What are Composite Veneers? Everything You Need to Know

11 October 2022

Composite veneers are a great option for patients who want to improve the appearance of their smile, but don’t want to undergo major surgery. These thin coverings are custom-made by your dentist, and they’re bonded to the front of your teeth for a beautiful, natural-looking result.

If you’re wondering what composite veneers are and how they work, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at how composite veneers are made.

What are composite veneers?

Composite veneers are a type of dental restoration that uses safe materials to conceal or repair dental imperfections.

Veneers are made from one or more layers of resin composite material. The veneer is custom-made to fit over your existing teeth. In addition to replacing your whole tooth, they can also replace only part of your tooth.

Furthermore, veneers are useful for correcting a wide range of dental issues, including gaps between teeth, misaligned teeth, and chipped teeth.

How long do composite veneers last?

The durability of composite veneers has improved over the years. In general, they last between five and seven years.

It’s important to keep in mind that wear and tear on your composite veneers will depend on several factors including:

  • The way you brush and floss your teeth.
    Composite veneers will wear out more quickly if you don’t take good care of them. The American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Flossing is also important for removing food particles between teeth and along the gum line.
  • The foods that you eat.
    Composite veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that are permanently bonded to the front of your teeth. Like natural teeth, the surface of composite veneers can be stained by foods and beverages.
  • The frequency with which you have acidic foods, such as soda, coffee, or wine.
    Sugary foods can cause tooth decay over time, especially if you don’t brush after every meal or snack. Foods with acids can also be damaging if left on your teeth for long periods of time each day (for example: soda). But if you take care to rinse out your mouth after eating or drinking anything sugary or acidic, then there’s no need for concern about these types of foods wearing down your composite veneer.

If you take good care of your cosmetic veneers, they should last for many years without needing any major repairs or replacements.

How to maintain composite veneers?

Composite veneers are an excellent alternative to traditional porcelain veneers. The only downside is that they require more attention and maintenance than standard dental restorations.

Here are some tips to keep your composite veneers looking their best:

  • Brush your teeth regularly.
    This is especially important after eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages. Also, be sure to brush all sides of each tooth, including the chewing surfaces and the biting edges.
  • Floss at least once a day, preferably after eating.
    You can use traditional floss or interproximal brushes (small plastic sticks with tufts of bristles at each end) to clean between the teeth and below the gumline.
  • Use mouthwash daily.
    Rinsing with mouthwash helps loosen food particles from between teeth and under gums so that they can be brushed away more easily without damaging enamel or irritating tender gums. These products also work well for people with sensitive teeth or gums who need extra protection from brushing against hard-to-reach areas of the mouth where plaque tends to collect easily (such as between molars).
  • Use a fluoride mouthwash and toothpaste daily.
    Don’t use any toothpaste that contains baking soda or peroxide because these ingredients can cause enamel erosion and lead to cavities underneath the veneers.

Composite Veneers vs. Porcelain Veneers? (Pros and Cons)

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, there are two main types of veneers: composite and porcelain. While they both serve the same purpose, they are quite different in terms of material, colour and cost.

Composite Veneers

Pros:

The biggest pro for composite veneers is that they can be created quickly with minimal discomfort. They also don’t require any anaesthesia or sedation during the procedure because they aren’t as delicate as porcelain veneers, which means you’ll have them on your teeth within a few weeks or months rather than years! 

Cons:

Composite veneers can chip or break more easily than porcelain if you’re not careful when chewing on certain foods like apples or carrots, so it’s important to avoid these foods until your new smile has fully healed. Another downside is that composite veneers may need replacing every few years due to wear-and-tear issues caused by eating hard.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are bonded to the front of teeth to improve their appearance.

Pros:

Porcelain veneers offer a smooth and natural-looking smile. They can change the colour or shape of your teeth, close gaps between teeth and cover discoloured or damaged teeth. The procedure is relatively simple and painless, with minimal recovery time and little risk of complications.

Cons:

Porcelain veneers can chip or break, but this usually isn’t a problem because they’re so thin. If you grind your teeth at night, you may not be a good candidate for porcelain veneers because they can break easily when exposed to force from grinding.

How much does it cost?

Taking a look at their costs will provide a better understanding of their difference.

Composite Veneers

Composite veneers cost between £125 and £500 per tooth depending on how much material is needed and whether or not you need multiple visits with a dentist.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers typically cost between £600 and £950 per tooth depending on what type of porcelain you choose and how many visits are required.

Procedure

As with other types of veneers, composite veneers are fairly straightforward to install.

There are two ways to place them.

A composite veneer has to be designed outside your mouth for indirect application by your dentist. In the case of direct veneer placement, this is not needed since your dentist can place the veneers directly on the affected teeth.

The Procedure of Direct Veneers

  1. Cleaning and preparing:
    Before your dentist applies the composite material, your teeth must be thoroughly cleaned and any enamel removed.
  2. Application of adhesive glue:
    A glue like adhesive is applied between each layer of composite material to keep it firmly attached to the tooth surface.
  3. The composite material is made up of layers:
    Each of these layers is individually sculpted by hand to create a smile that is natural in appearance based on the contours of your teeth.
  4. Using a light source, harden the composite resin:
    To ensure that the layers stay in place until they naturally fall off, a special light is used to harden the layers.

Procedure of Indirect Veneers

  1. Oral Exam
    This step involves assessing dental health. Composite veneers require an oral examination prior to placement. During the examination, any signs of inflammation or cavities will be identified. Your dentist will correct any issues found during the composite veneers procedure.
  2. X-Ray Imaging
    In order to prepare your mouth for surgery, your dentist ensures every bone structure and external tissue is in good shape. Your dentist uses X-rays to determine your mouth and bone structure. X-rays help your dentist diagnose your condition.
  3. Taking dental impressions
    During the indirect procedure after taking an x-ray, your dentist makes an impression of your mouth to create a temporary veneer. Your dentist will create your temporary veneers once you bite down on a mould.
  4. Teeth Shaving
    The procedure is painless, but you may choose to be sedated or anaesthetised. This step involves removing a portion or shaving down a part of your teeth. Veneers need space, so this is important.
  5. Putting Your Composite Veneers in Place
    Hard composite veneers are individually placed on teeth by your dentist. Using a glueing agent, the films will be held in place. Afterwards, your veneers will be illuminated with blue light. As the resin hardens, it becomes cemented in place.

Composite Veneers – Before and After

Composite veneers can be used to change the shape or size of your teeth, close gaps between teeth, or fix chips and cracks in your smile. The composite veneer before and after photos below show how composite veneers can be used to make dramatic changes to your smile.

Composite veneers before and after - example 1

Composite veneers before and after - example 2

Composite veneers before and after - example 3

FAQs Section

What material is used for composite veneers?

Composite veneers are made out of a resin that is very strong and durable. The material is designed to be both tooth-colored and strong enough to hold up under normal wear and tear.

Can composite veneers be done in one day?

Yes, composite veneers can be done in one day. The process itself is relatively quick and painless, and the results are immediate.

Can composite veneers be removed?

Composite veneers are designed to be permanent. They can be removed by a dentist, but this is only recommended in the case of a dental emergency. If you’re considering removing your composite veneers, you should consult with your dentist first.

Conclusion

Composite is a very common material in dentistry, and more and more people are choosing it for a variety of reasons. It has an excellent track record for durability and its extremely aesthetic. Composite veneers are an attractive alternative to porcelain veneers because they can be placed in just a single appointment, are cost-effective and easy to maintain.

 

Woman smile