Considering Dental Veneers? 3 Steps To Choosing The Right Veneers For You

If you are considering obtaining dental veneers, then you may not realize that your cosmetic dentist will present you with several options in dental veneer materials to choose from, color options, and other dental veneer customization options. While all dental veneers will help you achieve that new set of pearly whites that you desire, choosing the material that is best for your lifestyle and customizing them to achieve the exact smile you desire is very important. 

Read on to learn three steps to choosing the right dental veneers for you. 

Step 1: Choose Porcelain or Composite Resin

The two most popular types of dental veneer materials are currently porcelain and composite resin. Porcelain veneers cost a bit more than composite resin veneers, but they are typically recommended by dentists when performing full smile makeovers. Porcelain veneers are more durable than composite resin veneers -- they are less prone to breakage and more resistant to staining than their composite resin counterparts. They can also last a full 20 years or longer before needing replacement. 

However, composite resin veneers are still a good option if you are on a budget and can't afford the slightly higher cost of porcelain veneers. You just have to be sure to take a bit more care to avoid drinking beverages that can stain your teeth while you wear them, make a commitment to not use your teeth as tools, and make sure to avoid eating foods that are too hard while you have them. When choosing composite resin veneers, you must also be ready to replace them more frequently than you would have to replace porcelain veneers. 

Step 2: Pick Your Porcelain Type

There are now two types of porcelain that cosmetic dentists use to form porcelain veneers, so if you choose this type of dental veneer over its composite resin counterpart, you will have to make an additional decision before you get to step three. 

While feldspathic porcelain has been used to create dental veneers for decades, a new type of porcelain veneer made from pressed ceramic has been on the market now for about 15 years. While both types of porcelain veneers are great options that are much stronger than composite resin veneers, many dentists consider the newer pressed ceramic veneers a better option for most patients. 

Pressed ceramic veneers are twice as strong as feldspathic porcelain veneers, which makes them more resistant to breakage and cracking. Since raw pressed ceramic is more easily moldable than feldspathic porcelain, it is easier for ceramicists to create a final veneer that perfectly matches a patient's tooth. Pressed ceramic veneers are also less likely to damage the teeth opposing those covered in veneers due to being less abrasive than their feldspathic counterparts. 

However, some cosmetic dentists believe that feldspathic veneers look more like natural teeth and they can often be applied after removing less natural tooth structure than cosmetic dentists must remove before applying composite resin veneers. 

Step 3: Choose Your Veneer Customizations

While your cosmetic dentist can make your new pearly whites appear just as white as you would like them, most people obtaining veneers today are opting for a more natural look. Your cosmetic dentist will show you a shade chart and help you choose the shade that looks most natural with your skin tone. 

While you can have your veneers shaded one consistent color, you can also have them customized to provide an even more natural look. Common ways the color of veneers are customized to appear more like natural teeth include adding natural tooth "discoloration" near the gum line and, if choosing feldpathic veneers that are created by layering many thin layers of porcelain, having porcelain shades alternated when layering. 

An additional way to customize your veneers to make them appear more natural includes texturizing their surfaces, so they appear to have the "grooves" that natural teeth. 

If you will be visiting a cosmetic dentist soon to discuss obtaining porcelain veneers, then remember these three steps that you will have to take when choosing the right veneers for you.