Composite Veneers vs Porcelain Veneers

Now that you have determined that veneers are the next step to move you towards your ideal smile, you need to choose which material is the best for your needs. You should talk to the dentist about the factors that are the most important to you whether it’s the cost, the lifespan of the veneer, or the expected results of the overall change in your smile. Either way, you and the dentist can determine whether composite or porcelain will get you closer to the smile you have always wanted to share with the world.

Advantages of Composite Veneers

The primary advantage of composite veneers is the lower price than porcelain veneers; typically, composite veneers are half the price. For most insurance policies, veneers are considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance so you will be responsible for the entire cost of the veneers. Composite veneers cost between $250 and $1,500 per tooth, so an entire smile makeover will require financial planning.

Composite veneers can be fabricated in the dental office while you are in the chair waiting instead of being sent out to a laboratory. You could walk in and out of the dentist office on the same day with a new smile. Other versions of composite veneers include direct composite veneers or composite bonding and this version can be applied directly to the tooth and set with a high intensity light.

Finally, composite veneers are not permanent like porcelain veneers; the composite material does not require the tooth to be reshaped as extensively in order for the veneer to adhere to the natural tooth. In the end, the composite material can be removed and the enamel of the natural tooth will still be intact.

Advantages of Porcelain Veneers

The primary advantage of porcelain is the durability of the material allowing the veneer to be stronger and composite and to last between ten to twenty years. With the price of the composite veneers at half that of porcelain veneers, the expected lifespan of the composite veneers is also half that of porcelain. Taking this into consideration, is composite really a better value?

As close as the composite material can mimic teeth in color, porcelain veneers have a translucence that resembles your natural teeth. And unlike your natural teeth and composite veneers, porcelain veneers are resistant to staining and chipping. You will not need to make adjustments to your morning coffee routine or your wine tasting adventures.

Traditionally, porcelain veneers are more labor intensive and may involve temporary veneers while the permanent replacements are being created in the laboratory. Some dentists have started to use more advanced technology including chairside CAD/CAM to offer in office produced porcelain veneers. Be sure to talk to the dentist about the approaches used in the office for your porcelain veneers.

Finally, porcelain veneers are an option for people with more severe cosmetic issues that composite veneers are adequate to address. The dentist will be able to help you determine which material will get you closer to your ideal smile.

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?