Veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite material designed to cover the fronts of teeth. Their design enhances the shape and color of the teeth by eliminating gaps, contouring shapes of crooked or poorly aligned teeth, and/or covering stains.
Composite VS Porcelain Veneers
Both treatments involve partial or full coverage of the front surfaces of anterior (front) teeth. Composite is a reinforced plastic filling that comes in many shades. Composite veneers can be done very quickly in a single visit. Composite veneers tend to wear, chip, and stain and last 4-8 years.
In contrast, porcelain veneers are fabricated by a laboratory. They can be precisely shade matched and are more life-like, due to their translucent qualities. Porcelain veneers typically last 12-25 years, don’t fracture easily, and require the same maintenance as natural teeth. The color, appearance, and translucence can either be matched to adjacent teeth or completely changed, depending on the number of teeth being enhanced and the desired aesthetic.
To create a porcelain veneer, a small amount of enamel is removed and an impression is taken and sent to a dental lab. The lab creates the veneer. The veneer then is bonded to the tooth.
Cosmetic Bonding is ideal for general and emergency repair of a decayed, fractured, chipped, or discolored teeth. It is also used for minor corrections of tooth contour and is the easiest, least expensive cosmetic correction. The composite resin used in this procedure is color matched with the surrounding teeth.
Teeth can darken over time due to medications, foods and beverages, use of tobacco products, trauma to a tooth resulting in the tooth dying, and tooth decay. There are a number of methods available to reverse some of the darkening processes. Most tooth whitening products contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which work to lighten stains on the outer surfaces of teeth (extrinsic stains).
Stains that penetrate through all layers of the teeth are referred to as intrinsic stains and do not lighten to the same degree as the extrinsic stains. Since whitening products do not penetrate into the tooth, they do not weaken the structural integrity of teeth in any way. A mild sensitivity to cold or sucking in air is a common temporary side affect of tooth whitening that should resolve within a few days.