Dental veneers have become the go-to treatment for dental problems. The procedure is very effective for smile makeovers without compromising on comfort or durability. Considering how long veneers have been in the field, the treatment has surely witnessed major developments. And over the years, the transformation has become too good to be true. As of now, there are currently many different types of veneers. Composite veneers are just one of those types and they offer special pros and cons.
In this article, we’ll break down the ins and outs of the composite veneers.
What are veneers?
Composite veneers are very widespread in the practice. To understand what they are, we first have to go over what veneers generally are.
Veneers are these slim films that go on the front surface of your teeth. Unlike crowns, they don’t cover the entire tooth like a cap. Instead veneers only go on the front surface of teeth to hide all the dental problems. In a way, veneers are like a cover-up; except they are long-term. Unlike crowns, veneers only fit on the first 12 to 16 front teeth.
You may have heard of veneers as the Hollywood Smile, these slim films are components that make the Hollywood Smile. In other words, it is the procedure that creates the smiles of A-listers and public figures.
And, they come from various materials such as porcelain or resin. These materials differ in terms of longevity, durability, and appeal.
What are composite veneers?
Composite veneers are a type of veneers that’s made of composite resin. Resin is a material that is clay-like so dentists can easily shape it on the surface of teeth.
The procedure is minimally invasive and can help you get a beautiful smile. Even though resin is a clay-like material, every tooth gets an individual veneer.
Types of composite veneers
Composite veneers on their own come in two different types, namely direct veneers and indirect veneers. Although composite veneers all come from the same material, they vary in terms of application and placement.
Direct composite veneers
The direct veneers refer to the direct application of composite veneers. As we mentioned above, these type of veneers are made from resin which is very flexible and behaves like clay. Your dentist will take into consideration the shade of the resin only while preparing it. It is important that you get a natural look with these and the most important factor is the color-matching. After deciding on the right color, your dentist prepares the resin.
After your dentist shaves down your teeth, they will immediately begin the application process. Your dentist will then take the material and apply it on one tooth. From there on, they begin to manually shape them into the correct shape. Your dentist will do this for the remaining teeth. In total, your dentist will design 12 to 16 veneers. This varies from person to person depending on the anatomy and width of your smile.
After shaping your veneers, your dentist will apply blue light to harden and cements the veneers.
Indirect composite veneers
Indirect composite veneers refer to the second type which your dentist shapes outside of your mouth. For this type of composite veneers, your dentist can’t use your actual teeth for reference. So instead, they will have take an impression of your mouth to work according to it. To do this, your dentist will give you a mold to bite onto. Of course this happens after shaving down your teeth.
The mold is why you’re dentist will use to make your composite veneers. Where they’ll use the mold to shape your individual veneers. Now the thing with indirect veneers is that your dentist can either make them in office or send them to a lab specialized in making composite veneers. Because this process might take time and for this reason your dentist will have you wear temporary veneers until your permanent ones are ready.
What Iis the procedure of composite veneers?
The procedure of composite veneers is fairly similar to other types of veneers. The procedure begins with consultation and then moves to examination, design, and finishing off with placement.
So, here is what you should expect to happen when getting composite veneers.
When you visit your dentist for veneers, the procedure begins with consultation. This is an exchange between you and the doctor where you talk about your goals and concerns. In return, your dentist will propose a treatment plan and take you through it. Of course, here you have the option to reject or accept any aspects of the treatment.
While your dentist will always guide you to what is best for you, nothing is forced on you. And if there are parts of the procedure that you think may make you you uncomfortable, you can discuss alternatives with your dentist.
If you’re someone who gets overwhelmed by dental procedures, you can let your doctor know as well. And together you can work on the right sedative and anesthetic options.
In short, during consultation, you can discuss the treatment in details and you are free to voice your thoughts.
2- Oral exam
So after reaching an agreement, your dentist will either run an oral exam right away or schedule that for a later date. Most probably, an oral exam takes place the same day as the consultation. In a composite veneers procedure, or any cosmetic dentistry treatment, oral examination is a key factor to the success of the procedure.
Although it is a simple process that doesn’t take much time, it sets the foundation for your procedure. So basically, in this step your dentist will assess your dental health. They will look for any signs of early inflammation, cavities, or any other issues. This makes sure that you wear your veneers on a healthy foundation. And as a result, you get your veneers to last for a long time.
Although veneers and the material they are made of doesn’t decay, you have to remember that dental tissue is supporting the veneers. And if there is any issue with the support system for your veneers, it will definitely affect the procedure.
If your dentist detects any issues, they will begin by correcting them before starting with your composite veneers.
3- X-Ray imaging
X-ray imaging is a part of the oral examination process for your composite veneers. Although it is not necessary, it is best to get an x-ray image of your jaw. This helps your dentist study the anatomy of your mouth and bone structure. There could be issues that do not present externally.
Therefore getting an x-ray helps give your dentist a comprehensive understanding. This way, your dentist ensures that both the bone structure and external tissue of your mouth is ready for the procedure.
4- Taking impressions of your teeth
You might be familiar with the fact that veneers require shaving down your teeth. Many people assume that composite veneers do not requiring the shaving of your teeth. And that is because unlike porcelain veneers, they are made from resin which is clay-like. But that is not true.
And because of this, you will end up leaving the dentist with odd-looking teeth. So to avoid that, your dentist will begin your composite veneers procedure by taking an impression of your mouth to make your temporary veneers. Your will achieve this by having to bite on to a mold which your dentist will use to make your temporary veneers.
5- Shaving down your teeth
After taking impressions for your temporary veneers and finally preparing them, your dentist will start with the shaving process in your composite veneers procedure. This is a completely painless process but if it makes you anxious you can discuss sedation and anesthetic options.
During this step, your dentist will remove a small layer of your teeth. This is important to make space for the veneers. If your dentist skips this step, placing the veneers directly on your natural teeth will mean they will look bulky and unnatural.
Before leaving, your dentist will place your temporary veneers.
6- Taking impressions of your teeth
Yes, this has to happen twice, but not always. There is something you should note about composite veneers, they can be placed in two ways. There’s the direct application and then there’s the indirect application.
Now with the indirect application, your dentist has to design your composite veneers outside of your mouth. So this step requires taking an impression of your mouth. Which your dentist will use as a reference to either make your veneers in the clinic or send to a specialized laboratory that will take care of this step.
With the direct placement of veneers, this is not at all necessary as your dentist can directly make the veneers on your teeth.
7- Placing your composite veneers
With the indirect method, your dentist will individually place your hard composite veneers on your teeth. They will also using a cementing material to held the films in place. Following this, they’ll expose your veneers to blue light.
The blue light will harden the resin cementing it onto place. This will mark the end of your procedure and completion of your smile makeover.
How much are composite veneers?
The cost of composite veneers varies from one location to the other. It is for this reason that more and more people are participating in medical tourism. It allows patients to seek high-quality medical care they would never be able to afford in their home countries. To know more about the costs in different countries, visit here.
Can you get CAD/CAM composite veneers?
The CAD/CAM, also known as CEREC Crowns or Trishape technology, is a big leap in the industry. And if you’re unfamiliar with it, we’ll take you through it. Most veneer types take a long time to make. Although direct veneers can be instant, they’re also not always available. And even if they were the process takes time and your dentist will likely finish the application over days.
With let’s say with the indirect veneers, the process of making your composite veneers can stretch up to a month. And this is the case with other types of veneers as well; such as porcelain veneers and lumineers.
The CAD/CAM technology not only prints out your full set of veneers all at once, but it makes the process highly customizable. In short the technology uses a camera that works with a special software and a 3D printer. The camera takes footage of your mouth from the inside. The software will then request footage from the outside of your mouth to capture your natural mouth and lip movement. In other words, it takes footage of you talking and smiling from various angles. The software takes this input and uses it to design your veneers. From the shape down to the color, the software ensures that you get the most natural looking veneers.
The 3D printer then prints the final design right away. But unfortunately, this technique is only compatible with veneers made from porcelain. Meaning that composite veneers do not work with this technology.
What do composite veneers fix?
Composite veneers are a good option for a smile makeover and can successfully fix many issues. Because the process involves shaving your teeth, composite veneers can correct issues with crowding that range from minor to moderate. Likewise, they can correct pigmentation, chipping, breaking, and even gapping.
You can also choose. to get the veneers on select teeth. For instance, if you experience chipping in one tooth and would like to only correct this; your dentist can achieve that.
How long do they last?
Composite veneers are the affordable option when it comes to veneers. And for this reason, they aren’t the most durable in the family of veneers. You can expect composite veneers to last anywhere between 7 to 10 years. Of course, that is the maximum period these types of veneers can survive. And to achieve that you will have to take care of your veneers. Remember that although resin, which is the material that makes up this type of veneers, does not decay; the living tissue supporting the veneers does.
It is best to practice oral hygiene daily. Make sure you brush, floss, and use antibacterial mouth wash. Likewise, you must keep in mind that veneers made from composite are easier to stain than other options. So to avoid this, try to avoid staining foods and beverages when possible; such as red wine and coffee.
They are also more prone to chipping and breaking in comparison to porcelain veneers.
Many people opt for composite veneers because they can’t afford superior options. This is especially true for patients from the UK and the USA were cutting-edge and durable options can be very expensive.
We’ll discuss how you can get around this below when discussing the cost of composite veneers.
What is the best type of veneers?
All types of veneers are effective in correcting smile defects. The question you should be asking yourself to find what is best for you is what are you looking for? If you are looking for durable and outstanding results; porcelain veneers are the option for you. On the other hand, if you are looking to correct very minor issues such as faint discoloration; then you should consider lumineers. If cost are the issue and you cannot seek health tourism; then you can opt for composite veneers.
This is the general elimination process that we recommend going by. But of course, this advice does not replace professional consultation. Your dentist will know what is the most suitable option for your special case. Therefore, you should schedule a meeting with a specialist to address all your concerns.
In the mean time, let us explore how composite veneers differ from other options.
Lumineers vs composite veneers
Lumineers, in comparison to composite veneers, are ultra slim porcelain films that have their unique perks and cons. The come in a standard thickness of 0.3 mm which is nearly 60% slimmer than other options.
- Lumineers are very slim that unlike composite veneers, shaving your teeth is not at all necessary. Lumineers can fit right on your teeth and will successfully hide defects without looking bulky.
- Composite veneers offer better coverage from more serious mishaps. Because lumineers are very slim and they do not require shaving your teeth down, they tend to cover a smaller sector of dental problems. For instance, crowding is not always successfully corrected with lumineers. On the other hand, composite veneers can offer a better alternative.
- Lumineers last longer than composite veneers and they are not as prone to chipping and pigmentation.
- Composite veneers are not compatible with the CAD/CAM technology whereas lumineers are.
Composite veneers vs porcelain veneers
When comparing composite veneers to porcelain veneers, there is always a clear winner. Porcelain veneers are the excellent option in general.
- Both treatments are very high coverage. And because both procedures include shaving down your teeth, both options can correct a wide arrange of mishaps ranging from minor to severe.
- Porcelain is more durable than composite veneers and is less prone to staining and chipping.
- While composite veneers does not work with the CAD/CAM technology, porcelain veneers are.
Composite veneers are one of three main types of veneers in dentistry. Unlike the other options, composite veneers are made of resin, which is a clay-like material that your dentist can manually shape into veneers. Likewise, they can also send an impression of your mouth to a specialized laboratory for manufacturing.
Unfortunately, the nature of the material does not make it compatible with the CAD/CAM system. In regards to the longevity of the veneers, you can expect composite veneers to last between 7 to 10 years with the right aftercare. While not ticking off all the boxes for the perfect veneers treatment, this type is very cost efficient compared to other options.
For other interesting reads, check out our guide to veneers, or get to know what all types of veneers cost in the biggest destinations.
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