Partial vs. Full Veneers

There has been a lot of talk on social media lately about dental veneers, especially since this cosmetic procedure can improve a person’s smile. Understanding the purpose of veneers and the differences between full vs. partial veneers can help you decide if veneers are right for you.

Veneers can be a semi or permanent cosmetic treatment to conceal chipped, cracked, or discoloured teeth. The length of time that veneers last is dependent on the material used (porcelain or composite resin), whether it is a partial or full veneer and how well the veneer is cared for and maintained once applied to the tooth.

It is also helpful to know that while sometimes spoken interchangeably, a veneer is different than a crown. A veneer is used to cover mildly damaged teeth while a crown is used with a tooth that has sustained significant decay, is broken or requires a root canal.

What Are Partial Veneers?

A partial veneer is a laminate composition like a filling that is applied to protect a portion of a tooth. This type of veneer is used to cover the front, sides and the bite portion of the tooth, not the back part which is “out of eye range”.

Partial veneers can be used to cover mild discolouration of a tooth, minor cracks, and tooth misalignments. As teeth can wear down over time or when gaps form, partial veneers can help.
Although this type of veneer does not form a complete barrier around the tooth, a partial veneer supports the health and structure of the tooth when properly maintained.

What Are Full Veneers?

Full veneers are made of porcelain or ceramic and act as a protective shell around a tooth that is damaged, discoloured or has eroded enamel. A full veneer is securely bonded to the total surfaces of the tooth to guard against further damage and to enhance the appearance of the tooth.

Full veneers are natural looking with a stain-resistant surface more durable than the regular tooth. By reinforcing the risky tooth, the full coverage of a veneer can help increase the lifespan of the tooth.

It is important to note that a full veneer cannot be removed as the bonding is a permanent attachment to the enamel surface. While the veneer material is made to be durable, it can be susceptible to movement and can fall off in some cases.

Key Differences between Partial and Full Veneers

DifferencesPartial VeneersFull Veneers
Tooth PreparationNo or minor tooth reduction needed for veneer applicationA portion of the enamel needs to be removed for fitting of the veneer
Coverage AreaOnly covers discoloured or damaged areas of the toothFull tooth coverage of the  front, sides, and biting portion
ThicknessThin shellThicker shell
ReversibilityRemoveable if need bePermanent as a portion of the enamel is removed
Durability/LongevitySusceptible to damageExtremely durable 
CostsAffordably lower cost (dependent on material and number needed)Higher cost ranging up to $2,000 per tooth (dependent on the material and number needed)
When NeededEroded tooth enamel, tiny cracks, cavities, slight discolourationLarge chips/cracks, gaps, misalignment, severe discolouration

Which Is the Right Dental Veneer Choice for You?

When it comes to partial vs. full dental veneers, deciding which option is best for you depends on several factors including the current state of your mouth and teeth, as well as your overall health. Partial coverage is needed to disguise a tooth will minor damage or discolouration.

Full veneers are commonly recommended for someone with healthy gums and bone structure as permanent veneers can change the size and shape of the natural tooth.

For those who can choose either type of dental veneer, based on their oral health, the decision may come down to the length of the procedure, pain tolerance, and costs. Partial veneers do require less time in the dentist chair and can be considerably less in costs and will typically may not last as long as a full veneer.

Both partial and full veneers can cause discomfort and mild pain, depending on a person’s pain tolerance. Both procedures can be performed with local anesthesia.

Also Read: Veneers FAQ

Get Professional Advice and Personalized Recommendations by Contacting Princeview Dental

If you are wondering about the benefits of partial vs. full veneers, contact the team at Princeview Dental Group. We will discuss a dental plan that’s customized to your oral health needs, including partial and complete dental veneer placement. Call us at (416) 231-4562 or fill out our contact form here and one of our friendly representatives will contact you.

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