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Dental veneers are custom-designed covers for teeth used for whitening or damage repair.

What are the relative benefits of the different types of dental veneers?

Amanda Seay (Mount Pleasant, SC) on Aug 19, 2011
There are hundreds of brands out there but the basics are two types of porcelain systems....Feldspathic or Pressed. Feldspathic(sometimes called "stacked" porcelain) is made by layering porcelain with powder and liquid technique. This method typically allows more artistry in the color nuances of a tooth. Pressed porcelain is when a single color block of porcelain(also called an ingot) is selected and pressed into the shape of a tooth. There is a little less color variability but it also has some strength benefits as well. A highly skilled lab technician can handle both feldspathic and pressed and achieve the same beautiful results.
Les Latner (Los Angeles, CA) on Aug 19, 2011
Feldspathic porcelain has been the choice of leading cosmetic dentists and laboratory ceramists for many years. Most of these professionals still consider this porcelain to be the cosmetic standard that other materials are judged. There are also pressed ceramics and CAD-CAM ceramics that are used. Usually these decisions are made by the cosmetic dentist and ceramist for each case individually. Les Latner, DDS
Leonard Tau (Philadelphia, PA) on Aug 19, 2011
Veneers are placed when you are unhappy with the color, size or shape of your teeth.
Steven Bader (Newton Centre, MA) on Aug 19, 2011
The largest portion of my practice is porcelain veneers. Briefly there are different types of materials and different methods for creating porcelain veneers. No Prep Veneers The most advertised veneers - Lumineers - are a brand of veneers emphasizing minimal or no tooth preparation commonly called No Prep Veneers. Lumineer is a brand name of one particular laboratory, but there are dozens of labs around the country that provide as good or better looking no prep veneers. Positives: No Prep Veneers involve little or no drilling of your teeth. This can sometimes be done without local anesthetic and usually does not need interim temporary material to protect the teeth while your veneers are being made. Because your teeth are not drilled they could be reversible. Negatives: Because they are very thin your own teeth will often show through. Major changes in colors cannot be easily done. Because they are only added to your teeth they usually look fatter than natural teeth and more rounded. Best uses: Small teeth, gaps or spaces. Porcelain Prepared Veneers Most porcelain veneers are created by very slightly shaving your natural teeth and adding veneers to create a beautiful color and shape. There are several types of porcelain but generally they all can look great. Positives: Can create major color changes. Final shape can be ideal in all situations. Negatives: Very small amounts of your teeth need to be drilled so they are not reversible. You will need temporary veneers while your veneers are being made. Bonding or Composite Veneers Instead of porcelain your teeth can be covered with a resin composite that has fine porcelain powder mixed in. This composite can be bonded to the front of your teeth, usually without preparation of your teeth. Positives: Bonding can be reversible if no preparation of your teeth is done. It can be less expensive. If it wears or discolors it can often be repaired with the same material. Negatives: Composite is a plastic. It is porous on the surface and will discolor over a variable amount of time. It is softer than porcelain and will wear and chip more easily. Best uses: Younger patients, interim cosmetic changes, lower budget solutions. I hope this long answer gives you answers to help make educated choices. Always discuss your best options with a dentist with advanced cosmetic training and credentials.
Michael Apa (New York, NY) on Aug 19, 2011
Christopher Baer (Aurora, CO) on Sep 22, 2011
There are unfortunately a lot of different types and we choose different ones based on the goals of the case. - In general, we use one type primarily for changes in shape and not changes in color. The other type we use to change color and/or shape or hide dark teeth.