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Artistic Expressions Dentistry

Porcelain vs. Composite Restorations

By Bruce Wilderman on August 28, 2015

A woman with bright white, beautiful teethDental restorations can dramatically improve the smile's appearance, correcting dental shape, size, and other imperfections. If you are unsatisfied with the appearance of your smile, dental restorations may be right for you. Porcelain and composite resin are popular materials used in restorative dentistry treatments. Learn more about the difference between porcelain versus composite resin restorations in this overview from Philadelphia dentist Bruce Wilderman.

Porcelain Restorations

Porcelain is a string and durable material that is used to mask dental imperfections or replace lost tooth structure. Porcelain is an indirect restoration, meaning that the restoration is crafted in a lab and then cemented to the tooth. During the first dental visit, the teeth are prepared by removing any damaged or infected tooth structure. Next, impressions are taken of the teeth. These impressions are then used to custom-craft the restoration, whether it be an inlay, onlay, or dental crown. A temporary restoration is placed while the final restoration is being crafted. Once the porcelain restoration is made, a second dental visit is needed to fit and bond the restoration in place.

Composite Resin Restorations

Composite resin restorations are directly made, meaning the composite material is directly applied to the tooth and shaped to its desired form. Composite resin restorations can be completed in a single dental visit. During the treatment process, any damaged tooth material is removed. Then, the composite resin, which is a putty-like material, is applied to the teeth and formed to the desired shape and size. When the cavity, chip, or fracture is filled in, the pliable composite resin is hardened using an ultra violet dental light. Once the resin is cured, it will be polished to complete the treatment process.

Porcelain vs. Composite Restorations

Although porcelain and composite resin offer similar results, there are key differences that may make one material more preferable than the other, depending on your needs. Some key differences include:

  • Porcelain veneers look more natural: Porcelain more closely mimics the appearance and luster of the natural teeth than composite resin, making it preferable for some patients.
  • Composite resin restorations can be completed in one dental visit: Composite resin restorations can be completed in a single dental visit, whereas porcelain restorations generally require two dental visit.
  • Porcelain generally lasts longer: Although both composite resin and porcelain restorations are both long lasting and durable, porcelain generally lasts longer than composite resin.
  • Composite restorations are less expensive: Composite resin is a less expensive material than porcelain. The cost of composite resin, in addition to it requiring just one treatment appointment, makes it the ideal restoration material for many patients.

Find Out if You're a Candidate

Porcelain and composite resin restorations are both great treatment options that can improve the health and beauty of the smile. To find out which treatment is right for you, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wilderman. Dr. Wilderman will review your options with you and help you decide on the solution that best meets your needs.

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