If you are unhappy with the way your teeth look, dental veneers could be a good option for you. As well as helping you achieve a whiter, brighter smile, veneers can be very effective when it comes to correcting teeth that are crooked or badly shaped. Composite veneers are also a great solution if you have a tooth that is broken or chipped, or if you feel your teeth are spaced too far apart. You can choose between porcelain and composite veneers in the UK. When applied by an experienced dentist, both types can give you a beautiful smile, and help you maintain a healthy mouth.
Dental veneers are a lifelong commitment, so it’s important to make sure they’re the right choice for you. Our expert team will be happy to help you perfect your dental routine, whether you’re considering veneers, or are looking to check in on your health.
What are Composite Veneers?
Composite veneers are used in situations in which there is chipping or discolouration of natural teeth. They are also used where there are minor misalignments of teeth, to give the appearance of straighter teeth.
Modern composite materials can provide a life-like, beautiful appearance that is non-destructive to the tooth structure and can last for a long time. During the composite veneers procedure, a tooth coloured filling material, which is matched with your natural tooth shade, is applied in layers to the tooth surface, and sculpted directly in your mouth to achieve the desired aesthetic appearance.
What are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are thin shells, a little like false fingernails but for teeth, that are custom made to fit directly over your teeth. They recreate the natural look of teeth, while also providing a strong, resilient finish in comparison to natural tooth enamel.
Porcelain veneers create a very natural tooth appearance. The translucent properties of the porcelain allow the veneers to mimic the light handling characteristics of enamel, giving it a sense of depth that looks beautiful and life-like, and will keep your smile looking bright.
In many cases, your dentist will advise on enamel reduction before your porcelain veneers are fitted. This is to ensure your veneers fit comfortably in your mouth, without damaging your natural teeth underneath them, or causing you any pain or tooth sensitivity.
How Do You Maintain Veneers?
If you look after your veneers, they should last for years. Regular maintenance and care ensure your dental veneers continue to look as fresh, clean and white as they do when they’re first applied. While composite veneers last between five and seven years, well looked-after porcelain veneers can retain good condition for up to twenty years.
The best way to look after your veneers is to treat them as you would your teeth: with good oral hygiene. Taking regular trips to your dentist, brushing twice a day and remembering to floss daily are the most effective ways to take care of your dental veneers.
Your friendly dentist will also be able to advise you on any personal measures you need to take to make sure your veneers remain in good condition. Grinding your teeth, using your teeth to rip open packets or bottles, or chewing hard foods can all impact the strength of your veneers. While porcelain veneers are stain-resistant, smoking or drinking high-tannin drinks regularly can change the colour of the composite bonding used to cover your natural teeth, and leave your veneers looking less bright and polished.
The Risks of Dental Veneers
Applying dental veneers is a minimally non-invasive, quick process, but as the results are permanent, it’s best to discuss your smile with an experienced dentist before you go ahead with the procedure. Because getting veneers is non-invasive, the vast majority of patients won’t feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
Composite veneers can be applied to your mouth in one sitting, as the resin material is sculpted directly onto your teeth. A more permanent option, porcelain veneers are created by a technician in a dental lab and are made to fit the exact impression of your mouth, before the procedure takes place. Your dentist will then use bonding cement to apply them carefully to your teeth.
While you can expect to feel some slight sensitivity in the days after the procedure as you adjust to your new teeth, your veneers should feel completely normal, fairly quickly. Because both composite and porcelain veneers fit exactly to the shape of your mouth, they will feel natural, without affecting your bite or the way you chew.
Composite Veneers vs Porcelain
- Porcelain veneers resist everyday staining from cigarette smoking, tea, coffee, red wine and other dark or richly coloured liquids or spices. Composite veneers are more likely to stain over time, just like your natural tooth enamel.
- Porcelain veneers cannot be repaired. If they break, porcelain veneers must be replaced, whereas composite veneers can be repaired by your dentist in just one visit.
- Porcelain veneers are durable and can last for many years if you take good care of them with a regular home care routine. While composite veneers can last up to seven years, they will need to be refreshed or replaced more frequently, as the resin material used is not as strong as porcelain.
- Porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite veneers, as they require a dental laboratory to make them and therefore cost more.
- Porcelain veneers are made in a dental laboratory and require at least two visits to prepare and fit the veneers. Composite resin veneers are accomplished in one visit and are made chair side by a dentist.
- Porcelain veneers require the removal of some of the tooth surface. Once a tooth has been prepared for a veneer that tooth structure has been damaged and the preparation to the tooth is irreversible. Composite veneers bond directly onto the tooth surface and are therefore not damaging or destructive to the tooth at all.
Book your free dental veneers consultation
Want to know more about the best dental veneers for your smile? Book a free consultation with our team of caring expert dentists to discuss the best way to keep your mouth healthy.
Learn more about how composite or porcelain veneers could benefit you by booking a free consultation at Churchfield Dental Centre.