Resin Veneers vs Porcelain: What’s the Difference?

Dental veneers have earned their place as a staple in cosmetic dentistry, with some years seeing more than 10% growth in the practice. The practice has been met warmly by Hollywood celebrities, Instagram influencers, and about everyone else who has teeth.

If you’re looking at new veneers, you’ve probably encountered some talk about their materials already. Words like composite, resin, and porcelain sometimes get thrown around with the assumption you already know what they mean.

Don’t worry. We’ll sort it out.

In this article, we’ll tell you about the different types of veneers. What differentiates resin veneers vs porcelain? Does the process change between the two types?

We’ve got you covered.

What Are Veneers?

Veneers, regardless of their material, create a new facade for a tooth that might be chipped, cracked, stained, or worn. Veneers best suit front teeth. A dental veneer improves the appearance of a smile, rather than providing structural strength for chewing or biting.

To install a veneer for a tooth, a dentist shaves down a thin layer of the tooth’s natural enamel. This provides a surface for the veneer to bond to. The back of the veneer, coated with a resin, sticks to the new surface.

While veneer material has considerable durability, even the best veneers can turn out slightly more fragile than a natural tooth. The process inevitably weakens the tooth, and the veneer itself may also be quite weak.

Resin Veneers

Resin veneers represent the cheaper option for a veneer. Resin uses a composite material that efficiently and safely corrects the shape and structure of a tooth.

Though resin veneers cost less than their porcelain counterparts, that doesn’t mean they offer no advantages over the more expensive type. Here, we’ll cover some of the ups and downs of choosing a resin smile. We’ll cover costs in a later section.

Resin Advantages

A resin veneer can sometimes be created on the same day as the initial appointment. Rather than shipping a request to a dental lab, your dentist can shape the material where it sits, enabling the swift repair of a damaged tooth and a restored smile.

Resin veneers also require less enamel removal than porcelain veneers. In some cases, a resin veneer will bond to a tooth without any further removal of the tooth’s enamel. You can often reverse the procedure without significant damage to the tooth, or undergo repairs with minimal time, pain, and expense.

Resin Disadvantages

Resin veneers do not last as long as porcelain ones. Generally, you can expect to perform repairs about twice as often, coming out to once every four to eight years.

Resin veneers also tend to take up color from the environment at a higher rate than porcelain veneers. If you smoke, drink dark liquids like coffee or red wine, or eat a lot of foods with artificial dyes, resin veneers can take on a more muddled color.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers come in at a higher price tag but represent a more durable and robust cosmetic procedure. While the material differs, the process used remains similar: the dentist shaves off some enamel and uses the remainder of the tooth as a mount for the veneer.

Just like before, we’ll cover key advantages and disadvantages, besides cost. You should select the dental care that best suits your situation.

Porcelain Advantages

Porcelain holds its color better than resin does. The material can still stain if you put it up to heavy abuse from smoking or drinking dark liquids, but will generally take a long time to show any signs.

Porcelain veneers also usually hold up better against the ravages of time. A porcelain veneer will last twice as long as its resin cousin, with some lasting more than fifteen years. They still require regular care and maintenance, like any dental appliance.

While porcelain veneers still shouldn’t be used to bite into hard materials, they also hold up better than resin against cavities and chips.

Porcelain Disadvantages

A porcelain veneer takes much longer to install. Typical installation processes involve an initial assessment, a temporary veneer, and a permanent veneer. Expect at least two visits before your teeth are finalized.

Porcelain can be riskier than resin for those with unhealthy teeth. A heavily damaged tooth has more to lose by losing more enamel to place a veneer.

Resin Veneers vs Porcelain: Costs

Resin veneers come in at about half the cost of porcelain. This price can vary with the particulars of a procedure. If you use this as your underlying assumption you’ll usually come out of it with about the right idea, though.

A small resin veneer procedure might cost a few hundred dollars, in certain markets. A brand new porcelain smile could cost as much as $2,500 per tooth.

Consider how long the veneers last when you’re making the decision, however. In terms of the number of years you can expect the restoration to last, you get about the same value either way.

Choose a Beautiful Smile

Whether your situation suits resin veneers vs porcelain ones requires thought about your personal needs. Do you have a damaged tooth you need to hide for that once-in-a-lifetime event, or does this represent a long-term investment in the appearance of your smile? How healthy are the teeth they’ll sit on?

If you’re in San Diego and considering a dental procedure, try contacting us. We’ll help you figure out the best choice to protect your smile for years to come.

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