What types of veneer are there?
There are two ways that veneers can be installed. Firstly, they can be “palatal”, which means that they are applied to the back of teeth, giving them extra support. These are less common, that the other variety, which are applied to the front of teeth, and tend to be a more effective cosmetic intervention.
There are two major types of frontal veneer: composite and porcelain.
Composite veneers: composite veneers are made from specially created resins and they can be created in one sitting as patients wait. A skilled dental surgeon can create a precise mould based upon the patient's teeth, and apply several layers of resin to build a replica. This mould sets in a few minutes and can then be bonded using standard dental cement.
Composite veneers are more convenient than porcelain alternatives, as they require fewer visits to the dentist. They also tend to require less drilling and processing of the patient's teeth. However, they are usually less hard-wearing than porcelain veneers, and will generally have to be replaced within 5-10 years of installation. In many cases, they are also more susceptible to staining, which can compromise the cosmetic qualities of the veneer.
Porcelain or ceramic veneers: a more expensive and time-consuming variety, porcelain veneers have many qualities that make the inconvenience worthwhile. In this case, the veneers will be constructed by specialist labs away from the dental surgery, and there may be a delay of a couple of weeks during this time.
Porcelain veneers may require some extra dental work to prepare teeth for the bonding procedure, but they have some significant benefits. They tend to reflect light in a more natural manner, mimicking the effect of tooth enamel; they are stronger and last longer than composite alternatives, and they resist staining more effectively.
Additional Options: No-Prep Veneers and Same-Day Veneers
No-prep veneers: the most widely used brands include LUMINEERS®, Vivaneers™, and DURAthin®. A no-prep veneer is much thinner than a traditional veneer and does not require any tooth preparation. This means that the enamel of your teeth will not be shaved off as they are designed to be placed directly on top of your natural teeth.
Same-day veneers: these restorations are designed to be prepared and placed on the same day. This is done thanks to CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) technology, where veneers are custom made directly at the dentist’s office.
Both no-prep and same-day veneers might not be the right option for every patient. Your dentist will help you choose the right one for your individual needs.
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