A composite resin veneer is a tooth-colored shell that is custom-made to fit over the tooth and improve color, shape, and the patient’s overall smile. There are many factors to consider when opting for dental veneers, including cost, procedure, and durability. Those with healthy teeth and gums and adequate enamel on their teeth are often good candidates for composite resin veneers. This guide provides details to help navigate the aspects of a dental veneer procedure and achieve the perfect smile.
What Are Composite Veneers?
A composite veneer is made from the same material used to fill cavities. It is color matched to the patient’s existing tooth for seamless integration into the overall smile. Veneers made from composite resin require the dentist to have the artistic skills and technical ability to essentially create and build the tooth; therefore, some dentists do not offer this service and may refer the patient to a cosmetic dentist who specializes in this form of dentistry.
Composite Resin Veneers Use
Composite veneers are used in dental repairs and restoration, as well as for cosmetic purposes like stained teeth, excessive spacing, and crooked teeth. The most common use is to repair damaged teeth that are cracked, chipped, or may be eroding from acidic foods and drink. These are often minor repairs and can be effectively corrected while avoiding more invasive and costly dental procedures.
Veneers are also used to complement orthodontia treatment. Some patients may already have had braces to move teeth, adjust the tooth position, and correct the jawline, but some teeth may be poorly shaped, leaving gaps that negatively affect the overall smile. This is where composite resin veneers can be paired with the orthodontic treatment as the dentist builds upon those poorly shaped teeth to fill gaps, round edges, and create a beautiful smile.
Another use for veneers is when a patient has experienced excessive staining or tooth discoloration. While there are dental whitening treatments, both over-the-counter and professional-grade whitening in the dentist’s office, some patients may have tooth discoloration due to medications previously taken or stains that cannot be effectively treated with a tooth whitening system. Those with crowns are sometimes not good candidates for teeth whitening as the bleach will not change their color and they will be more noticeable when the natural teeth are whiter.
Composite Resin Veneers Procedure
Veneers made from composite resin are a less invasive dental procedure. Other types of veneers, such as porcelain, require drilling and reduction of the tooth, and multiple visits are often necessary for impression molds to create the porcelain veneer in the laboratory, followed by attachment of the veneer. This multi-step process can take several weeks for completion.
Using composite resin requires little or no alteration of the existing tooth, and completion is often the same day. The dentist will ensure the tooth is completely clean and may do some light buffing or sanding of the tooth to create texture for the composite resin to adhere to for a strong bond. The composite resin is applied to the tooth surface, and then molded and shaped for a natural-looking tooth that matches the color, size, and shape of other teeth. The composite resin is cured with ultraviolet light for a strong bond, and then polished.
Composite Resin Veneers Cost
When choosing dental veneers, it is important to be fully aware of all information before purchasing and beginning treatment. At about $250 per tooth, the cost of veneers made from composite resin is significantly cheaper compared to porcelain veneers, which can range from $900 to $2,500 per tooth. If a porcelain veneer chips or breaks, a new veneer must be created and can take several weeks, whereas repairs to composite resin can be achieved on the same day.
In addition to the cost of the veneer, there may be additional fees for things such as x-rays and office visits. Using a general dentist may be less expensive compared to a cosmetic dental specialist, but not every dentist will offer composite veneers due to the skill required to create them.
When veneers are purchased for cosmetic reasons, dental insurance often will not cover any of the expense; however, dental insurance typically provides financial assistance when used for the repair of damaged teeth. Dental savings plans may be another option in lowering the cost of veneers and can reach savings of 20% to 60% when using approved dental providers.
Composite Resin Veneers Longevity
When evaluating the cost of veneers, durability and longevity must be factored into the decision. The longevity of composite resin veneers is shorter, at about 3 to 7 years, compared to porcelain at 10 to 15 years; however, the length of time any veneer will last is largely dependent on how well the patient cares for their teeth. It is important to avoid biting on things like hard candy and ice, or using teeth to bite or pull on non-food items. Those who grind their teeth may want to wear a mouth guard while sleeping to avoid damage of the composite resin.
Composite resin veneers are effective in repairing damaged teeth and providing a more aesthetically pleasing smile. They require a skilled dentist who can artfully create a tooth using composite resin, which can be created in a same-day office visit. The cost is significantly cheaper compared to other veneer materials such as porcelain, making them attractive for many patients and often qualifying for partial coverage by dental insurance in cases of tooth repair. Ongoing care of the dental veneer and overall dental hygiene is essential to achieve a long life of the composite resin.