Before we can talk about restoring teeth with Porcelain & Composite Fillings, we want to make sure that our patients understand the reasons and necessity for such restorations.
Porcelain veneers are thin sheets of tooth-colored porcelain materials that adhere to the front surfaces of your teeth. They’re used on the front teeth – the ones that are visible when smiling – to correct issues like cracks, chips, pits, uneven tooth edges, stains, gaps between teeth, and teeth that appear “too small” in relation to other teeth (sometimes referred to as a “gummy smile”).
The application of a veneer typically takes two visits. Veneers are thin but they still take up some room on the surface of the tooth. During the first visit, a small amount of your natural tooth material will be removed to allow room for the veneer so it doesn’t overlap the teeth on either side. An impression of the tooth will be made and sent to the lab where the veneer will be fabricated.
A temporary veneer will be placed on the tooth to protect it while your permanent veneer is being made. At the second visit, the temporary veneer will be removed and the permanent veneer will be adhered to the tooth surface using a very strong bonding agent. Then, the veneer will be gently buffed so it looks and feels completely natural.
Though both porcelain veneers and composite fillings can repair the damage to teeth, however, due to the material limitations composite filling is not recommended if your goal is to transform your smile.
Composite filling is a porous material, which means over time it will change the color, getting yellow or gray. If you drink tea, coffee, red wine or any other colored beverages on regular basis it will even sooner. When a small composite filling is placed the change in color is not as noticeable. However, the larger the surface of the restoration the more visible it is. In case of veneers, the entire front surface of the tooth is covered so the color change will be quite noticeable right next to the tooth that was not restored with veneer.
First, decay is completely removed, and the area is cleaned of debris. Then, an etching solution will be applied to the tooth surface to make it rough so the bonding material “sticks” better. Once the tooth surface is prepared, the bonding resin is applied to the area layer by layer to ensure the strongest possible bond as the restoration is “built” on the tooth surface.
The resin material is carefully shaped to ensure it looks like your natural tooth. Once the resin bonding material is in place and shaped, a curing light will be used to help strengthen the material, and the resin will be gently buffed for beautiful, natural-looking results that blend beautifully with your other teeth.
Composite Filling is typically less costly than a veneer. The procedure is completed in a single visit, while veneers require two visits – one to prepare the tooth and make an impression that’s sent to a dental lab, and the second visit to apply the veneer. But composite filling resin is not as strong as the porcelain used in veneers, which means it will not last as long. It stains, unlike a porcelain veneer.