The most common material for a dental veneer to be made of is ceramic. Ceramic is used due to its similar colour to natural teeth and the fact it can be stained and glazed to match pretty much any shade of tooth. Ceramic is also very strong so is perfect for biting surfaces. Ceramic is hypoallergenic meaning that it will not cause any allergic reactions in people and the fact that the material is so strong means that it is not prone to wear and tear.
There are many different types of ceramic and if the dentist uses a CEREC machine to create the veneers there are many different types of other materials the dentist can use to create the veneer. CEREC machines mill out veneers, crowns, bridges and inlays from a solid block of ceramic, zirconia or other high-tech materials that have been specifically developed to be used in tooth restorations. Some CEREC blocks are even made from a glassy material. The benefit of having different materials to use for veneers means that different veneers can be made to suit individual patients. Patients with a strong bite may be fitted with zirconia veneers for example as this material is especially strong.
There are always new exciting material being developed for use in making veneers and every year a few more of these materials arise. The dental world is rapidly growing as far as technology is concerned and the more research that is put into dental material the better. CEREC has been around for a few years now and is by far the best way to create bespoke veneers. Not only can it be used to make a variety of veneers made from a variety of material – it can also produce a restoration in under an hour!
Sometimes composite resin is used for veneers. Composite resin is a white tooth coloured material that is pasted onto the surface of the patient’s natural tooth. It can then be sculpted and formed into the correct shape and it is available in a wide range of shades to accommodate even the whitest or yellowest mouths. Composite resin is a brittle material so it does not last as long as ceramic but usually is fine for around 5 years or so. Composite resin veneers can be used to cover up imperfections, cover up cracks, repair chips and also cover up deep staining.
Composite resin veneers are the cheapest option but they do not last for very long. The best material for veneers is by far ceramic as it is so strong and looks so natural – it is worth paying extra for a ceramic veneer as it will last for a long time and will be indistinguishable from a natural tooth if designed, made and fitted correctly.
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