The materials used to fabricate veneers are composite and ceramic. Composite veneers are esthetically inferior to ceramic veneers, they require more frequent corrections, and are not as long-lasting, but their strong point lies in the fact that they are much easier and far cheaper to fabricate compared to ceramic veneers. On the other hand, ceramic veneers are a perfect solution in every respect if you wish to recreate the natural look of your teeth, and only if, of course, the dentist has given their consent as well.
Composite veneers are made of the same material as the fillings, and the latest types of composite possess excellent physical and esthetic features. Composite veneers may be placed directly onto a tooth, meticulously applying and shaping it, or they can be fabricated in a laboratory, much like ceramic veneers, and then mounted on the tooth. If directly applied, there is usually minimal tooth preparation needed, involving contouring down to the depth of 0.1-0.2 mm, as is the case for ceramic veneers. In this way we have ensured to make room for the material but still leave no room for bulges, which would be a very visible flaw. In rare cases composite veneers may be placed with no recontouring required (no-prep procedure).
Composite veneers are quite practical for rectifying imperfections on one or two teeth, in which case the dentist will try to provide a smooth transition of colour to correspond with the adjacent teeth. However, the shade will never be identical to that of the neighbouring teeth.
When a patient wishes to improve the appearance of all front teeth, this is also achievable using composite veneers, but since composite veneers often require amendments from time to time, the maintenance of a large number of composite veneers may prove to be too much work. Therefore, ceramic is the material of choice if a more complex veneer procedure is necessary.
While composite veneers are a type of upgrade that is not permanent in terms of aesthetics and shape, it must be periodically repaired and can be easily removed, ceramic veneers are one of the permanent procedures. Like crowns, they often last over 10 years without any change in the color, shine and shape of the veneer itself. Durability and durability is just one of the advantages of ceramic veneers, because equally important is their aesthetic potential, which is exceptional. Only ceramic veneers can change the length and shape of the teeth to such a degree that a perfect smile is achieved. The ceramic veneer is not worn, so it will look the same after many years, while choosing a color can achieve an absolutely natural look. When it comes to the necessary grinding of teeth to prepare for the placement of ceramic veneers, the thickness of the layer that needs to be sanded in order to perfectly attach the veneer to the tooth is 0.2-0.3mm.
Also, while recontouring, it is highly important not to go beyond enamel so that the bond will have a long-lasting stability, which, again, brings the alignment into the focus. If there are greater irregularities, the teeth need to be treated more invasively in order to smooth out the flaws. Unfortunately, this way we might reach dentine, making the bond weaker, which in turn makes the veneer more susceptible to breakage. For this reason, we recommend caps, i.e. crowns, if it is not possible to rectify the alignment by way of braces.
Veneers on all front teeth – final appearance
No-prep veneers are a type of ceramic veneers which do not require preparatory recontouring. With the advances made in dental technology, it has become more and more common that an exceptionally thin veneer is placed on a tooth with the same “fit like a glove” effect as if contoured. With no preparation needed, teeth and gums are preserved, and veneers which are placed with no preparation, certain studies suggest, last even longer than the ones that require preparation. However, it isn’t very often that no-prep veneers can be used. Sometimes when we work with small teeth with gaps in between, they can indeed be elongated without recontouring, but usually no-prep veneers cannot be used here because some teeth might have been extracted or might be misaligned, which requires recontouring to align their position properly. There is also the problem of an impaired perfect fit between a veneer and a tooth, that is, the potential accumulation of food inside the bond.
The cost for a composite veneer is €50, whereas a ceramic veneer is priced at €220. If we include the corrections, as well as replacement of composite veneers with new ones every year or so, it amounts to the same long-term cost as ceramic veneers. Only when composite veneers are regarded as temporary, until ceramic veneers can be afforded, does it make financial sense to go for this type of veneers.
While opting for ceramic veneers means making a relatively significant life decision, since it involves substantial financing and an invasive, though small in scope, procedure, we by no means turn away from composite veneers when there are certain irregularities which cannot be rectified by braces, since the patient will gain more than lose, and at a minimal cost.