Composite veneers

Composite veneers (also called "hybrid veneers") are laminate veneers for natural teeth. They consist of composite/composite resins (resin matrix with porcelain filler particles). The first attempts were undertaken in the 1930s (at that time without the adhesive technique).

Composite veneers share various features with porcelain veneers:

They are mainly used for aesthetic purposes. The appearance of a tooth is adapted to harmonise better with the other teeth. This includes, e.g. masking discolorations or structure anomalies of the tooth structure, correction of shape deviations (shortening, elongation, diminutive forms), malpositioning (rotation, tipping), addition of missing tooth structure (e.g. due to attrition or erosion) and closure of small gaps (diastemas). Another objective may be the temporary or permanent adjustment of the occlusal guidance (e.g. at the canines) and/or bite (bite raising).

Preparation (often after preparatory stages such as mock-up, wax-up, fabrication of try-in veneers, templates, groove cutting) is minimally invasive; veneers are generally thin (minimum 0.3 mm to maximum approx. 1 mm). In contrast to a crown, large areas of the tooth structures are preserved. In anterior teeth veneers always cover the vestibular surface (with or without incisal edge coverage); in the posterior region they generally also cover part of or the entire occlusal surface. Following try-in (if necessary with try-in pastes for optical bridging of the cement gap) the veneer is usually luted adhesively using transparent or whitish, long-term, shade-stable composite cements.

Unlike porcelain veneers, cost-effective composite veneers can also be fabricated directly intraorally (also for temporary restorations). They are not as hard and consequently less wear-resistant, but this also helps them adapt more easily to individual patient conditions. Composite veneers exhibit a higher tendency to plaque accumulation and discoloration. These material-related differences decrease with newer composite materials ("polymer porcelain"). Composite veneers can be repaired intraorally.

In addition to fabrication (using the build-up technique) of composite veneers, sometimes directly on the tooth but mainly custom-fabricated indirectly in the laboratory after impression-taking and model fabrication, systems with prefabricated composite veneers are available. These systems comprise a range of "blanks" for reproducing several versions of the individual tooth types. After respective pre-selection and minimally invasive preparation or without any preparation ("non-prep veneers"), these industrially manufactured homogeneous, surface-hardened composite veneers are customised by trimming and the addition of special composite materials before being luted adhesively.

The service life of composite veneers should exceed six years.