There is no doubt that dental veneers are a fantastic cosmetic dentistry option for restoring and beautifying a smile. Not only can they change the shape or alignment of teeth, but they can permanently lighten the shade or colour of your teeth – giving you a gorgeous, light, bright, more youthful smile. Flipping through the pages of the latest ‘glossy mag’ you would be hard-pressed to find any Hollywood celebrity who hasn’t had this treatment.
What are the Types of Veneers Available?
There are, typically, two types of veneers that can be undertaken for patients: the resin veneer or the ceramic veneer.
So which one really is the best option? And what are the pros and cons of both?
One concern of many patients is the thought of a healthy tooth being ‘drilled’ or cut away in order for porcelain veneers to be bonded onto the tooth.
Undertaken to a high standard, by a proficient Cosmetic Dentist in Sydney, porcelain veneers are a minimally invasive treatment solution, where only a small amount of tooth enamel is removed from the outside surface and biting edge of the teeth. Just enough enamel is removed for a thin shell of ceramic or porcelain to be bonded onto the tooth. In fact, our goal in any ceramic dental treatment here at The Macquarie Street Centre is to be as conservative as possible when removing tooth structure – for the thinner the porcelain shell the more natural and translucent the ceramic will be! We hold fast to this treatment philosophy whether that is a porcelain veneer or dental crown. This is also where our Smile Test Drive service plays an important role! The goal of this Digital Smile Design technique is to determine the final aesthetic end result – and then prepare the teeth accordingly. Thus removing only what is necessary.
Advantages of Ceramic Veneers
Ceramic/Porcelain veneers have a number of advantages;
- They are long lasting (on average 10 to 15 years) and have great strength qualities, being more resistant to chipping/fracture.
- They are resistant to staining, and will not change shade over time.
- They are highly accurately fitting to the underlying tooth, ensuring no gaps or ledges to trap food/plaque – and extremely easy to maintain.
- Ceramic/Porcelain offers superior aesthetics as it mimics natural tooth enamel in translucency and light transmission.
More on Bonded Resin Veneers
The other option for veneers is bonded resin veneers. This is where a tooth coloured resin or plastic material is applied and bonded or ‘set’ to the tooth directly in the chair – rather than ceramic being hand-built by our ceramist at the laboratory. This doesn’t involve preparation of the tooth at all – so yes – is extremely conservative. However, when bonding resin to correct crowded/misaligned teeth etc, without any tooth preparation, it can lead to quite a quite ‘bulky’ appearance to the teeth as well as a ‘thick’ biting edge of the tooth. This is less than ideal as it reduces the cutting or biting efficacy of the tooth. There are further ‘cons’ to resin veneers;
- Resin can wear or chip easily over time, particularly in those patients who clench or grind their teeth (which is sadly many of us). Hence, need to be replaced often (every 3 to 5 years).
- Resin is prone to staining, which can dull the appearance of the teeth, and thus, can need continual polishing and ‘refreshing’.
- The resin does not have the same ability as ceramic to mimic tooth enamel –and the translucency/light reflecting properties of this. Hence, it is harder to achieve optimal aesthetics using directly bonded resin.
- It takes quite a long amount of clinical time to bond resin to teeth and shape them accurately, and generally over multiple visits –so believe it or not - ceramic veneers can take less time with your mouth wide open in the chair.
- They are unable to mask out the dark discolouration of the underlying tooth – so a poor option for those wishing to change shade.
The Cost of Veneers
There is, however, a cost differential for these treatment options, with ceramic veneers requiring an increased financial investment as compared to resin – however, like most things in life, this is outweighed by multiple benefits and advantages which make this money well spent. And potentially, much more cost-effective over time.
- Read more about porcelain veneers.
Contact The Macquarie Street Centre in Sydney CBD
If you would like to know more about this cosmetic dentistry treatment solution and how you may benefit, contact our dental practice in Sydney CBD and reserve your consultation appointment with Dr David Dunn today.