In today’s world, people are more aware and conscious about their physical appearance, especially their smiles. Therefore, they take up every step to correct their smile and make it more aligned and whiter. One of the popular cosmetic dental treatments that are used to design the perfect smile for an individual is dental veneers. Dental veneers address several aesthetic issues of the patient and provide them a natural-looking smile.
Many types of dental veneers can be used for different types of tooth problems or concerns. One among them is composite veneers. Composite veneers, as the name suggests, are thin shells of composite that are placed on the front surface of the teeth. These types of veneers are typically used to correct minor chipping of the tooth or to fill the gaps between the teeth.
The procedure for the fabrication of composite veneers is simple, quick, and provides natural results. Moreover, it is cheaper than traditional porcelain veneers. Today’s article will highlight the types, benefits, and disadvantages of composite veneers. Furthermore, we will also discuss the clinical procedure for the placement of composite veneers.
What are composite veneers?
Composite veneers are thin tooth-colored shells of resin composite that fit over the front surface of the teeth. Composite veneers are typically used to correct minor tooth damage and improve the appearance of the smile. (1) Usually, composite veneers are used to adjust the following problems –
- Small spacing between the teeth
- Chipped tooth
- Stained teeth
- Crooked teeth that do not require significant alteration
- Enamel erosion
What are the different types of composite veneers?
Typically, there are two types of composite veneers –
Direct composite veneers
Direct composite veneers are those that are made from resin composite material. These veneers are applied directly to the tooth surface. The resin composite is cured using a high-intensity curing light. Direct composite veneers take a long time to prepare the correct shape and size of the tooth as compared to indirect composite veneers. Moreover, the fabrication of direct composite veneers may require minimal tooth preparation. (2)
Indirect composite veneers
Indirect composite veneers differ from direct ones in terms of the application process. The material used is the same as the direct composite veneers, which are resin composite.
Indirect composite veneers are custom made in the dental laboratory or a dentist’s office. Since this process of fabrication may require a few days, the dentist prepares the teeth and puts temporary veneers until the indirect veneers are ready. (3) Indirect composite veneers have high wear resistance as compared to direct veneers. However, they may be slightly expensive as compared to the direct composite veneers.
What is the procedure for composite veneers fabrication?
The procedure for the fabrication of composite veneers starts by cleaning the teeth and preparing them for application. A shade guide is used to match the color of the teeth. Direct veneers are applied directly on the tooth surface after proper etching and bonding of the tooth.
A thin layer of resin composite is placed on the tooth surface. It is shaped and contoured to give a natural tooth appearance. When the dentist is satisfied with the look, a high-intensity curing light is used to harden the material. (4)
Indirect veneers are fabricated outside the mouth of the patient. During the time of placement, the tooth surface is etched and appropriately bonded. The indirect veneers are then placed on the tooth surface with the help of a thin resin composite layer. The composite is cured using a high-intensity light and allowed to harden on the tooth surface. (5)
- Also read: What are Veneers Made From? – Let’s Find Out
What are the benefits and disadvantages of composite veneers?
Some of the benefits and downsides of the composite veneers are listed as follows –
Benefits of composite veneers
- They are cheaper than traditional porcelain veneers.
- Composite veneers can provide instant results specifically incase of direct composite veneers. This is because direct composite veneers can be prepared in a single appointment chair-side.
- Composite veneers require minimal tooth preparation as compared to porcelain veneers. (6)
- A wide range of dental concerns such as tooth discolorations, misshapen teeth, the spacing between the teeth, and chipped teeth.
- Composite veneers are biocompatible. (7)
Disadvantages of composite veneers
- As compared to porcelain, composite veneers are weaker in strength and may often chip off from the tooth surface.
- Keeping the above point in mind, the patient may have to get frequent replacement or repair of the composite veneers.
What is the cost of composite veneers?
Composite veneers are less durable as compared to porcelain veneers. On average, they typically may last for five to seven years. The longevity of composite veneers requires proper care. Considering these points in mind, the cost of composite veneers may be a beneficial factor.
The cost of composite veneers varies depending on the location of the dental office, the type of dental work performed, and the number of teeth involved in veneer preparation. Usually, composite veneers may cost between $250 to $ 1500 per tooth.
Usually, insurance companies do not cover the cost of cosmetic dental treatments. However, some dental insurance policies may cover the cost of the treatment in case of tooth damage. Several dental offices also offer discount plans for cosmetic procedures. It is better to consult your dentist and talk about the payment plan.
Often, people become self-conscious about their smile. Dental veneers are an excellent choice for designing a natural-looking smile. Typically, composite veneers are categorized into direct and indirect composite veneers. Direct veneers are made from resin composite, which is placed directly on the tooth surface. Indirect composite veneers are custom made shells that are cured on the tooth surface.
Although composite veneers may still be on the pricey side, they have several advantages as compared to the porcelain veneers. Composite veneers are excellent for minor tooth alterations such as chipping, tooth stains, spacing, and enamel erosions. They have excellent wear resistance and provide a wide range of tooth-colored shades.
It is essential to talk to your dentist and discuss the need for composite veneers and their payment plans.