The Different Types of Dental Veneers Explained

Do you live in California and wish you had perfect teeth? You might have had braces in the past or tried tooth whitening, but have you considered dental veneers?

You may have heard of them but have no idea what they are, but they’re surprisingly common. A survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry concluded that veneers constitute a quarter of dental cosmetic procedures. Most Americans highly value the appearance of perfect teeth.

If you want to drastically improve the visual aesthetics of your mouth, you should consider dental veneers. If you don’t have pearly whites, the person next to you probably does. Don’t you want to have the brightest smile in the room?

We’re going to explain the different types of veneers and how they work. Read on!

What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers improve the appearance of the frontal surface of teeth while also protecting them from damage. The best part is that applying veneers is a minimally invasive procedure.

Thin tooth-colored shells fit over the tooth and are bonded in place. A range of color shades is available to match your tooth color or desired brightness. The size and shape of the shell can offer many cosmetic and functional improvements.

Because you can fit them quickly, and they make such a huge difference, they are sometimes known as a “smile makeover.” When you suffer cracked, chipped, or worn teeth, dental veneers are a good fit. You can disguise gaps in your smile, small misalignments, and discolorations with veneers.

Veneers can correct tooth imperfections that are caused by medical conditions, medications, foods, and drinks. They also work well if you have large fillings that have discolored the appearance of a tooth. Sometimes they’re placed on premolars, but they aren’t usually placed on first molars, as there is a less cosmetic need.

If you’re thinking of getting veneers to restore beautiful uniformity to your smile, you should know about the different types on offer. We’ll cover these next.

Porcelain Veneers

The most common type of material used for dental veneers is porcelain. They have a typical life-expectancy of 10-20 years. The ceramic nature of the porcelain veneer is better at remaining free of stains than those made of other materials, and the color doesn’t change over time.

Porcelain veneers have the strength to withstand chewing while lasting many years. They have a very realistic enamel-like appearance, especially the way they interact with lighting.

Full tooth restorations like dental crowns involve more extensive procedures and shaping to the underlying tooth to form a solid structure. The dentist is only required to shape the existing tooth minutely for porcelain veneers and also color-correct it.

Usually, two appointments are required, and an impression of the tooth receiving the veneer is made to send to a laboratory. They are then hand-crafted in the lab, as they are custom designed to fit over your existing tooth shape. In the second appointment, a bonding agent will cement the natural tooth to the veneer shell.

Unfortunately, if they get chipped, you have to replace the veneer in its entirety. On the plus side, they tend to last longer than the less expensive option that we’ll discuss next.

Composite Veneers

A cosmetic dentist will usually offer composite veneers as an alternative to porcelain. The material used is the same as that used for natural-colored cavity fillings. These have a shorter life expectancy than porcelain veneers—about 5-7 years.

Direct composite veneers, otherwise known as composite bonding, involves the crafting of the tooth, as opposed to using a lab-made shell. These veneers can be applied in one appointment. The existing tooth needs minimal or no preparation, so your natural tooth structure is preserved.

They are easier to damage than the porcelain variety, but composite veneers benefit from being easy to repair if they are chipped. A dentist might suggest composite over porcelain if the tooth alterations required are minimal.

Other Veneers

Some types of veneers are removable, so they snap on and are non-permanent. They cost less and are less invasive than the more common varieties, and they don’t require any tooth reduction.

Palatal Veneers (or Palatal Onlays) are restorations used for the anterior teeth. This partial restoration is used to correct damage from a deep bite or tooth grinding. These kinds of veneers might also be used to restore erosion from chronic vomiting or acid reflux. 

Lumineers are a brand name veneer made of porcelain material. Although they are ultra-thin, they have a life expectancy of 20 years, at the upper end of that expected for traditional porcelain veneers. They are designed to achieve an even closer enamel likeness by being translucent.

Like composites, they don’t necessarily require tooth reduction/recontouring, but the chance of chipping them is greater, which could shorten their life.

Zirconia is another type of porcelain veneer that’s better suited to teeth that have more decay or damage. They’re stronger than regular porcelain veneers and are sometimes used for the back teeth for this reason.  

Return Your Smile Today

We’ve shown that dental veneers are a quick way to achieve a perfect smile with a simple, non-invasive procedure. Don’t let your first impression be anything other than great-looking teeth.

If you live near San Diego and need a perfect smile, we can help you. We are a dental health and beauty practice, who will give you the best smile without charging high prices. We offer a range of services, including dental veneers, cosmetic dentistry, and bonding.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Leave a reply