Replacing Stained Composite Veneers: Why Choose Porcelain?

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If your natural teeth are damaged, discolored, or misshapen, having composite veneers fitted can be a cost-effective way to restore your smile, as well as your confidence. However, while composite veneers are reliable, durable, and economical, they do have some downsides.

Staining can be a big drawback of composite veneers. After years of use, you may notice that your veneers look stained and patchy or have turned an unsightly brown or yellow color. These stains can be almost impossible to remove, and in many cases, replacing them with a new set of veneers is the only practical option.

If your composite veneers have seen better days and have become permanently stained, consider having them replaced with porcelain veneers at a cosmetic dental clinic. While porcelain veneers are more expensive than their composite counterparts, they can be well worth the extra investment.

Are Porcelain Veneers Less Vulnerable To Staining Than Composite Veneers?

Composite veneers are made from plastic-based dental resins, which are similar to the resins used to bond minor cracks and chips in teeth. As these resins age, their surfaces become porous and absorbent.

Aging composite veneers are vulnerable to the same substances that can stain natural tooth enamel. Tobacco, red wine, coffee, soy sauce, and a wide range of other strongly-colored substances can leave your composite veneers visibly discolored. Regular brushing, whitening toothpaste, and other measures can keep these stains at bay for a while, but old, highly porous composite veneers are very difficult to keep stain-free.

Porcelain veneers are considerably less vulnerable to staining because their surfaces are not porous. Porcelain is a ceramic material, and like most ceramics, it is covered with a durable, non-absorbent glaze.

This glaze is extremely resistant to staining, and lasts a lot longer than the time it takes for composite veneers to become porous. If and when it does start to wear away, your dentist can temporarily remove the veneers and have them re-glazed, helping them stay white and bright even longer.

Do Porcelain Veneers Have Other Advantages Over Composite Veneers?

Porcelain is generally considered the gold standard material for dental veneers, and for good reason. Here are some of the other advantages of having composite veneers replaced with porcelain veneers:

More Durable

While composite veneers are reasonably tough, porcelain veneers are in a class of their own. With a little care and maintenance, they can last for well over a decade before they need to be repaired or replaced. Porcelain veneers are also more physically durable than composite veneers, and they are more resistant to wear caused by chewing or bruxism (tooth grinding). 

More Convincing

Composite veneers are carefully crafted and color-matched to look like real teeth, but they are not as convincing as porcelain veneers. Like tooth enamel, porcelain veneers are very slightly translucent, and they also reflect light in the same way as enamel. While composite veneers can look less-than-convincing in certain light conditions, properly fitted porcelain veneers are virtually indistinguishable, even up close.

Improved Oral Health

When composite veneers age and become porous, the substances they absorb can harbor bacteria and other microbes. This can leave you more vulnerable to gum disease, as well as other oral health conditions caused by harmful bacteria. Porcelain veneers do not suffer from this problem and can help you maintain a healthy mouth more easily.

For more information, contact a company like McMillin & Christian Family Dentistry.