Types of Veneers
There are three basic groups of materials for teeth prepared for veneers in widespread use today:
Composite Resin: the least expensive and least invasive option for patients
Porcelain: has a long-standing history of use in dentistry dating to 1928
Ceramic: manufactured from various formulations of incredibly strong glass-like materials
What Are the Best Veneers Made Of?
By taking advantage of CAD/CAM technology, the best veneers today are milled from solid blocks of ceramic materials for an exact fit. 3D milling takes advantage of a totally automated workflow that produces veneers with a lifelike appearance completely free of voids and defects.
In addition, these ceramic materials possess greater flexural strength and chip resistance when compared to traditionally-fired porcelain and have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years or more. Let’s delve into each offering in greater detail.
IPS Empress Esthetic
IPS Empress Esthetic is made from Leucite ceramic, a reinforced pressed glass. Empress has been available to the dental market for many years in a wide variety of shades that allow it to blend with the surrounding natural teeth. It has a track record of proven, lasting results. These veneers are much more durable than porcelain and are indicated for use with the most demanding aesthetic cases.
Composed of monolithic lithium disilicate, the translucent and reflective properties emulate and blend seamlessly with natural teeth. The material may be custom characterized using IPS stains and can be fused to a stronger material, such as Zirconia, for added strength or to mask dark or discolored areas. E.Max is especially suitable for veneer cases where aesthetics are highly valued.
Zirconia dioxide is the newest entrant to the veneers market. What’s special about it? It is extremely fracture-resistant and nearly indestructible, hides underlying discolorations, withstands chipping, and offers the best level of translucency in the aesthetic zone for patients with a history of parafunctional habits like bruxism or clenching. Newer formulations of zirconia offer all of these benefits within a thinner restoration using a more conservative veneer prep that preserves additional tooth structure.
What Are the Different Costs of Veneer Types?
The cost of composite veneers ranges from $250 to $1500 per tooth, depending on the placement method employed (direct or indirect) and the complexity of the case. While they are offered at a lower price point to patients, they begin to stain and degrade with time, necessitating their replacement. The average life expectancy for composite veneers is 5 to 10 years.
Porcelain veneers cost the patient an average of $700 to $2,000 per unit and can last 10 to 15 years on average. The laboratory charge to the dentist ranges from $150 to $400 per unit, depending on case complexity and additional services such as custom staining. Most porcelain veneers will begin to show signs of wear, chipping or fracture after 10 to 15 years of use, necessitating their replacement.