Dr. Dennis Hartlieb

The Benefits of Composite Veneers


What do you know about the benefits of composite veneers? When is it best to consider porcelain for a patient? 

In this Sharecast episode, part of the Solo Bonding Series, Dr. Dennis Hartlieb talks about why he most often prefers composite veneers for patients who need veneers. Dennis also talks about the times when porcelain veneers might be a better fit for patients and how he approaches these topics with his patients. 

Listen in or watch to hear Dennis's thoughts about the power of composite veneers for both dentists and patients. 

Episode Highlights


A Brief History of Composite and Porcelain

As a dentist, it's important to stay up-to-date with the latest developments and trends in the field of cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Dennis Hartlieb shares his journey in dentistry and highlights some key points that are still relevant today. 

When Dr. Hartlieb started practicing dentistry in the late 1980s, composite dentistry was in its infancy, and porcelain veneers were not yet available. Today, both materials have advanced significantly, and dentists have more options to choose from when it comes to creating aesthetic restorations for their patients. It's important to keep up with these advancements and understand the pros and cons of each material.

Dennis learned how to layer porcelain by attending hands-on courses taught by world-class ceramicists. The experience made him a better dentist and helped him understand what lab technicians need from dentists. At the time, he was not considering composite as an option for veneers. 

Dennis was influenced by many leading experts in the field, especially Dr. Buddy Mopper, a pioneer in composite and cosmetic dentistry. Mentors can provide valuable guidance, support, and inspiration, and can help dentists expand their skills and knowledge. It's important to seek out mentors who are experienced, knowledgeable, and share your passion for dentistry.

"It really helped me understand that there may be multiple ways to treat patients with cosmetic issues, and maybe porcelain is not the only answer.

"And maybe my limitation with composites that I was having in my practice was more about me and my techniques and my ability and my learnings than it was about the materials."

Patients Who Could Benefit from Porcelain Veneers

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Although Dr. Hartlieb often prefers composite veneers, this clip highlights situations when porcelain veneers might be a better choice for patients.

Composite Versus Porcelain Veneers

As Dennis shares, he prefers composite veneers over porcelain veneers for several reasons, although there are times that porcelain veneers are preferable, so dentists should consider each patient’s individual needs and circumstances. 

Composite veneers offer more control and more conservative preparation design than porcelain veneers. Dennis highlights the benefits of composite veneers, explaining that they allow for more conservative preparation and offer greater control over the final outcome. This means that dentists can be more precise and artistic in their work, resulting in a more natural-looking, aesthetic smile.

On the other hand, porcelain veneers require more drilling and preparation, which can sometimes result in a less conservative approach. However, porcelain veneers are stronger and more durable than composite veneers.

Although Dr. Hartlieb prefers composite veneers, he acknowledges that porcelain veneers are stronger and more durable. They are less likely to chip, break or stain, making them an excellent choice for patients concerned about longevity of their restorations. However, he notes that some patients still experience staining on porcelain, despite its reputation for being more stain-resistant.

Composite veneers are quicker and easier to place than porcelain veneers. One of the main advantages of composite veneers is that they can be placed in a day, whereas porcelain veneers typically take a month or two to complete. This means that patients can see immediate results with composite veneers, which can be appealing for those looking for a quick fix. However, it's important to note that the temporaries used during the process of creating porcelain veneers can be challenging to maintain. They also may result in patients preferring the temporary veneers to the permanent ones.

Overall, it's clear that both composite and porcelain veneers have their pros and cons, and the choice ultimately depends on the individual patient's needs and preferences.

As a dentist, it's important to have a thorough understanding of both materials and their potential benefits and drawbacks to ensure the best possible outcome for each patient.

The Benefits of Composite Veneers

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In this clip, Dr. Hartlieb shares some of the key benefits of composite veneers over porcelain veneers. 

Advantages of Composite Veneers

Ultimately, porcelain veneers are stronger and more durable than composite veneers. However, they require more preparation, drilling, and time to install. Porcelain veneers can take up to one to two months to complete, and there may be issues with provisional veneers coming off. Additionally, the cost of laboratory expenses for porcelain veneers is higher than for composite veneers.

Composite veneers are made of high-end plastic and offer several advantages over porcelain veneers. Composite veneers require less drilling, can be completed in one day, and the dentist has complete control over the final result. Composite veneers also offer the ability to make adjustments easily and quickly, unlike porcelain veneers, which require more time and effort to change.

"The advantage for me with composites is number one, I can typically drill your teeth less. Number two, it's all done in one day. Finally, for me, I explain to patients that the biggest benefit is I have all the control. "

While composite veneers require additional training and skills beyond dental school, they offer a unique level of satisfaction and control for dentists. Dentists who master composite veneers can create a restoration from start to finish and control the contour, color, and texture of the final result. While porcelain veneers may still be necessary in certain cases, dentists are encouraged to consider the benefits of composite veneers and invest in the necessary training to offer this service to their patients.

Overall, while there are pros and cons to both porcelain and composite veneers, it is important for dentists to consider their patients' needs and preferences, as well as their own skills and training, when recommending one option over the other. With the proper training and experience, composite veneers can provide a high level of satisfaction for both dentists and patients.

The Power of Composite Veneers for You and Your Patients

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Dr. Hartlieb shares about the way that opening yourself up as a dentist to learning more about composite veneers can help you better serve your patients. 

Dennis Hartlieb, DDS, AAACD

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