Did you know that smiles can predict a person’s lifespan? In a 2010 study at Wayne State University, researchers reviewed the baseball card photos of MLB players in 1952. They found out that players with more intense smiles lived about 7 years longer than players who didn’t smile in their pictures.
However, not all of us are confident about our smiles.
The good news is that cosmetic dentistry has progressed leaps and bounds to give you that perfect smile. Among the non-invasive options available are dental veneers and dental laminates. Both can show excellent results in a fairly short amount of time.
What’s the difference between veneers and laminates and which one is right for you? Continue reading to learn more.
What Are Dental Veneers?
A veneer is, in essence, a cosmetic coat for the tooth. It’s a thin shell made of porcelain or composite resin that can cover the tooth’s front surface. The laboratory that will mold the veneers can customize their color and appearance for a more natural look.
Veneers can fix discolored, worn-down, chipped, broken, or misaligned. They can also be used to close the space if you have gaps or cover irregularly-shaped teeth.
Veneers made from composite resin are more prone to staining but are cheaper and require less prep work. On the other hand, porcelain veneers can resist stains better and present a more natural appearance but have a heftier price tag. Porcelain veneers are generally more durable than composite and can last for up to ten years or more.
Dental Veneer Procedure
Getting a dental veneer is usually a multi-step procedure. After diagnosis and treatment planning, the patient will have to undergo tooth-reshaping before placing the veneers. The dentist will grind down the enamel of the teeth to create space for the veneer and also to ensure proper adhesion.
The removal of the enamel strips the tooth of its natural protection. While replacement is an option, this means that if a veneer is detached for some reason, the tooth will be vulnerable.
What Are Dental Laminates?
Dental laminates have the same function and benefits as the porcelain veneer. However, they’re much thinner, about the same thickness as a contact lens. They’re also known as advanced porcelain veneers.
The difference between veneers and laminates lies in the procedure. When placing laminates, the dentist doesn’t have to alter the structure and enamel of the tooth. Prep work is shorter and since the enamel is left intact, this procedure may be better for the long term health of the tooth.
Also, unlike veneers, laminates can be removed and replaced easily with minimal damage to the teeth.
However, laminates do have some disadvantages. The scope of defects that can be corrected is slightly more limited. Also, they can feel bulkier when they’re placed without any form of tooth reshaping.
When it comes to pricing, porcelain veneers and dental laminates cost almost the same.
Which One Is Right for You?
Ultimately, the choice of dental veneers vs dental laminates will be based on your discussion with your dentist. One option isn’t necessarily better than the other. It will depend on the patient’s oral health, personal needs, costs, and other factors.