longevity of your veneers.

  4. Wear a mouthguard:
    If you participate in any high-impact activities, such as sports or teeth grinding, it is recommended to wear a mouthguard to protect the veneers.

Regular Dental Check-ups

Regular dental check-ups can help maintain the health of your teeth and veneers. During these check-ups, your dentist will assess the condition of your veneers and check if they are properly maintained. They will also provide you with tips on how to maintain your veneers and ensure their longevity.

In addition to regular check-ups, you must contact your dentist if you experience any issues with your veneers, such as chips or cracks. Your dentist can provide the necessary dental procedures to restore your veneers.

The Impact of Dental Veneers on Your Smile

Dental veneers are an excellent option for enhancing the appearance of your smile. Whether you have discoloured, crooked, or misshapen teeth, veneers can provide an ideal solution to help achieve your dream smile. Different types of dental veneers are available, including porcelain veneers, composite resin veneers, and removable or snap-on veneers.

Aesthetics and Confidence Boost

One of the most significant impacts of dental veneers on your smile is the aesthetic improvement they offer. Veneers can address dental imperfections and improve the appearance of your natural teeth. With veneers, you can achieve a flawless smile that boosts your confidence and self-esteem. Dental veneers look and feel like real teeth, designed to match the colour and shape of your natural teeth.

Veneers and Oral Health

Dental veneers have the potential to improve oral health. Veneers can help address minor misalignments or gaps between teeth, reducing the risk of food particles getting trapped and decreasing the likelihood of plaque buildup. By creating a smooth and even tooth surface, veneers can facilitate easier brushing and flossing, promoting better oral hygiene. However, it’s important to note that maintaining good oral health practices, such as regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, remains crucial even with veneers to ensure the longevity and health of both the veneers and the underlying teeth.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, dental veneers offer a cosmetic solution for various dental issues. They come in different types, including porcelain and composite resin veneers, each with benefits and drawbacks. Patients must consider the cost, procedure, and type of veneer suitable for their goals and budget.

Maintaining dental veneers requires regular oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing, and using non-abrasive toothpaste. Patients should also visit their dentist regularly for professional cleaning and check-ups to maintain the longevity of their veneers and overall oral health.

Hills Family Dental Centre provides high-quality dental care services, including dental veneer application. Our team of licensed and professional dentists work closely with patients to provide personalised treatment plans that suit their individual goals and dental issues. Book an appointment today and start your journey towards a flawless smile.