Please advise me on choosing porcelain veneers vs. composite veneers for six discolored front teeth. One tooth is darker than the other six because I canal treatment. I have read online about people who had problems with porcelain veneers matching their other teeth. I also read that composite veneer will not last as long. Still, if I can get a better match with porcelain than composite, I would rather replace the composite every five years than being stuck with porcelain veneers that don’t look great for 15 years. What else should I consider? – Thank you. Irina from NV
Thank you for your question. Dr. LeSage would need to examine your teeth before recommending treatment. But we will discuss in general how porcelain and composite veneers compare.
Porcelain Veneers vs. Composite Veneers
The key to a successful color match with porcelain veneers or composite veneers is with the dentist you choose. In either case, only a few dentists can achieve a perfect match for your natural tooth color. And you mentioned that one tooth is darker than the others. Concealing the darkness without making the veneer too dark takes the skill of a cosmetic dentist.
So, if you find an experienced cosmetic dentist, they can achieve your goal with either porcelain or composite veneers.
A cosmetic dentist who conservatively prepares teeth for porcelain veneers will choose a ceramist to layer porcelain and match your surrounding teeth. Expect a premium fee from the dentist because they will send the veneers back to the lab as many times as needed to get a perfect color match.
But the more skill your dentist has, they will use these methods to communicate with the ceramist and reduce the chance of error:
- Take pictures of your teeth
- Select a base color
- Send diagrams to the ceramist
- Indicate which tints to add to achieve a match
Composite veneers require much skill because a cosmetic must directly bond them by hand. After lightly shaving your teeth, many cosmetic dentists follow these steps such as these:
- A combination of opaquers
- Composites of varying shades and translucence
Lifespan and Cost of Porcelain Veneers vs. Composite
Your choice may depend on your preference of the lifespan and cost of porcelain veneers compared with composite. Veneers last longer, but they also cost more. Additionally, after examining your teeth and taking x-rays, a cosmetic dentist will know the condition of your teeth and explain what you can expect with each option.
An expert cosmetic dentist can produce beautiful results with porcelain veneers or composite veneers. But think about your budget and preference for how long veneers or composite last. The condition of your teeth may make one treatment preferable over the other.
If you live or work near Beverly Hills and are interested in porcelain or composite veneers, schedule a consultation with Dr. Brian LeSage. Dr. LeSage is an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry accredited Fellow.