Veneers seem to be the new hot topic. More and more people are coming forth and talking about this type of cosmetic procedure so it’s only natural that you might have some questions. At Smiles by Dr. Santos, we specialize in all types of dental procedures-from routine health cleanings to other types of cosmetic dental work; we’ve got you covered!

So what exactly are dental veneers? Dental veneers are customized shells that are made out of porcelain or other composite resin that fit over your teeth in order to help improve the overall appearance. Think of it as a dental face-lift.  Many people opt for veneers when looking to fix any types of stains or discoloration on their teeth. Veneers can also be especially helpful for improving your oral health, especially if you have teeth that are cracked or missing. While the purpose of veneers is generally cosmetic, you may be able to have them fitted into part of an oral dental makeover as a treatment for gum disease. The options are truly endless with this procedure.

How much do veneers cost?

Just like any type of cosmetic surgery, veneers are going to be an investment. Veneers can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands per tooth depending on the dentist that you see. Composite veneers are typically going to be a less expensive alternative when compared to porcelain, which is going to be the most expensive. You’ll also want to be aware of who is going to be making the veneers. Usually, a ceramist is the one doing this not the actual dentist. So be sure to do your research, after all a smile is one of the first things you notice when meeting new people. You want to make sure you’re getting the very best.

Composite vs Porcelain

There are two types of materials that veneers are made out of: composite resin and porcelain. So what is the difference? Which one is better? Well, it is completely dependent on what you are looking for.

Composite Veneers

Composite veneers are typically known as “direct veneers,” meaning it is a direct coating that is applied to the teeth in a single dental visit making it more convenient if you’ve got a busy schedule. Composite veneers are sculpted onto your teeth rather than in an outside lab.

They’re usually less expensive and more affordable than porcelain, which is important to note since most veneer procedures are not covered by dental insurance. The procedure consists of a tooth-shaded resin being applied directly onto the tooth, which is then sculpted by the dentist. This resin is hardened by using a high-intensity light, and then additional layers of resin can be applied and sculpted in order to obtain the desired aesthetic. The resin is then polished to give a more natural look, so this process tends to be less invasive and noticeable quicker than porcelain.

One of the biggest advantages when using composite versus porcelain is that composite veneers are reversible since there is minimal prep work on your natural teeth. If need be, the composite can be removed and replaced, unlike porcelain.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are what most people think of when hearing the term veneers. Porcelain is the most durable material when compared to composite bonding. This type of veneer can last up to 10-15 years, compared to the five-to-seven year lifespan of a composite. This is definitely something to consider when deciding on what type of material you’ll be using. Most dentists would agree that porcelain veneers offer the most natural, tooth-like aesthetic. Porcelain has a translucent quality that is very similar looking to your natural tooth enamel. It is also highly resistant to both staining and chipping, making them more durable. The procedure for porcelain veneers is more extensive though, as it also requires your teeth to be made in an outside lab, so you may be required to wear some type of temporary cover while you wait for the veneers to be made.

Porcelain also offers a wider range solution for multiple dental treatments such as worn enamel, discoloration, spacing issues, uneven teeth, or various genetic defects. So depending on your dental needs when it comes to veneers, speak with your dentist when it comes to choosing the right material. Your dentist should conduct a thorough oral health evaluation as part of your consultation to determine your options.

At the end of the day, only you and your dentist can determine which material is right for you. Speak with your dentist in order to discuss what your aesthetic goals are and what is most important to you. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective solution, composite veneer treatment might be a better fit but if you’re looking for something to fit a bigger dental solution and want the most natural and durable solution, porcelain might be a better option. Regardless of what material you select, you can be guaranteed that both materials give incredible smile enhancement.

At Smiles by Dr. Santos, we offer both composite bonding and porcelain veneer options. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about veneers, call us today at 609-978-8466 or come visit us in Manahawkin. We look forward to seeing your smile!