I’ve wanted to fix my four front teeth for many years. Not only do they look smaller than my other teeth, they are discolored, too. After much research I have decided that veneers are my best option to achieve a look that is not only natural, but beautiful. Here’s my problem… my budget is very tight and I want to do composite veneers instead of porcelain to save some money. What is the difference between the two? — Lisa in Illinois
Based on how you describe your teeth, veneers would be a great option for you. It’s true that composite veneers cost less than porcelain. The cost savings is a result of less time in the dental chair, fewer materials and your dentist will not have to use a lab. But there are some differences that you should be aware of:
Composite veneers — the resin is applied directly on the tooth in very thin layers and then sculpted to achieve the desired esthetic result.
Porcelain veneers – your dentist will shave about half a millimeter off your tooth, and then take an impression and send it off to his lab to have the veneers made according to his instructed size, color and fit. Once they are finished, they are bonded directly to the prepared teeth.
While composite may seem appealing because they cost less and take less time, porcelain veneers will last longer, provide more durability and resistance to staining and chipping – with very little maintenance. Both require a lot of skill and artistry, so be sure to talk with your dentist about his experience with both and ask him to provide you with some before and after photos and testimonials from patients he has helped.
This blog post is brought to you by Des Moines cosmetic dentist, Dr. Phelan Thomas. For more information on the services he provides, please visit his Des Moines cosmetic dentist website.