With cosmetic dentistry, we can offer you many choices for getting a beautiful smile. This includes giving you a choice of materials to help meet your cosmetic goals. However, not all materials are equal–you might be sacrificing the appearance, durability, and more when you choose certain materials.
That’s what a new study on veneers highlights: veneers made from resin (plastic) composite don’t perform as well as ceramic ones. While the ceramic veneers had a 100% survival rate, many of the resin veneers failed. And of the remaining veneers, the ceramic ones still looked good, but the resin ones were unattractive and damaged. If you are looking for long-lasting, attractive veneers, it’s important to choose quality materials as well as working with an experienced cosmetic dentist.
A Small, Split-Mouth Study
This study in the Journal of Dentistry was relatively small, based on only 48 veneers placed in 11 patients’ mouths. However, the study was long–10 years–and it used a split-mouth design to make it easier to compare the two types of veneers.
Over the 10 year length of the study, six veneers failed. All were resin composite. The failures were evenly split between fracturing and coming debonded. This means that the ceramic veneers had a 100% survival rate, compared to just 75% survival for the resin veneers. At the end of the study, researchers also compared the appearance and other characteristics of the surviving veneers. They found that the resin veneers were worse in every category measured, including surface roughness, color match, wear, and fractures.
All the differences were statistically significant.
Quality Materials Make a Difference
Cosmetic dentistry can be a very good investment in the appearance (and health) of your smile. But if you want to get your money’s worth, you should invest in quality materials. This is one of the factors that could make a big difference when you’re looking at quotes and treatment plans from different dentists: the materials being used.
Some dentists may count on you not knowing the difference in materials to lure you into working with them. We understand that it can be hard to educate yourself on the different cosmetic materials that dentists use, but it’s worth it to understand exactly what is being offered–obviously it can make the difference between veneers that last over ten years and those that fail early.
If your quote or treatment plan doesn’t include this information, request it. In addition, if you are having trouble understanding your treatment plan , we can look at it and help you understand what’s being offered.
Your Dentist Also Matters
Of course, it’s not just the material that makes a difference in your cosmetic results. In fact, your choice of dentist could make an even bigger difference in the longevity of your cosmetic results. It’s especially important to work with a cosmetic dentist who understands the importance of your bite. If you have an imbalanced bite, it can put excessive force on some of your restorations, causing them to experience wear, cracks, and failure at a higher rate. A neuromuscular dentist works hard to try to balance the forces in your bite to help your restorations last longer. This includes taking into account and treating bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) if you have it.