Porcelain versus Composite Veneers – new materials, new debate.

Dentistry has come so far in the material technology field.  Silver fillings are so ancient now that I can’t even remember the last time I placed one (15 years ago?). And thank goodness for that!  So, the old debate of mercury causing heavy metal poisoning is a debate of the past.  The new debate is on whether one should place composite or porcelain veneers.

Diagram to explain a dental veneer – a thin shell that is bonded onto the prepared tooth to make it look like a beautiful new tooth.

Porcelain has always been the gold standard.  And, yes, porcelain materials are also so advanced now (including strength and durability into the mix as well a phenomenal aesthetics).  Also, with the minimal preparation techniques your tooth structure is safe and your porcelain will last longer.

Then why is there a debate about composite veneers?  Composite technology has grown in leaps and bounds.  From layering and shading to direct injection moulding.  These composites bring with them strength and durability as well as remarkable aesthetics.  Why is this important?  They don’t cost what a porcelain veneer costs!  So if costs are an issue for you and affording porcelain is just not going to happen – then the ease of placement and beautiful aesthetic outcomes of the composite veneers make them an obvious choice.  Composite lasts well and has a wear resistance similar to your own natural tooth.  It doesn’t chip as easily and, if it does, it is easily repaired.

Combined with a Digital Smile Design, your composite might actually look better than a hand-made porcelain veneer might.

If a composite is done well, one shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a porcelain veneer or a composite. Especially if a digital protocol was followed. The only difference will be the length of wear over time.

Let us do a mock up with Digital Smile Design for you.  You can test what you might look like with veneers on before you even have them done!  Then the choice of porcelain versus composite is yours.

Call us to book your Digital Smile Design appointment for either porcelain or composite veneer options, you’ll  be so glad you did!

By Dr Sheryl Smithies

Associate Dentist at Enamel Dentistry