What Is the Difference Between Composite and Porcelain Veneers?

What Is the Difference Between Composite and Porcelain Veneers?

For improving the appearance of your teeth and a smile makeover, veneers may be a perfect solution. There are two main types: porcelain veneers and composite veneers. The right choice of these dental veneers for you will depend on a few factors.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are ultrathin layers that are adhered to your natural teeth. They cover and hide stains and chips in teeth, as well as gaps and crooked teeth. There are customized treatment options to hide tooth imperfections.

They are considered a cosmetic treatment. However, they can help the function of a tooth and protect against further damage. A cosmetic dentist, or one experienced in the procedure, is recommended.

More of your natural tooth is kept as compared to using a dental crown, which is more used for decayed or damaged teeth, to improve the function of teeth.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are custom designed, with a thin layer of porcelain that is affixed to the outer surfaces of teeth. These dental veneers most closely resemble natural teeth.

Porcelain veneers typically take at least a couple of visits to complete, as an impression of your teeth needs to be completed for them to be custom-made.

After an initial consultation and a plan has been decided on, your dentist removes some enamel from the fronts and sides of your teeth. An impression of your teeth is taken and the colour is chosen for the lab to make your veneers. Once your permanent veneers are completed, at a second appointment, your dentist will adhere the permanent porcelain veneers to your teeth with resin.

Temporary Veneers

While you are waiting for your permanent porcelain veneers, you can wear temporary veneers. Your dentist’s office may apply a temporary veneer for you to try, until your permanent ones are ready.

Composite Veneers

Also known as composite resin veneers, composite veneers are made of a tooth-coloured resin that is applied directly onto teeth and shaped to fit.

Since they are moulded right on, composite veneers can be applied in just one appointment, and are relatively easy to repair, replace, or remove.

After a consultation, an appropriate shade is chosen. Composite resin in that shade is sculpted on, and then a high intensity light sets it. The composite resin is then polished and smoothed until your composite veneers have an attractive, natural look.

Composite Veneers vs Porcelain Veneers

The main difference between the two is the material used, which impacts the processes to apply and their individual benefits.

Longevity and Durability

Porcelain veneers take longer, but are custom-made and are generally more long-lasting – they can potentially last anywhere from ten to twenty years, but everyone’s individual situation varies. They are more expensive, but given their longevity, this initial expense is compensated for.

Composite resin is a cheaper, and more cost-effective solution at least initially, but it does wear faster, potentially lasting only five to seven years. However, they are more easily repaired.

Regardless of the veneer, good oral health and dental hygiene, plus careful treatment of them, will help them stay beautiful and in good condition. Wearing mouthguards as necessary and avoiding using your teeth as tools will help.


For more significant concerns, like more dramatically misaligned teeth or discoloured teeth, composite veneers do not cover as well as porcelain veneers. A porcelain veneer will fix darker stained teeth and larger gaps better.


Porcelain veneers are highly stain-resistant; composite veneers will stain more like natural teeth, so will need polishing and cleaning, just as you would for normal teeth.

Direct composite veneers are sculpted onto teeth, as opposed to a mould being made and the veneers being created elsewhere, so the process can be completed in one visit.

Process and Reversibility

Porcelain veneers are not reversible once applied, since some tooth enamel must be removed, unlike composite veneers which can be removed. Also, although porcelain is more durable if repairs are needed, it is more complicated and will cost more.


Composite veneers cover most aesthetic concerns and look great, but their porcelain counterpart has a slightly more natural appearance, because of their translucent quality.

Ready For Your Perfect Smile Makeover?

At Dentistry on Wellington, we are cosmetic dentists who are experienced in creating the perfect, healthy smile. We are committed to helping you improve both the function and look of teeth, for a more beautiful smile you can feel confident with.

We will work with you to determine the best choice of composite veneers versus porcelain veneers for you and can recommend what choice would work best.

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