Here at Honour Health, we provide the option of veneers for patients who are interested in improving the shape, colour and symmetry of their teeth. This is a popular treatment option and can take very few appointments, so if you’d like to transform your smile in a short amount of time, veneers could be worth exploring with your dentist.

Every smile is different, though, and it’s important to bear in mind that veneers are not always a suitable treatment for misaligned teeth or gaps. Your dentist may instead advise orthodontic treatment, such as Invisalign as a discreet, comfortable way of straightening your natural teeth.

If you choose to proceed with veneers, then we provide two options – composite and porcelain. Wondering what the difference is? Read on to find out.

What are composite veneers?

A composite veneer is a thin layer of dental composite resin (tooth-coloured filling material) that is carefully custom-moulded over the surface of the teeth to improve the appearance of the smile.

The treatment includes the gradual build-up of the composite resin material on the teeth (in a shade which matches the surrounding teeth) before being hardened with a high intensity light to bond it securely, and then smoothed and polished to look shiny, natural and healthy.

What are the advantages?

  • It’s non-invasive treatment. There is very little or no preparation of the tooth needed, so you can improve your smile in a single visit to the dentist and they won’t need to drill down your healthy enamel or damage the tooth structure in any way
  • It’s an economical alternative to porcelain veneers
  • No anaesthetic injections are needed
  • They can make chipped teeth look intact again
  • They can close small gaps when orthodontic treatment is not suitable
  • They can improve the appearance of dark or discoloured teeth
  • Repairs can be made easily if the composite stains or chips
  • Should you ever want the composite resin to be removed or replaced, this can be done, leaving your natural teeth unharmed

How long will a composite veneer last?

  • The longevity depends on how well the patient looks after their teeth, and their dietary habits. Although composite veneers can last for several years, they are not as strong as natural teeth, and can chip or fracture, so it’s important to treat them with care.
  • Composite veneers do require regular maintenance, as they have a tendency to stain and do need to be polished. Visit your dentist and hygienist every six months to keep your smile looking and feeling as clean and fresh as possible. 

What are porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of tooth-coloured porcelain which are cemented to the front surfaces of the natural teeth to change their colour and shape. They can fix chipped, stained, crooked teeth, worn teeth or gaps.

What are the advantages?

  • If you’re considering veneers and you’re a fan of tea, coffee and red wine, then it is useful to know that porcelain veneers are stain resistant. You should still look after them in the same way as you would care for your natural teeth, but porcelain veneers, being non-porous, are more resistant to discolouration than both natural teeth and composite veneers.
  • Porcelain veneers have a longer life expectancy than composite ones, and with proper care can last between 10-15 years. However, it is important to know that an amount of your natural tooth’s surface will need to be removed to allow the porcelain veneer to be properly placed. This procedure does not happen with composites. Porcelain veneers are therefore considered permanent, because your dentist will irreversibly change the structure of your natural teeth in order to attach the veneers.

To book a free consultation, contact your chosen Honour Health practice in Jesmond, Ponteland or Stanley.