Getting dental veneers here in Australia doesn’t always come cheap. It isn’t unheard of, for example, to pay up to $2000 for a single tooth. That’s a lot of cash for an improved smile, or is it?
If you are serious about transforming your smile, you might be asking the question, are veneers worth it?
In this post, we’ll try to give an unbiased view, enabling you to form your own opinion. So let’s get started.
There are dental veneers, and then there are dental veneers
To avoid any confusion, it’s worth pointing out that there are two types of dental veneers.
The first is a composite resin veneer, also known as composite bonding. Composite veneers are applied to the front surface of the tooth in paste form – the same material as white fillings.
The material is built up in layers and is hardened with a curing light to form the tooth’s new surface.
The process takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete, and at the end of the visit, the patient will have a blemish-free smile.
The second type of veneer, known as a porcelain veneer, is applied in a completely different way.
As the name suggests, porcelain veneers are made from dental porcelain and are custom-designed to cover the entire front surface of the tooth. Sometimes porcelain veneers are manufactured in a dental lab taking several weeks, and other times, the dentist will mill each appliance on-site using the latest CAD/CAM technology.
As you can imagine, porcelain veneers are more expensive than their laminate counterparts but are they worth the extra investment? In other words, are porcelain veneers worth it?
If you are looking for a cost-effective, short term solution to hide blemishes or chipped teeth, you might want to opt for composite dental veneers. For as little as a few hundred dollars, you can have a restored smile.
But – and there’s always a but – they come with compromises.
Firstly they don’t last as long as porcelain veneers, lasting 4-8 years on average.
Secondly, the material used to create composite bonding is more porous than tooth enamel. It absorbs colour from stain-inducing foods easily and is, therefore, prone to staining. So if you are a regular red wine or coffee drinker, you may notice that the composite tooth discolours more quickly than your natural teeth.
On the other hand, porcelain veneers are as strong (if not stronger) than tooth enamel, so you would expect them to last for a decade or more with proper care. In a 2018 review, for example, multiple studies suggested that veneers lasted ten years or longer in most cases.
In addition, one study states that a little under 83% of those tested wore their veneers for 20 years or more.
While composite veneering covers up a range of tooth blemishes and cracks, porcelain veneers can do so much more. They can alter the shape, size and positioning of a tooth or teeth, giving you the instant appearance of a perfect smile.
Unlike composite bonding, porcelain veneers are resistant to staining, so keeping them white is more manageable.
On the flip side, getting dental veneers can take several weeks in some instances, and the process is non-reversible.
So what does this mean exactly?
For the veneer to sit flush on the tooth’s surface, the dentist will first need to remove a small layer of tooth enamel. Once this process has occurred, there is no going back.
Alternatively, because composite bonding is blended into hairline cracks and chips, there is no requirement to remove any tooth enamel beneath.
Are veneers worth it? The key takeaway
If you are unhappy with your current dental look and long for a perfect smile, both composite and porcelain veneers allow you to achieve that. However, like all things in life, you get what you pay for.
Dental bonding is by far the cheaper option, but what you are, in effect, paying for is a short-term solution to a long-term problem. You will need to replace your composite veneering regularly if you
- Often consume stain-inducing beverages or foods
- Have an irregular bite or
- Fail to practice meticulous oral hygiene techniques.
If you’re happy to pay less and replace more often, then composite boding could be right for you.
Alternatively, porcelain veneers are undoubtedly a better option if you prefer something strong, durable, lifelike, and long-lasting – although you can expect to pay considerably more.
If you would like to find out if dental veneers are worth it for your given situation, schedule an appointment with our experienced team. Call Lotus Smiles today on (03) 8737 9359. We look forward to providing you with a perfect smile that you can be proud of.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.