Porcelain vs Resin Veneers: The Future of Smile Makeovers
If you’ve got chipped, uneven, or stained teeth, and if you’re doing your homework on options to improve your smile, then you’ve likely heard about porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers have been the most popular option for people considering cosmetic dentistry, but did you know that there’s a brand new material that overcomes many of the downsides of porcelain veneers?
Introducing Natural Same Day Smile Makeovers using resin veneers. This is the modern alternative promising a dazzling smile makeover that’s safer, more natural, and more conservative than the older porcelain materials.
In this article, we will compare porcelain and resin veneers, spotlighting the benefits and drawbacks of each. From cost to complexity, durability to esthetics, we’ll break it all down, so you can make the right choice that fits your unique needs and expectations.
Ready for the truth about veneers? Eager to hear more about the new, less invasive path to a brighter, straighter smile? Then let’s dive right in! After reading this article, you will probably reconsider what you thought you knew about veneers, cosmetic dentistry, and smile makeovers.
1. What Are Veneers?
A. What kinds of people get veneers?
People who have uneven, chipped, or stained teeth often use veneers to improve their smile.
Veneers are thin, tooth-coloured pieces that are carefully crafted and then bonded to the front surface of your teeth, instantly enhancing their appearance. By placing veneers over top of your natural teeth, you can magically transform the shape, size, and colour of your smile.
The reason behind veneers’ skyrocketing popularity in the field of cosmetic dentistry is simple: veneers offer a quick and durable solution for those dreaming of a smile upgrade.
B. What’s the difference between a veneer and a crown?
You often hear and read about “porcelain veneers” and “porcelain crowns” – so what’s the difference?
Both veneers and crowns can be used to make teeth look whiter, straighter, and more beautiful. But the difference between veneers and crowns is how much of the tooth they cover.
Veneers are smaller and thinner, and only cover the face of your tooth. Think of them like a press-on nail for your fingers. Crowns, on the other hand, cover your entire tooth like a helmet that sits on top of your tooth and surrounds it 360 degrees.
So which is better – veneers or crowns? The answer is… it depends. You need to consider factors like the condition of your natural teeth, what kinds of changes you’re trying to make, your bite, your age, and the shape of your smile.
An experienced dentist will be able to help you choose between veneers, crowns, or a mixture of both to get you a smile that looks exactly the way you want, lasts a long time, and has the lowest chance for long term problems.
C. What are veneers made out of?
For the past several years, porcelain has been the go-to material for cosmetic dentistry. This is because porcelain features an excellent combination of strength and beauty.
However, as medicine and dentistry trend towards more natural and conservative approaches, there is a growing demand for alternative materials. One downside to porcelain veneers is that they often require grinding down your natural tooth structure in order to fit the porcelain. These days, both dentists and patients are thinking twice about the long term consequences of damaging natural tooth structure just to make the teeth look nicer. Are we just trading one problem for another long-term problem?
In some cases, it’s not a problem to re-shape your natural tooth before fitting a porcelain crown or veneer. For example, if your tooth is severely broken, worn down, or already has lots of filling material then removing some of the natural tooth structure can actually be a good thing for the long term health of the tooth.
But if your natural teeth are in fairly good condition, grinding away your enamel to place porcelain veneers can lead to other problems down the road, like sensitivity or cavities or even root canal problems.
That’s why in the past few years, resin materials are exploding in popularity as an alternative to porcelain for veneers. It wasn’t that long ago that resins weren’t as strong, or as durable, or as beautiful as porcelain. But with today’s state of the art dental resins, that’s no longer true.
Porcelain is a glass-like material, and resin is more like plastic with glass mixed in. Think of it like a window. Did you know that many of today’s windows, whether it’s in cars, or aquariums, or skyscrapers, are now made out of acrylic instead of glass? When you’re looking through them, you can’t tell the difference. But these resin, plastic, and acrylic materials offer huge advantages in cost, durability, and ease of maintenance.
In the dental world, resin veneers bring several significant benefits to the table over porcelain. This shift towards resin materials is a game changer in cosmetic dentistry, because it allows you to make improvements to your smile that are safer, faster, and more natural than ever.
2. What is the Process for Getting Porcelain Veneers?
If you’re looking to get porcelain veneers to make your smile straighter, brighter, and more beautiful, the process usually takes 3 steps.
Step 1: Tooth Preparation
One of the often overlooked aspects about porcelain veneers is that your natural teeth need to be prepared before the porcelain veneers can be placed. Think of this step as laying the foundation for a house. Your teeth have to be adjusted, which involves grinding them down to make room for the porcelain veneers.
After the dentist shapes your natural teeth, an impression is taken. This impression acts as a blueprint that guides the lab technicians in crafting your porcelain veneers. However, you can’t walk out of the dental office with exposed, reshaped teeth, which could be highly sensitive and look unappealing. Therefore, temporary plastic veneers are fitted to protect your teeth in the interim.
These temporary veneers, while a necessary interim solution, can be frustrating to deal with. They are quite delicate, prone to staining and chipping. You’ll need to be extra cautious with what you eat and drink for about 3-4 weeks, which is typically how long it takes to make your porcelain veneers.
Step 2: Porcelain Veneer Fabrication
After your dental impressions have been taken, they are sent off to a dental lab. The lab uses these impressions and the instructions provided by your dentist to carefully create your veneers. The process is complex and requires great precision to ensure the veneers align perfectly with your teeth and smile. This is just one of the reasons that porcelain veneers can be very expensive.
However, making life-like porcelain veneers can be challenging since the lab technicians have never met you and are working only off models, photos, and instructions from your dentist. If your dentist is not experienced, or hasn’t done a lot of cases with this lab, then there can be a lot of guesswork involved, which can result in final porcelain veneers that don’t look exactly the way you hoped. It usually takes about 3-4 weeks for the veneers to be fabricated and sent back to your dentist’s office.
Step 3: Porcelain Veneer Delivery
The final step in the process is the fitting and bonding of your porcelain veneers. Your dentist will first remove the temporary veneers, then the porcelain ones are tried in. The dentist verifies the fit, colour, shape, and angle of each veneer.
If any tiny detail is off, sometimes it means going back to the drawing board. A new impression is taken, new temporary veneers are placed, and the porcelain veneers are sent back to the lab to make adjustments, or to be re-made from scratch. However, once everything checks out, the veneers are permanently bonded to your teeth.
The extra steps and appointments, the difficulty in making the porcelain veneers, and the high level of experience and coordination between the dentist and lab all result in fees that can be very high.
3. What are Resin Veneers?
Porcelain has dominated the veneer market for quite some time, and with good reason – it works. But success doesn’t mean there’s no room for innovation, and porcelain veneers do come with certain disadvantages: they may require irreversible damage to your natural teeth, they can be costly, and they can be time-consuming.
Dental resins have been around for many years. They’re based on the white “bonding” material used for fillings, which you likely have somewhere in your mouth right now. For a long time, resins were not the preferred material for veneers. They didn’t look as nice and tended not to last as long as porcelain veneers.
However, with recent technological advancements, high-quality resins have become an excellent choice for veneers. Modern resins are actually a blend of both resin and porcelain, and look so good that you probably won’t even be able to tell the difference between resin veneers and porcelain ones. Plus, with experienced dentists, resin veneers are a safer, more natural, faster, and less expensive option than porcelain veneers.
A. What’s the process for getting resin veneers?
The reason why resin veneers have taken off in popularity in the past few years is their simplicity and speed.
With resin veneers, there is no need to grind away or damage your natural teeth. And unlike porcelain veneers, which require multiple visits, temporary veneers, and lab work, resin veneers can be completed in just a couple hours.
With an experienced dentist at the helm, you can come in with chipped, discoloured, or uneven teeth and leave with a straighter, whiter, more beautiful smile. Sound too good to be true? It’s not magic. It takes meticulous planning, experience, and skill. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Smile Design
The first step is understanding what you want to change about your smile. Using photos and state-of-the-art 3D scanning technology, your dentist will carefully design your new look. Your future smile is then brought to life using 3D printers.
Step 2: Smile Test Drive
Before committing to the changes, you’ll have the opportunity to “test drive” your new smile. This involves wearing the 3D printed version of your new smile over your natural teeth. It’s your chance to provide feedback on what you love and what you’d like to adjust, like trying on a new hairstyle before making a final decision.
Step 3: Your Natural Same Day Smile Makeover
After the design and adjustments, the actual makeover takes just 1-2 hours. Your dentist applies the latest, most advanced dental resins over top of your natural teeth, replicating the colour and shape that you’ve already approved. No guesswork, no surprises, no temporary veneers, and no damage to your natural teeth.
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4. Comparison of the Pros and Cons of Porcelain Veneers vs Resin Veneers
How do porcelain veneers and resin veneers stack up against each other? Below is a comparison of different features, and how resin veneers differ from porcelain ones.
|Appearance||Much of your natural teeth has to be removed to fit the porcelain veneers. This solution may be best for people who already have lots of crowns and fillings.||The latest resin materials look almost as good as porcelain You probably can’t even tell the difference in appearance.|
|Preservation of Natural Teeth||Much of your natural teeth has to be removed to fit the porcelain veneers. This solution may be best for people who already have lots of crowns and fillings.||These advanced resin materials can be placed directly over top of your natural teeth, without damaging or destroying them. This preserves your natural teeth while making them more beautiful.|
|Longevity||Porcelain is the strongest and most durable material available.||Resin doesn’t last quite as long porcelain, so it will need to be repaired more often.|
|Repairability||When porcelain stains, chips, or breaks, it can not be repaired in your mouth so it needs to be re-done. And once you place a porcelain veneers, you are committed to wearing one for the rest of your life.||Resins are very easy and fast to repair. You can also easily upgrade to porcelain at any point in the future Or, if you change your mind, you can remove the resin completely, revealing your undamaged, natural teeth.|
|Time||It can take 3-4 weeks to fabricate porcelain veneers. During this time, you will need to wear plastic temporary veneers and be very careful about what you eat so you don’t stain or break them.||With our new Same Day Smile technique, your new smile is finished in just an hour or two. No waiting, and no need for any temporary crowns|
|Cost||Porcelain is very difficult and time consuming to make, so it is the most expensive material available.||Modern resins can be applied in just a couple hours by an experienced dentist, so the cost is less than half compared to porcelain.|
5. What Should You Choose – Porcelain Veneers or Resin Veneers?
A. What kind of people would be happiest with porcelain veneers?
Porcelain veneers might be your best bet if:
• Your teeth are severely crooked or rotated.
• You need to correct your bite, along with improving the appearance of your teeth.
• You have a number of existing crowns and fillings.
• You have a very large budget.
B. Who should consider resin veneers instead of porcelain veneers?
On the other hand, resin veneers could be a great fit if:
• Your teeth are already in pretty good condition, but you’re looking to make some upgrades to their shape, colour, or position.
• You are worried about grinding away or damaging your natural teeth.
• You want to avoid the hassle of dealing with temporary crowns or veneers that might chip, stain, or break.
• You want to make improvements to your smile but don’t have unlimited money to spend.
Resin veneers can be a more natural and more conservative option than porcelain, avoiding unnecessary damage to your natural tooth structure. Plus, they offer a quick, single-visit solution, which could make the whole experience more convenient and less stressful.
6. Wrapping Up: Are Resin Veneers the Future of Cosmetic Dentistry?
If you’re thinking about making improvements to your smile, then you owe it to yourself to consider all your options. Resin veneers are a new, innovative alternative to porcelain that can help you get that straighter, whiter, more beautiful smile without sacrificing your natural tooth structure, and without the need for annoying and frustrating temporary veneers.
And if you’re worried about whether or not you’re going to love your new smile, our unique Smile Test Drive process virtually guarantees you’re going to love the way your new smile looks and files. You’ll be able to take your new smile for a test drive and make tweaks to it before finalizing. No guessing, no surprises, and no shortcuts.
What’s the catch? Well… like all dental solutions, resin veneers are not the right fit for everyone. There’s only so much we can write in an article like this. The very best way to find out if you are a good candidate for resin veneers, or if there’s something else out there that’s even easier, simpler, and better, is to come visit us at our Cosmetic Dentistry Centre in Hamilton, ON for a complimentary assessment and consultation.
We’re here to help you find a customized action plan that’s the best balance between what you want, what you need, and what you can afford. In the evolving world of dentistry, the key is to find the best solution that will give you a smile that is not only beautiful, but also healthy and long-lasting.
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