Back in 1928, a celebrity dentist named Dr. Charles Pincus was given a significant job. He had to find a way to create fake whiter, brighter smiles for Hollywood stars on the silver screen.
The result was a piece of acrylic material that resembled the enamel of a tooth. The material was temporarily attached to the star’s teeth by a particular type of adhesive. It would hold for a few hours, long enough to shoot the scene.
And, in this way, the veneer was born.
Over the next few decades, the idea of a veneer was perfected. The material was the easy part—porcelain and composite resin made the perfect shells to blend in with a person’s natural smile.
The problem was getting the veneer to stay longer than a few days. In the 1980s, this issue was solved when dental etching and bonding resin were combined. Now, veneers are a regular type of cosmetic dentistry seen in dental offices all over the world.
At East Valley Dental, our patients can easily benefit from the simple procedure of veneer placement. These wafer-thin shells cover up minor cosmetic imperfections like a crooked tooth, gaps between teeth, and more.
When you don’t need braces or a complete whitening treatment to fix your small flaws, a veneer could be the solution you’re looking for. So what’s a veneer, anyway, and how long do they last? Those answers and more are in this short guide.
Your teeth are designed to be able to hold up under a lot of strain and pressure. We use them every day to eat, bite, tear, talk, and more. A veneer has to be durable enough to withstand the same pressure but lightweight enough to slide over your tooth seamlessly.
The newest designs of these tiny dental appliances do their job perfectly. Porcelain and composite resin shells are sculpted and bonded to your tooth. They cover up the minor imperfections you were unhappy with.
The standard veneer is composite resin. It’s strong enough to do the job of a tooth for years and created with hues that blend in naturally with your smile.
Porcelain veneers are the other option. They look similar to composite resin shells. However, they offer advantages that the standard types don’t.
Choosing Your Veneers
If you’re considering which kind of veneer is worth the investment, it’s crucial that you understand the advantages of each type. You can ask your dentist as many questions as you need to, of course, but this guide will give you a basic understanding of what you can expect.
The fact is, which material is best for you depends on your unique needs. All veneers are a successful mix of science and technology. The super-thin shells are specifically designed to match your teeth while hiding your smile’s flaws.
Both types of veneers, when used by professionally trained dentists, are able to correct things like:
- Uneven spacing or gaps between the teeth
- Damage to the teeth caused by bruxism (grinding and clenching unconsciously)
- Small chips and cracks
- A crooked tooth randomly changing your smile
- Stained teeth that don’t lighten with whiteners
Every veneer covers the flaw in question and is somewhat customized to look like your surrounding teeth. However, a custom-made shell is tailored to your exact enamel’s shade and shape.
Most people want to know the answers to questions like “how long do veneers last on front teeth,” which types are cheaper, and other personalized concerns.
Let’s break down those questions by material type for a thorough answer.
How Veneers are Made
No matter which type of veneer you choose, the process begins with an impression of your teeth. The impression is then used to match the standard composite resin veneers to your smile as closely as possible. If you choose porcelain and custom-made veneers, the mold guides the design of the veneer to match your teeth precisely.
Patients who choose standard composite resin veneers can have their new smile in as little as one office visit. These shells are often on hand at East Valley Dental, so we can apply them the same day as your impression is made.
Don’t worry about anesthesia; there’s rarely any discomfort in the application process. Getting your veneers placed may be the easiest dental procedure you’ll ever have!
Should you choose custom-made veneers, it’ll take a little longer to get your new shells. In the meantime, talk to the dentist about temporary veneers if you’re concerned about the appearance of your teeth. Temporary shells last about a week or so.
Now that you know how easy it is to have veneers applied, the next step is deciding whether you want porcelain or composite resin.
Porcelain or Composite Resin? Which One is Better?
People who want a veneer as close to their real enamel as possible tend to opt for porcelain. This material is as hard as, or harder than, the enamel that makes up our teeth. It’s also similar in color and texture.
With porcelain veneers, you can have them placed and then not worry about them for years. Chewing and biting with a shell of this material is just like using your natural teeth. With care, your porcelain veneers should last you 15 years or longer. Even better, it’s strong enough that you rarely have to worry about damage to it.
One more thing to consider with porcelain veneers is your habits. If you have daily behaviors that stain your teeth, porcelain is highly stain-resistant. Tobacco users and coffee, soda, or tea drinkers, for instance, prefer porcelain.
Because of these advantages and the extra lifespan, porcelain is more expensive than the alternative, composite resin.
The composite resin veneers are still an excellent choice. They are the go-to shells for people in a hurry to cover up a crack or chip in their teeth. If you’re on a tight budget, these veneers are cheaper, too. They do the same job as porcelain, so you’ll love your transformed smile.
With composite resin veneers, you can have your new teeth fast. As soon as the dentist chooses the shade and shape that matches yours, they’ll sculpt it to fit your tooth. In as little as one day, you can have a transformed smile.
You do have to watch out for too many sticky and hard foods. Composite resin veneers can be damaged, but repairing them is simple. Call us at East Valley Dental, and we’ll get you in and out as soon as possible.
However, if you’re in a contact sport, have bruxism, or are a habitual gum chewer, porcelain is the better option.
When you take care of them, composite resin veneers can last you five to ten years.
Take Care of Your Smile With East Valley Dental
Your smile, whether it’s all-natural or has a little cosmetic dental help, will last longer when you work with a dentist. Our professionals are ready to get you the smile of your dreams and keep your mouth healthy along the way. Contact us today to get started on the path to your perfect teeth!