Composite vs. Porcelain

VeneersAs with many innovations that have been in existence for a period of time, dental veneers are available using more than one type of material. The main options used for veneers are composite and porcelain. Since veneers are useful for correcting a variety of minor problems with tooth shape, rotation and spacing, here is a side-by-side comparison guide that outlines the advantages and disadvantages of each type of veneer material.

Composite vs. Porcelain Veneers – Which Material is Best for You?

  1. Durability. Porcelain veneers are exceptionally durable with proper care – some can last as long as 10 to 15 years before needing to be replaced. Composite veeners usually last four to eight years before needing to be replaced.
  2. Convenience. To make porcelain veneers, impressions of a patient’s natural teeth must be taken and the veneers must usually be fabricated off-site. This means it will take at least two visits to install porcelain veneers. With composite veneers, the dentist will shape the material as he or she places it over a patient’s natural teeth, so this type of restoration can be applied in a single visit.
  3. Stain resistance. Porcelain veneers are extremely resistant to staining by coffee, tea, wine, berries, and other types of food and drink. In fact, this type of veneer is often suggested when a patient has natural teeth with stains that have not responded to whitening. Composite veneers are not as resistant to food and beverage stains.
  4.  Natural appearance. Porcelain veneers are able to to closely resemble natural teeth because of the way they reflect light. They are translucent, just as our teeth are. Composite veneers can be matched to the color of one’s natural teeth very easily, but because they do not reflect light in the same way, will appear slightly less “natural looking” compared to porcelain veneers.
  5. Repairs. Porcelain veneers cannot be repaired if they are cracked or damaged – they must be replaced. Composite veneers with minor damage often can be repaired.
  6. Fees. Because of the impressions that must be taken to create porcelain veneers, the cost to fabricate them and the additional dental visits, fees for porcelain veneers are typically higher. Composite veneers usually cost less; however, because the dentist installing the veneers also constructs them, he or she must be aesthetically skilled to produce a beautiful, functional result for the patient.

“Each type of veneer can benefit patients, depending on an individual’s circumstances,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix. “Talk to your cosmetic dentist about which type of veneer material is right for your smile makeover.”


  1. I appreciate the information on which veneer material is best for you. I had no idea that porcelain veneers could be so natural looking, I always thought that if you had teeth put in it would look unnatural but porcelain looks so real. My brother is looking to have veneers put in, I will be sure to share the information on the differences with him.

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