What are Direct or Composite Veneers?

Earlier this year, we started a Blog discussion on the subject of dental veneers.

Direct veneering is the process of layering tooth coloured resin materials onto a tooth surface to change the shape and colour of the teeth.

Some scenarios lend themselves more readily to this option. This includes
• Small shape changes and defects
• Where a tooth or teeth need to be increased in size
• Young patients with minimal intervention requirements
• Where the colour of the natural teeth is not excessively dark

An excellent example of the ideal patient for direct veneering can be seen in the following case. Composite resin was used to reshape the front four teeth to close the spaces and improve the colour for the patient.

Many patients believe that composite resin direct veneering is the more economic option. If done correctly however, this may not be necessarily true. In many cases the costs can be comparable to indirect veneers due to the immense time requirements to achieve a good result.

Patient presented with a poor example of direct composite veneersIf the procedure is rushed or done by the wrong hands then the patient can be left with teeth that appear misshapen and discoloured as well as causing significant detriment to the patients long term dental health. This photo illustrates just such a case that presented to our office, following work done elsewhere.

It is worth noting that in many cases direct composite veneers are as destructive to tooth structure as indirect porcelain veneers and this should be discussed with your dentist prior to treatment.

By Dr Andrew Peterson

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