Composite veneers cover the facial surface of teeth to change tooth color, position or shape. Addition of composite to tooth structure increases tooth size and therefore, there is often tooth reduction to make room for composite placement. Amount of reduction is determined by position of original tooth in relation to the desired position and color of tooth structure in relation to the thickness of composite materials required to block out color.
Porcelain veneers and crowns are extremely lifelike and hold their brilliance, unlike bonding which often appears bulky or fake. Although porcelain is an extremely translucent material, it is also very strong. Porcelain veneers and crowns are permanent restorations, and they can be expected to last for many years. Also, there are no food restrictions - once they are cemented you can eat normally (apples, corn on the cob, etc.) - porcelain simply covers the imperfections in your own smile!
There are two kinds of porcelain veneers: no prep and prepared teeth. No prep veneers are when the teeth are not drilled, prepared, or cut. They are placed directly on top of the existing teeth and are very thin.
Even though there is no drilling, the smile design process can be very complicated. The dentist is confined to working with the shapes of the teeth the way they are. If teeth are not prepared before placing any type of porcelain veneers, the dentist has less latitude in creating a great smile design.
Colour control is the area dentists have the most trouble with cosmetically, and with no prep veneers this is more difficult because of the thinness of veneers. Hue, chroma, translucency, colour depth, brightness, and highlights need to be handled correctly for a beautiful smile.
Prepared teeth veneers are when the teeth undergo a very small amount of shaving to give depth to the veneers. The amount of grinding is minimal unless the patient has very stained teeth or severely crooked teeth. The colours achieved with prepared teeth or superior than no prep veneers.
Composite veneers are more cost effective, versatile, and a less evasive alternative to porcelain veneers. They serve the same purpose, but instead of the cover being attached, the tooth is reconstructed through a build up of composite filling material. They are more flexible than porcelain since they can be repaired, altered, or re-done at any time.