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Porcelain vs. Composite Veneers –Which is Right for You?

Having a smile that you’re proud to show off can make a huge difference for self-esteem. There’s nothing better than feeling confident in your beautiful, natural, gleaming smile. And as you can imagine, many Australians go to great lengths to improve their smile.


Veneers are rapidly becoming the more popular option for Australians to get the smile of their dreams. There are two types of dental veneers - indirect and direct veneers, which we’ll outline in a detailed comparison below so that you can determine which type is best for you and your teeth.


What are Porcelain or Ceramic veneers?


Porcelain veneers are a type of cosmetic dental treatment that is applied over your teeth. Made from durable ceramic porcelain material, porcelain veneers are thin coverings that are placed over the teeth with a bonding agent, forming a new set of pearly whites over discoloured, misshapen, or damaged teeth. Once the bonding agent sets, the porcelain veneers are permanently fixed and will remain in place.


The main consideration with porcelain veneers is that due to their material, they will need to be custom-designed and made in advance to create your dream smile, following a consultation with your dentist. The choice of colour, shape and size are all factors that will be worked on by both dentist and patient to finalise before they are produced by a technician. Due to the thickness of porcelain veneers, the natural teeth may require some shaving down to ensure that the veneers fit seamlessly.



What are composite veneers?


Composite veneers are applied in the same way as porcelain veneers, with the main difference being that they are made from a different material. Composite veneers are made from a composite resin material that can be quickly applied during a dental appointment. In contrast to porcelain veneers, the composite resin material can be applied directly onto your teeth and shaped to perfection by the dentist.


Pros and cons of porcelain veneers


Pros


Natural appearance


Porcelain veneers bear the closest resemblance to natural teeth material, offering a

natural, yet perfect set of teeth. This is one of the biggest benefits of porcelain veneers — they can transform your entire smile without changing much about your natural teeth.


Long lasting


Due to the durability of the material, porcelain veneers can last for a really long time: up to 10-15 years with proper care and good dental habits. This makes them a great option for people who want to completely transform their smile and be able to enjoy it for over a decade.


Resistant to stains


The ceramic porcelain used for the veneers is also extremely stain resistant, making it more likely to retain a stain-free appearance even after a long time. Of course, it’s still advisable to avoid consuming too much of the things that can stain your teeth, such as red wine or coffee.


Cons


Higher upfront cost


Being the premium option, it shouldn’t really be a surprise that porcelain veneers have a higher price tag. Considering how long it can last and how it can enhance a smile, the value of porcelain veneers is incredible. Most dental clinics also offer instalment payment options to help spread out the cost of porcelain veneers.


Longer application time


Since porcelain veneers need to be custom-made for each individual, the total application time will require at least 2-3 dental appointments before they can be crafted and applied.


Not applicable for everyone


Porcelain veneers are only applicable to individuals that don’t have severe teeth or jaw conditions. If there are large gaps between teeth, bite issues, or jaw misalignment, veneers may not be suitable.



Pros and cons of composite veneers


Pros


Fast application


Unlike porcelain veneers, composite veneers can be applied and completed within one appointment sitting, allowing you to enjoy the results immediately after. This makes it especially ideal for those who need minor touch ups or repairs to damaged teeth.


Flexibility


Composite veneers don’t need to be applied across the whole set of teeth, although they can be if desired. It gives individuals more choice in terms of how they want to shape their smile, whether by making smaller adjustments, or a complete transformation.


Affordability


As the generally cheaper option, composite veneers are much more affordable for those limited by a budget. However, this will depend on how much work is required to achieve the desired outcome.


Cons


Shorter lifespan


As a material, composite resin is much less durable than ceramic porcelain, and as a result, will only last between 2-5 years. This means that individuals may need to undergo replacements every few years, which will in turn incur more costs down the line.


Prone to stains


Composite resin is much more prone to stains, increasing the risk of the new veneers to take on a unwanted discolouration over time.


Not suitable for everyone


Similar to porcelain veneers, composite veneers will require a base of straight teeth structure to be applied on. Any issues with over or underbite, or misaligned teeth will not be suitable for composite veneers.



Tips when choosing between composite and porcelain veneers


There’s no ‘best’ option when it comes to deciding between composite and porcelain veneers, but there are some considerations that may make one or the other more suitable for you.


●  Your current teeth condition — Depending on your current teeth and their conditions, one may be more suitable than the other. Your dentist will typically be able to provide you with a recommendation for which type of veneers will be more suitable for your specific circumstances.

●  Your desired smile — If you are fixed on completely transforming your smile, porcelain veneers will typically offer an impressive outcome. If your goal is simply to correct some smaller parts of your teeth, then composite veneers may be more suitable.

●  Your budget — Composite veneers are cheaper upfront, but may require more costs down the line, while porcelain veneers will last a long time albeit with a higher upfront cost.


Final thoughts


The best to decide what type of veneers to get is to rely on the advice of an experienced cosmetic dentist, like our team at Bluff Point Dental! During an in-person consultation, our dentists can help you visualise your new smile and guide you towards the decision that’s right for you. As the leading dental provider of porcelain & composite veneers in Geraldton, we can transform your smile into one that you can flash proudly for years to come.


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