Composite or ceramic veneers: advantages and disadvantages

If you decided to improve your smile and think about installing veneers, you will most likely have a choice: “Which material to choose: composite or ceramic?”.
Each type of veneer has both its advantages and disadvantages. And now we will consider this issue in detail.

Composite veneers

композитные винирыComposite veneers are essentially a plastic polymer that attaches to teeth. But where it has a weak spot - there is also its advantage. Such veneers do not require special preparation or grinding of teeth, so a doctor can only slightly clean, polish, and selectively grind your teeth, and in some cases, you can do without grinding. But it is worth considering that when choosing composite veneers, the volume of future teeth increases significantly, which may not meet your expectations in an aesthetic plan.

Another clear advantage of composite veneers is the installation speed. The doctor can put composite veneers in one go. Composite tooth restoration takes several hours, so by the evening, you can already be with a new smile.

But it is worth noting that this smile will not always meet your expectations. Composite veneers are installed directly in the oral cavity, without additional fitting and sometimes without isolation from saliva, blood and other fluids. And this fact is very important at the stage of “gluing” the composite because, in order for the material to solidify, the tooth must be absolutely dry. If there is no insulation when installing composite veneers, there is a risk that the material is not firmly attached to your teeth. Also, all the beauty and aesthetics of composite veneers depends directly on the skill and work of the doctor and his performance technique. There are times when a dentist undertakes aesthetic work, but does not conduct a preliminary diagnosis and “sculpts” the shape of your future smile without any previously agreed guidelines for the future shape. Therefore, it is extremely important to find a professional who will reproduce the shape of your teeth using silicone pickup impressions and patterns.

Composite veneers installation

установка композитных виниров If the veneers are improperly installed, in the gum area where the composite is glued together, there may be an uneven edge, to which the rest of the food can then stick and microbes multiply. They will accumulate along with the glued composite, thereby penetrating inside and destroying your tooth until you see it.

After installing composite veneers, small excesses of the composite may remain in the interdental spaces, which are difficult to manually remove. They can only be cut, resulting in trauma to the gums. Or you can not calculate the strength and cut a little more than necessary, thereby creating an aesthetic defect that will be difficult to eliminate.

Be that as it may, the composite restoration of teeth is more like a game of roulette “Lucky, not lucky”, so many professionals and self-respecting doctors have already switched to a different technique and material.

However, composite veneers are in demand by most people because they are low cost and require less installation time.
The service life of direct composite veneers is an average of 3-5 years. This figure is due to the fact that the composite quickly erases, and also changes its color. Even after a year, the shade of your teeth can radically differ from the original, as mentioned above, a composite is a kind of plastic that is very sensitive to coloring substances and odors.

Ceramic veneers

digital smile designCeramic veneers (aka porcelain veneers) are thin plates made of high-quality ceramic. They are made personally by your standards and then baked in a special oven at a temperature of 900 degrees to acquire a monolithic form, which will then be painted in the desired shade of white.
You can choose the shape and color of ceramic veneers individually with your doctor, which has a definite advantage over composite veneers. The thickness of the ceramic veneer can vary from 0.2 to 1 mm, but in any case, the turning of the teeth will be mandatory so that the veneer can sit perfectly and adhere to the tooth. The shape of the ceramic veneers will be the one you want. And it will not be a blind choice. Previously, the doctor using the special program Digital Smile Design will create a visualization on the computer, set the shape of your future smile so that you can immediately see the approximate end result. In the process of developing veneers, you can adjust the shape and color as you wish, if you suddenly feel that you need to change something.

Ceramic veneers installation

The process of preparing teeth for the installation of ceramic veneers can take from several days to several weeks. After turning the teeth, the patient is given temporary plastic pads in accordance with the shape of future veneers, while the ceramic ones will be made.

установка виниров

Temporary restorations serve to protect teeth from irritants and also eliminate the aesthetic defects. Plus, this is a good way to get used to the new shape of future teeth and identify flaws in the form and functionality, so that later, if necessary, adjust future veneers. Therefore, you need to be prepared for the fact that you have to suffer for some time while ceramic veneers are made.

коффердамWhen installing veneers, all other teeth are isolated with a rubber dam. This helps protect the tooth on which the veneer is installed from saliva, blood, and other fluids. With the help of a rubber dam, your tooth will remain dry, which will provide convenience to the doctor and reliable gluing of the veneer.

The service life of ceramic veneers is 10 to 15 years. They practically do not lose their aesthetic properties and remain white throughout the entire period of use. Also, they are not afraid of plaque, and they are easy to care for.

To summarize all the above characteristics:

Composite veneers:
Service life:  3-5 years
Turning: slight or no turning at all
Installation time: several hours
Installation requirements: absent. Everyone can install them
Aesthetics: 
- create additional volume on the tooth
- tooth shape may not be perfect
- if installed incorrectly, an uneven edge at the junction remains
- when removing cement in the interdental space, the gum may be injured and the shape of the veneers will suffer
Color: quickly darkens, therefore constant polishing is required
Price: an inexpensive service that everyone can afford
Risks: if glued incorrectly, microbes through the gap can enter the tooth and destroy it, causing tooth decay

Ceramic veneers:
Service life:  10-15 years
Turning: mandatory
Installation time: several weeks
Installation requirements: present. You can see them here.
Aesthetics: 
- you can choose any form of veneers
- perfectly fit to the tooth
- do not exfoliate
- look as natural and beautiful as possible
Color: maintained throughout the entire service life
Price: the cost of the veneer is from 450 € for 1 pc.
Risks: if the ceramic veneer has broken off, then it will be quite difficult to fix it. It will be necessary either to glue the ceramics or to do all the manipulations again.

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author
ALEKSANDR MAKAROV
Dentist, surgeon, orthopedist

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