Composite VS Porcelain Veneers


Whether you are looking for a smile makeover, to fix a cosmetic correction or to permanently change the shade/shape of your front teeth, veneers are often an excellent option as they can be done with minimal preparation to your teeth. There are primarily two types of dental veneers: porcelain and composite. In the composite vs porcelain veneers debate, determining which is right for you comes down to multiple factors.

What is the difference when considering composite vs porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain adhered to the outer-surface of the tooth. Composite veneers are composite resin bonded to the outer-surface of the tooth. Both are made to match your teeth (or whiten) and improve your overall smile.


The quicker of the two dental veneers to be applied to the teeth are composite veneers. This is because they can be done chair-side in the same visit. Your dentist will match the resin to the shade of your surrounding teeth for the most natural look. The resin is applied to your teeth after removing a thin layer of your teeth, bonded and then polished. You can walk out the same day with a new smile!

Porcelain veneers typically take at least two visits. Your dentist will remove a very thin layer of your teeth, take an impression of the teeth receiving the veneers and send the mould out to a lab for fabrication. While you are waiting on your veneer(s) to be fabricated you can wear temporary veneers. When you come back for your second visit, your porcelain veneers will be bonded to your teeth with cement.


With proper care, porcelain veneers should last 10-15 years. Composite veneers, on the other hand, typically last 4-8 years. While porcelain is extremely durable whilst composite is durable but not as strong as porcelain and is more prone to chipping. 


The translucent properties of porcelain allow the veneer to catch light extremely similar to the way a natural tooth does. While composite resin still looks great, porcelain is unmatched. An incredible benefit of porcelain veneers is they are stain resistant. Composite resin will stain like natural teeth.


Porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite initially. The placement of porcelain takes more time, expertise and resources. If you break down costs by how often you would have to replace/repair composite versus porcelain though, the cost could come out even over time.