Ceramic Veneers: An Essential Guide to Your Dental Options

When you look at your smile in the mirror, do you feel like you have to cover it up? Maybe you have a couple of crooked teeth or some stains from medication or your morning cup of joe. You might even have cracked or chipped teeth that dim your smile and cause you anxiety during those happy moments of your life.

Dental veneers can be a great way to restore your smile to its perfect beauty and fix those minor problems. Read on to learn more about the different types of ceramic veneers and which one is right for you. 

What Are Dental Veneers?

Before we dive into the different types of ceramic veneers, let’s talk some about what dental veneers are. Veneers are a thin shell that mimics the look of a genuine tooth, and that sits on top of your natural teeth. They are permanently affixed to your teeth and, as we’ll discuss more later, can be a great way to improve the look of your teeth.

Unlike implants or crowns, veneers do not require you to have any teeth removed. Instead, your dentist will shave off some of your enamel to make room for the veneer to sit on top of your existing tooth. You may not need a full set of veneers; sometimes, just one or two are enough to manage any complaints you have. 

Benefits of Veneers 

Veneers can provide you with a number of benefits, beginning with improving your self-esteem. Broken, discolored, or crooked teeth can make you want to hide your smile, which can put a damper on the best moments in life. Veneers restore your beautiful smile to its best state, which can make you feel more at ease in those happy moments. 

Veneers can also be a good alternative to more drastic or costly dental repair procedures. For instance, in some cases, you may be able to use veneers to cover crooked teeth rather than getting braces. Veneers can also repair permanent discoloration that can’t be addressed with whitening procedures.

Porcelain vs. Ceramic 

Oftentimes, when you start researching veneers, you’ll find a lot of talk about porcelain. Porcelain veneers are among the most expensive options patients can choose, and they do provide an excellent finish and durability for patients. The porcelain mimics the look of a real tooth and provides excellent durability.

The difference between porcelain and ceramic lies in the manufacturing process. Porcelain veneers are crafted layer by layer, with artisans painting on the porcelain and then baking it in a kiln to harden it before adding the next layer. Ceramic veneers are usually poured into molds, which makes them cheaper and easier to produce. 

Pressed 

There are four basic types of ceramic dental veneers: pressed, stacked, zirconia-based, and lithium disilicate. Pressed ceramic veneers are made of a porcelain base, which gets melted into a liquid state. From there, the molten porcelain is poured into a mold, and a hydraulic press applies pressure as the veneer cools and hardens. 

Ceramic veneers have a number of advantages, beginning with the fact that they’re often cheaper than porcelain. Porcelain veneers have to be hand-milled, but the pouring process for ceramic makes manufacturing easier and more affordable. Pressed veneers are also tremendously strong and can be customized to give you your perfect smile. 

Zirconia-Based

Zirconia-based veneers are a fantastic option for patients who want their veneers to be able to stand up to anything. These ceramic veneers are the strongest option on the market and can be up to ten times as strong as your tooth enamel. With proper care, your zirconia-based veneers could last three decades or more.

One of the best things about zirconia-based veneers is that they are completely hypoallergenic. Certain types of veneer materials can interact with chemicals naturally present in your mouth and cause a metallic taste or even an allergic reaction. Zirconia-based veneers don’t have any reactive substances in them and so will keep your mouth healthy and your smile bright.

Lithium Disilicate 

Lithium disilicate is a glass-ceramic material that is used in a wide variety of restorative dental work. In fact, if you’ve got a filling in your adult teeth, chances are your dentist used lithium disilicate. This material is also used in caps and crowns and provides a fantastic natural look for a relatively affordable price.

Lithium disilicate is quite tough and doesn’t break down in your mouth even after years and years. It’s relatively quick to work with, and thanks to some new manufacturing techniques, these veneers can be quite thin. This means that your dentist will have to remove less enamel before they apply the veneer to your teeth.

Other Types of Veneers

There are a few other types of veneers aside from porcelain and ceramic. Composite resin veneers are a more affordable option, as they’re made with more accessible materials. However, composite veneers don’t provide the same toughness that porcelain or ceramic do.

If you want the best of both worlds, lumineers may be a good option for you. These veneers are made with porcelain, but they’re much thinner, which makes them more affordable. They also require less enamel to be removed before the lumineer gets installed, and they can be reversed later on.

Learn More About Ceramic Veneers 

Ceramic veneers can be a fantastic way to get the smile you’ve always dreamed about. You can choose among pressed, zirconia-based, or lithium disilicate veneers, in addition to porcelain and composite. Each option gives you a tough, natural-looking finish at a more affordable price than stacked porcelain. 

If you’d like to learn more about ceramic veneers, check out the rest of our site at The Dental Team. We are committed to excellence with compassionate care for our clients. Find a location near you today, and let us get you smiling again.

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