Dental Veneers on a Budget; Is there a difference between composite and porcelain?

My four front top teeth are cosmetically unattractive. They’re oddly small and have always had a slight discoloration compared to the teeth around them. I want a natural look that in addition to being uniformed looks pretty. I’ve been doing my research on dental veneers and feel that would be my best option to achieve what I want. My budget is limited, so I’m hoping to do composite veneers instead of porcelain, as I understand the cost is less. Is there much of a difference in the cost of dental veneers?

– Louisa in Georgia

Louisa,

Both composite and porcelain veneers can enhance the beauty and look of your smile. Veneers are especially helpful if you have teeth that are chipped, discolored or misshapen. The cost of composite veneers is usually less than porcelain, as there is less chair time and materials involved, and no lab fees. However, it is important to know the differences between the two. With composite veneers, the material (resin) is applied in thin layers to the tooth directly in your mouth, and sculpted to achieve the desired esthetic result. With porcelain, about half a millimeter of enamel is shaved off your tooth. Then your doctor will take an impression and send to a lab which prepares the veneer to be made according to instructed size, color and fit. The finished product is then bonded on your tooth with special cement. So while essentially composite veneers can be done in one day and cost less, porcelain veneers have the advantage in longevity and durability. Porcelain veneers can last for many more years with minimal maintenance, and are resistant to staining and chipping, as compared to composite veneers. Both types of veneers are an art, which requires extreme attention to detail. It is important to ask your doctor to provide you pictures of work that they have done, so you can comfortably move forward.

This post is sponsored by Phoenix cosmetic dentist Arthur Chal Esthetic and Reconstructive Dentistry.

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