Composite veneers - how do they work? Types, procedure and cost.

07 March · 4 minutes

Composite veneers, otherwise referred to as resin veneers, offer a minimally invasive and effective solution for patients who want to improve the aesthetic appearance of their teeth. Composite veneers are multipurpose and can cover a variety of defects, improving the overall appearance of the teeth.

In this article, you can discover what composite veneers are, their types and how they work, as well as how to care for them. You can also learn about the pros, cons and cost of composite veneers.

Read on and find out how these veneers can help you achieve a newfound confidence in your teeth.

Composite veneers - what are they?

Composite veneers are thin shells which are composed of both ceramic and acrylic resin. These resin veneers are applied directly to the tooth in a way that’s as minimally invasive as possible, unlike some other types of veneers.

In order to ensure composite veneers are as discreet as possible, the material used mimics the colour of natural teeth. The aesthetic appearance of defects such as discolouration, gaps and irregularities in the shape or size of teeth can be improved by using injection-molded composite veneers, which are custom-made to cover the front of the teeth.

How do composite veneers work?

In cases of minor dental imperfections, injection-molded composite veneers can be a solution. For example, composite veneers are often used for crooked teeth, as they can alleviate the appearance of teeth that are slightly overlapped. Composite veneers also work for covering gaps (small diastemas). In addition, they can be a practical solution to disguise other problems such as slightly crowded teeth, worn teeth, small teeth or stained teeth. Additionally, composite resin veneers are an ideal solution for those patients who want to have whiter and more uniform teeth.

Four composite veneers on a black background.

Different types of composite veneers

Composite resin veneers vary according to the material used and the procedure for applying them to the teeth. Here we explore the different types of composite veneers.

Composite veneer types according to how they’re placed: direct and indirect

Firstly, let’s discover how composite veneers can be applied and explore the differences between direct and indirect composite veneers.

Direct composite veneers

When we talk about direct composite veneers, we are referring to when the composite resin is applied directly to the teeth. The orthodontic specialist can shape the composite resin veneers directly on the tooth in order to create a more natural look. Before the composite resin is applied, the teeth may require some light etching for the material to bond properly, making the treatment minimally invasive.

Indirect composite veneers

The preparation of the teeth when applying indirect composite veneers is the same as with direct composite veneers. However, instead of the composite resin being molded directly to the teeth, your veneers will be pre-made in a dental laboratory and customized to you. They will then be applied to the teeth with adhesive. As indirect composite veneers tend to be stronger and more long-lasting than direct composite veneers, they usually have a higher price point.

Composite veneers according to the materials used and their properties

Now we’ll look into the different types of composite veneers available according to the material used as well as their unique properties.

Condensable composite veneers

Condensable composite veneers are dense in consistency and easy to work with, making the material ideal for sculpting details. While this type of composite veneer offers durability, the aesthetic results are not the most ideal, so they are not often recommended for use on the anterior teeth.

Hybrid composite veneers

Hybrid composite veneers are a combination of the characteristics of different types of composite resin. The chemical composition of this type of veneer contains both macro and microparticles, bringing a combination of aesthetics and durability, therefore making them a versatile option for a variety of cases.

Flowable resin-based composite veneers

Flowable resin-based composite veneers are made up of composite microparticles, making them easy to mold. The fluid composition of these types of resin veneers makes them ideal for making improvements in minor cases where patients are seeking a less invasive solution. However, this type of veneer is more fragile than other types of resin veneers.

Microhybrid composite veneers

This type of composite veneer contains smaller filler particles that offer a natural appearance by matching the translucency of natural teeth. As one of the more recent developments in restorative dentistry, this type of composite is easy to polish yet durable, characteristics which are often difficult to find within the same material.

Nanocomposite resin veneers

Nanocomposite resin veneers use nanotechnology for very small filler particles, which is beneficial for both the aesthetic and durability of the veneers. They are therefore ideal for enhancing the aesthetic and strength of the teeth.

What is the procedure for applying composite veneers?

Here we’ll outline the procedure for how composite or resin veneers are applied to the teeth. If no preparatory dental treatment is required, the application of composite veneers can be done within 1-2 visits, since they are easier to place than ceramic veneers.

  1. Initial evaluation: A dental evaluation will be performed to discuss the patient’s expectations and to determine their suitability for this treatment.
  2. Application of the veneers: Composite resin veneers can be applied directly or indirectly, each following a different process. Direct composite veneers are applied and molded directly to the patient’s tooth or teeth. However, if indirect, the veneers are pre-made in the dental office or a laboratory. To apply them, the rest of the teeth are isolated to avoid contamination and the composite is applied and moulded to achieve the desired results in terms of shape or colour.
  3. Polishing and adjustments: Once the veneers have been applied, your dentist will check if any adjustments are required. The veneers will also be polished to create a smooth, shiny and natural tooth-like finish.
Placing a composite veneer on a teeth mould.

How to care for your composite veneers

While composite resin veneers are easier to fit than other types of veneers, they require careful maintenance as they can be more susceptible to staining and wear.

Below are some tips on how to clean and care for your composite veneers properly:

  1. Thorough oral hygiene: To preserve your oral health and ensure your veneers don’t wear down rapidly, you should maintain regular brushing, flossing, and use of mouthwash.
  2. Avoid food and drinks that can stain teeth: There are some foods and drinks that stain teeth. You should avoid drinks like red wine, coffee and tea, and foods such as berries, dark chocolate, soy sauce and curry.
  3. Avoid smoking: Smoking can stain your veneers, so it’s recommended that you cut down the amount you smoke or stop smoking completely.
  4. Attend dental check-ups regularly: It’s imperative that you attend regular dental check-ups so that a dentist can ensure your veneers are maintained properly and that any adjustments can be made where necessary. Your dental specialist will also determine how often you should come in for cleaning or polishing so that your veneers are kept in the best condition possible.
  5. Avoid using excessive force with your teeth: We recommend you avoid biting your nails and opening your mouth too wide when chewing (for example, when eating a sandwich or an apple) to avoid any deterioration or breakages in your veneers.

Composite veneers - pros and cons

While there are more advantages than disadvantages when it comes to composite veneers, here we’ll explore both pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to choosing your treatment.

What are the benefits of composite veneers?

  1. They offer a natural look: One of the many benefits of composite veneers is that they offer natural-looking results. Composite is a material that can blend seamlessly with the natural colour and appearance of the tooth.
  2. The process is minimally invasive: Composite veneers offer a minimally invasive procedure in comparison to other veneers as the teeth require little to no preparation or modification for application.
  3. They are repairable: If resin veneers are damaged, they can be repaired quite easily without the need to be redone completely; and the repairs can usually be done in the same clinic.
  4. The procedure is fairly quick: An additional benefit of composite veneers is that their application usually only takes 1-2 sessions at the dentist.
  5. The treatment can be reversed: As previously mentioned, composite veneers do not require a lot of preparation in comparison to porcelain veneers. This means they can be worn for a while and then removed without the need to re-fit them immediately.
  6. Cost: Finally, resin veneers are a more cost-effective option than other types of veneers, which we’ll explain further when we explore the cost of composite veneers.

The disadvantages of composite veneers

  1. They have a shorter lifespan than other veneers: One of the disadvantages of composite veneers is that they are less durable than porcelain veneers, typically lasting between 5 and 10 years.
  2. They may wear down over time: If composite veneers aren’t taken care of properly, they can wear down slightly over time which can mean they’ll need to be replaced.
A dental specialist in an evaluation with a patient.

How long do composite veneers last?

For those wondering, ‚Äúhow long do composite veneers last?‚ÄĚ, here you can find out. The longevity of composite veneers can vary, but they can last between 5 to 10 years if they are cared for and maintained correctly.

How much are composite veneers? The cost involved.

As we outlined in the list of benefits, the cost of composite resin veneers is usually lower than other types of veneers. The cost depends on various factors including the type of composite veneer chosen, the number of veneers needed, the location of the dental clinic and the technology used there, as well as the size of the tooth.

The cost of composite veneers in the US typically ranges between $400 and $1500 per tooth.

Give yourself a confidence boost with a treatment at Impress

If you want to improve your confidence in your teeth, we offer an array of treatments at Impress that are designed to improve the aesthetic appearance of your teeth, as well as your oral health, such as clear aligner treatments. To find out more about the orthodontic treatments we offer and how we can improve your oral health, you can contact us and find out what treatments are available at your nearest Impress clinic. To get in touch, book a complimentary evaluation with us online, by phone on (888) 490 1421, or through email at careteam@uniformteeth.com.

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Frequently asked questions about composite resin veneers

Can you whiten composite veneers?

Many patients ask if you can whiten composite veneers, but the answer is no according to dental professionals. To preserve their original colour, your veneers should be cared for as per the recommendations given to you by your dentist and in this article.

What type of preparation is needed before composite veneers are applied?

In most cases, minimal preparation of the teeth is required for applying composite veneers. On some rare occasions, the shape of the tooth may need to be modified slightly (some light etching will be used to achieve this).

Do composite veneers stain?

Unlike porcelain veneers, composite veneers do stain if not cared for correctly. Certain foods and drinks, as well as smoking, can cause the composite resin to stain. It’s imperative that you follow the aftercare advice given to you by your dentist to maintain the original colour of your composite resin veneers.

Is removing composite veneers possible?

Composite veneers can be removed but should be done so in a dental clinic and not elsewhere like at home. As the treatment requires little preparation, it is indeed reversible, but removing composite veneers should be done in a dental clinic to avoid any discomfort or damage to the teeth. Your dentist will first weaken the adhesive originally used in the treatment and then carefully remove the veneers.

Do composite veneers hurt?

As only some minimal etching is required in some cases before applying composite veneers, they do not hurt the patient.

If I grind my teeth, can I get composite veneers?

If you are wondering, ‚Äúcan I get composite veneers if I grind my teeth?‚ÄĚ, you should arrange a dental evaluation so that your dentist can assess how severe your bruxism is and whether you‚Äôre eligible for composite veneers. In severe cases of bruxism, the composite material used in veneers can be worn down. Therefore, in these cases, it‚Äôs best to have the bruxism treated before fitting veneers.

Can I get composite veneers if I have teeth missing?

If you have teeth missing, you can’t get composite veneers as they need to be bonded to the natural teeth. Dental implants may be a more viable option for patients with missing teeth, but it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist to discuss the best options for your individual case.

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