Dental VeneersAcquiring a winning smile is as close as choosing dental veneers.  Composite-resin and porcelain are the most commonly used materials, and in the hands of an experienced cosmetic dentist, both materials can beautifully transform your smile.

They can be direct (a.k.a. bonding, applied to the teeth by the dentist), or indirect (fabricated in a dental lab). In the direct method, full or partial coatings of composite-resin (a glass and resin hybrid) are applied to the surfaces of teeth to enhance their appearance.

The biggest advantage of composite veneers is the lower cost, but other advantages include:

  • Faster – same-day, one dental visit (direct application)
  • Much less invasive, little or no enamel removed
  • Minimal prep work
  • Can be removed and replaced
  • Can reshape, realign and/or re-color teeth
  • Easy to match color with adjacent teeth
  • Can repair cracks or chips in teeth
  • Can close unsightly gaps between teeth
  • Simple to address wear and tear by repairing and/or repolishing
  • Look natural when polished very well
  • Can produce stunning results

While composite is less durable and less resistant to staining and breakage than porcelain, the evolution and introduction of improved products have significantly reduced the shortcomings of older materials. A new category of processed composite resin was introduced In the mid-90s — polymer-glass, polymer-ceramic, and cercomer (ceramic-optimized polymer).  These are all composite-resins with improved properties.  They are reported to have achieved optimal shade matching capabilities.  In direct application, only light curing is used, but with indirect fabrication in a lab, heat and pressure are added to increase hardness, flexural strength and durability, and can also offer increased translucency.

Indirect composite-resin laminate veneers are sometimes the treatment of choice in these situations:

  • Darkly stained teeth: Can cover without opaquing agents while retaining a natural appearance.
  • Conservation of tooth structure: Tooth preparation can be more conservative than for porcelain because composite-resin can be much thinner in spots and still function well.
  • Fabrication alternatives: Can be: fabricated either in the office (CAD/CAM) or in the dental laboratory; polymerized or processed; made of microfilled, small particle or hybrid composite resin. *
  • Repairs: Can be made at the chairside with light-cured composite resins.

* The glass in the small particle or hybrid composite resin can be etched with hydrofluoric acid, which provides micromechanical retention rivaling that of etched porcelain.

The process for indirect veneers involves curing it and processing it into blocks outside of the mouth and then milling it to fit using CAD/CAM techniques like CEREC.  These blocks are cured for longer times and curing shrinkage can be minimized.  As a result, they are less prone to shrinkage stress and marginal gaps, and have higher levels and depths of cure than direct composites.

Advantages of CAD/CAM fabrication:

  • High strength
  • Very long-lasting
  • Choice of composite or porcelain materials
  • No pulpal irritation
  • Excellent aesthetics

If you are interested in composite resin in Costa Rica, fill out the “Find a Dentist” form on this page.  One of our patient advocates will reply to your needs.