Direct Resin Veneers
Subir Banerji and Shamir B. Mehta
Direct resin veneer restorations offer the potential to apply changes to the colour and shape of a tooth in a minimally invasive manner when compared to the use of indirect restorations. There is evidence to suggest favourable, long-term success with ceramic laminate veneers. The use of resin composite offers an alternative to dental ceramic. Resin composite may be used either indirectly or in a direct (chairside) manner.
Direct resin veneers have a plethora of indications in restorative dentistry. These include:
- Management of fractured, discoloured and rotated teeth
- Treatment of tooth malformations (such as peg-shaped lateral incisors)
- Closure or narrowing of diastemata
- Management of congenital or acquired defects
- Management of palatally positioned teeth
- Treatment of worn anterior dentition
- Camouflaging of teeth, such as modification of a canine to mimic a lateral incisor
- Where an increase in tooth length or width may be indicated (as in Part 9).
Direct resin veneers offer a number of potential advantages over indirect veneers. Their primary merit is the lack of the need for any tooth preparation (or minimal preparation), thereby eliminating the need for the removal of healthy tooth tissue, as well as the ability to readily undertake intra-oral adjustments, repairs and polishing. Direct resin veneers may also be placed in a single visit, with the absence of associated laboratory costs, impressions or provisional restorations. The lack of the need for a cement interface is also beneficial. Direct resin veneers can allow for direct masking and chromatic customisation of the restoration without reliance on the dental technician, who without the benefit of the patient’s presence will otherwise have to depend on photographic records and written instructions from the dental operator.
There are, however, some clear drawbacks to the prescription of direct resin veneers, such as a relatively lower resistance to wear, reduced lustre when compared to glazed porcelain, the tendency for discoloration, staining, chipping and fracture. However, there is evidence to suggest that patients will often be willing to accept these disadvantages in exchange for a less invasive approach, thus emphasising the importance of informed consent.