What is the difference between composite and laminate? Which one is better?
The difference between composite and laminate: Nowadays, both of these methods have gained many fans, but there are still many who are not familiar with the distinction between these two dental terms and do not know the characteristics of each.
Dental laminate and composite are both cosmetic treatments for teeth. In each of these treatment methods, a thin layer adheres to the teeth, causing a change in the color, size, and shape of the teeth.
What is laminate?
Laminate is actually a newer form of ceramic veneer that is almost identical in terms of functionality and benefits. The difference is that laminate is thinner. To adhere them to the teeth, a small amount of tooth enamel must be trimmed.
Less tooth enamel needs to be removed for their installation on the teeth. Although less tooth trimming is better for dental health, it has its drawbacks, including not changing the size and shape of the teeth, which makes the laminates relatively prominent in appearance. The price of laminates is higher than that of porcelain veneers. The difference between composite and laminate in appearance is also evident.
What are the differences between composite and laminate?
What is the difference between ceramic composite and laminate, and how do these two distinguish from each other? From the following perspectives, we will examine the differences between these two dental options:
- Natural Appearance
- Durability and Longevity
Natural Appearance: Dental laminate appears more natural than composite. Porcelain particles reflect light better than composite, and the surface glaze on dental laminates is smoother, shinier, and more beautiful than composite.
If you seek teeth that are both white, beautiful, and naturally looking, you should consider choosing laminate from these two options.
Durability and Longevity: What is the difference in longevity between composite and laminate?
The longevity of both depends on how you maintain your teeth. However, the expected lifespan of ceramic laminates and veneers is twice that of composite veneers. The lifespan of dental composites is about 5 to 7 years, while laminates and ceramic veneers can last about 10 to 15 years. Dental composites are highly susceptible to thermal expansion changes.
Certainly, this is why composites tend to take on more color than laminates and can even cause the edges of teeth to become stained after a period of veneer treatment. On the other hand, a very positive feature of laminates is that their thermal expansion is similar to tooth enamel. This factor appears to be the reason for their durability.
As veneers and ceramic laminates are baked in a laboratory furnace at temperatures above 700 degrees Celsius, they form a strong and durable structure. In contrast, composite hardens and solidifies in the mouth using blue light, so the strength of composite veneers is clearly lower than that of laminates and ceramic veneers. Therefore, the difference between composite veneers and laminates also lies in their structure and production method.
Difference between composite and laminate in terms of price
What is the price difference between composite veneers and ceramic or porcelain laminates? Which one is more cost-effective? The cost of laminates is higher than that of composite veneers. Around the summer of 2023, the price for each unit of tooth that is beautified using laminate method is approximately 7 million Iranian rials.
For composite, the price for each tooth is around 2 million Iranian rials. Depending on your oral and dental needs, you should come to a conclusion about the more suitable method. Don’t forget to estimate the costs when comparing and evaluating the difference between composite and laminate.
Whether you choose composite or laminate, you must always maintain the best possible oral and dental hygiene.
What are the disadvantages of composite and laminate?
While reviewing the differences between composite and laminate, you should also consider the potential drawbacks of these two options in order to make an informed decision. Pay attention to the following possible disadvantages of composite and laminate:
Tooth Sensitivity: Tooth enamel is trimmed to attach laminate and composite. You may experience sensitivity to cold and hot foods and beverages. Mild tooth sensitivity is common in the first 3 weeks. However, if it persists for 3 to 6 months, it’s best to talk to your dentist, as the tooth nerve may become inflamed during the procedure and lead to an infection.
Gum Swelling: It may take some time for the gum tissue to adapt to the presence of laminate or composite on the tooth. Therefore, gum inflammation during this period is normal, but over time, this inflammation should decrease.
Pain: Laminates and composites are painless, but some individuals may experience discomfort during the process.
Difference between laminate and composite
Which should be the final choice; laminate or composite? Dental composites and laminates are both good ways to improve the appearance of teeth and create a beautiful smile.
Moreover, these non-invasive treatments are much faster in achieving results compared to methods like orthodontics.
However, as you read in the previous sections, dental veneers and laminates are different in terms of materials, costs, and outcomes. Therefore, determining which treatment is best depends entirely on your situation and the opinion of your dentist.
In general, if you’re looking for minor and quick smile design enhancements or changes to a small number of teeth, composite veneers will be a very suitable option for you. It’s lightweight and doesn’t require removal of tooth enamel.
But if you need significant changes in the shape, size, and spacing of teeth, or if you’re seeking high color stability or extensive teeth whitening, laminates and porcelain veneers will be the better choice.