What Type Of Porcelain Veneer Should I Get?

I get more and more patients coming to see me that have researched all the different types of porcelain veneers out there, and they know exactly what they want…when they come in. That all changes after we talk a bit about each product and what really matters, the artist/dental technician, not the material.

There are many more porcelain materials out there than I listed, it would be a never ending list. Part of being a cosmetic dentist is understand how each material works, what benefits and negatives they have, and which material will best suit the case at hand.

Here is a very basic list of the major categories of materials:

1. Feldspathic Porcelain: This is the original material, hand layered, and still the most esthetic option out there. This porcelain is also the weakest (until bonded to enamel) and requires the most skill to cement/ bond correctly.

2. Pressed Porcelain Veneers: This porcelain used the lost wax technique, meaning the teeth are made out of wax first and then this wax model is turned into porcelain by melting porcelain into the same shape as the wax teeth were. This gives the porcelain strength but results in some loss of esthetics. Pressed porcelain veneers can be made out of one block color of porcelain and stained to change color, or the block can be cut back and porcelain can then be layered and melted on top, which is a more esthetic option. Empress and Authentic are two very famous pressed porcelain materials.

3. Ultra Thin Veneers: Many new materials are super thin and strong, such as the Cerinate materials (Lumineers). Cerinate is a feldspathic porcelain reinforced with leucite crystals. While these are strong materials they often are not as esthetic. The thinner the veneer the more skill is required from the dental technician!

4. Milled Porcelain Veneers: CAD/CAM machines can now custom mill porcelain crowns and veneers. These restorations are strong but often lack the esthetics achieved through a dental technician.

So, there are obviously many choices out there. Which do you pick? My suggestion – none. Let you cosmetic dentist pick! Tell your dentist what outcome you desire, and he/she should have a deep understanding of all these materials. Coupled with a world class technician any one of these materials turns our beautiful!

If you really want a beautiful result, get to know your dental technician, not “lab”. Work with one person. Look at their website, their portfolio, etc. You are spending 10-30 thousand dollars on your smile, be picky!

Keep smiling.

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