Are Acrylic Veneers Worth The Cost-Cutting Benefit?Share
Many dentists offer porcelain veneers for your teeth. Some will offer acrylic veneers, which will be less expensive. When it comes to dental veneers for your teeth, you get what you pay for. Although you may save money upfront with acrylic veneers, your choice may end up costing too much in other ways.
Veneers are shaped to your requirements, color-matched so they blend in with the rest of your teeth, and are then cemented onto the outward-facing surface of the tooth (or teeth) in question. The wafer-thin veneer becomes the new visible surface of the tooth, greatly improving the appearance of your smile. Isn't acrylic up to the job?
Porcelain is the favored material for many permanent restorations due to its durability and appearance. It can handle the pressure distribution of the human bite in a way that matches a natural tooth. Additionally, the texture and available colors of porcelain mean that it looks just like dental enamel (the natural surface of a tooth). Porcelain does a great job of matching the translucence of enamel, whereas acrylic only does an okay impersonation—and even then, only for a while.
The Color of Acrylic
At a glance, a newly-placed acrylic restoration will look fine. If someone were to look too closely at your smile, they'd notice that the acrylic restoration is a solid block of color, and doesn't catch the light in the same way as a tooth's translucent surface should. It looks natural enough, but won't stand up to much scrutiny.
Its appearance will fade quite easily too. Acrylic restorations are prone to discoloration, and can easily stain—seemingly without much cause, other than various standard elements of your diet (coffee, tea, red wine). Acrylic simply doesn't have the durability of porcelain, so an acrylic veneer will rapidly start to look lackluster.
Why Choose Porcelain
Porcelain mimics the look of dental enamel, while its density allows it to replicate the strength of a tooth's natural structure. This isn't to suggest that a porcelain veneer is indestructible. But all you really need to do is clean it as you would any other tooth. The porcelain itself can't decay, but the tooth beneath it can. Some dentists may in fact only provide acrylic veneers as a temporary measure—such as if your tooth was being prepared for a veneer (involving having its surface reduced and etched to fit the veneer) but your permanent porcelain restoration was not quite ready.
Just because you might find a dentist who will provide a permanent acrylic veneer, think carefully about whether it's worth the trouble. It's not really possible for an acrylic veneer to be that permanent.