Which are better, porcelain or composite veneers?

calendario 20-Jan-2017
Dra. Guillem
Specialist in Endodontics and Dental Aesthetics

You must have heard of Hollywood actors who have undergone extreme changes to their smiles thanks to dental veneers. So, what exactly are dental veneers?

Veneers for teeth are extremely thin layers of composite or porcelain (0.3-0.5 mm) which are placed using strong bonding agents on the front surface of the tooth in a permanent and long lasting way. Unlike caps or crowns, cosmetic veneers do not need to grind down the tooth and therefore do not damage it. Therefore this cosmetic solution, which is minimally invasive, painless and quick is a great option for patients who want to improve the look of their mouth and smile. This video on composite and porcelain veneers will help you understand the best treatment option.

Nowadays there are two types of veneers:

Composite veneers

They are done in a single session by the dentist, and that is why they are quick and inexpensive. However, in the medium-term they lose their shine, discolour, wear out or crack. This is why they need a touch up every 5-8 years.

Dental porcelain or ceramic veneers

Porcelain dental veneers are a longer lasting than composite veneers, because they do not change colour, lose their lustre or wear out. However, since they are made by a laboratory technician, they cost more than the composite ones. To add them three sessions at the dentist are required: the first one to make the temporary ones, a second to take measurements and a third session to place them on the teeth.

However, it is very important for all cosmetic dental treatments, whether for porcelain or composite, are directed and carried out by professionals who are highly specialised and have strong artistic sensibility. Without these things a great simile that is both natural and personalised cannot be guaranteed. There are two main steps:

  • carry out an exhaustive analysis on the face and teeth of the patient using photos with the goal of analysing the best shape, colour and position for the veneers in depth
  • place temporary veneers so the patient can decide if they like them or not before their definitive placement

As you can see, as dentists we can offer two types of veneers depending on the patient’s expectations, wishes and budget. However, the most important thing is knowledge and professional experience.