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Dental Veneers vs. Laminates: What is the Difference?

If you have severely stained or damaged teeth, dental restoration can help treat the condition. Dental veneers and laminates are procedures that help improve the appearance of the smile. Patients with discolored, crooked, chipped, or gapped teeth can benefit from dental treatment.

The two techniques are similar in what they do, but they have some differences. Your dental condition will help determine the best treatment option. Find out the difference between dental veneers vs. laminates.

Dental Veneers vs. Dental Laminates


Veneers are tooth-colored shells that cover the surface of the teeth. The thin shells help change the dental appearance, improving the individual's smile. The installation procedure is minimally-invasive, requiring the removal of some of the enamel to ensure a proper fit.

Dental laminates provide the same function as veneers but are much thinner. The installation is faster as the teeth require little or no preparation. They are sometimes referred to as no-prep veneers as they need little or no enamel removal.

Qualities of Dental Veneers


Veneers are thin coatings applied to the surface of the natural teeth. The qualities of the restorations include:

  • They are usually made from porcelain and are highly resistant to staining.

  • They are ideal for severely stained or broken teeth.

  • They are applied in several steps with lengthy preparation and application.

  • The restoration process is permanent.

  • Traditional veneers have a high success rate of 15 to 20 years.

Qualities of Dental Laminates


Dental laminates made from porcelain or composite material can help improve the smile. The qualities of the thin custom-fit restorations include:

  • They require less preparation and dental work than dental veneers.

  • The ultrathin laminate material is thinner and more translucent than veneers.

  • They are not ideal for patients with severely discolored teeth.

  • The application process does not require extensive teeth prep or enamel grinding.

  • Shorter application process.

  • Laminates are semipermanent and can be removed.

Pros and Cons of Veneers and Laminates


Dental veneers and laminates have several key differences. Veneers are more long-lasting, and the material is more opaque than laminates. It makes them better for patients with tooth decay or severe staining. Veneers are more expensive than laminates and require a lengthy installation process.

Apart from being less expensive, laminates help protect the structure of the natural tooth. They can be removed with minimal damage to the tooth. Laminates do not last if veneers and are not ideal for treating damaged teeth.

Choosing Between Veneers and Laminates


When choosing between veneers and laminates, you need to consider several factors, including the condition of the teeth and your budget. Your dentist will help you make the best treatment choice based on your needs.

The needs of patients vary when it comes to choosing a smile enhancement treatment. Other restoration options include teeth whitening and braces. A dental exam will help determine your suitability for veneers or laminates.

For more on dental veneers and laminates, visit Seale Family Dentistry at our Lake Charles, Louisiana office. Call (337) 474-0212 to schedule an appointment today.