Once you’ve decided that you want dental veneers, your next decision is to figure out which type of veneers to get. The most common options are composite veneers and porcelain veneers—and the differences between the two are significant. So which is right for you? Below, we outline what you need to know when comparing porcelain veneers to composite veneers.
Porcelain Veneers Are More Realistic
While composite veneers look good, porcelain veneers look great. When it comes to matching a natural tooth, you simply can’t do better than porcelain, which catches the light just like real tooth enamel. Your porcelain veneers will be made of thin layers of porcelain, mimicking the way natural teeth are composed of layers of enamel.
Composite Veneers Stain
One way that porcelain veneers aren’t like your natural teeth is that they’re resistant to stains. In contrast, composite veneers do stain and they cannot be whitened, so they must be replaced if they become discolored. To maximize the lifespan of your composite veneers, you’ll need to make an effort to avoid foods and beverages that cause stains.
Porcelain Veneers Last Longer
Composite veneers can last an average of 3 to 7 years, while porcelain veneers have an expected lifespan of 10 to 15 years, but may last even longer with good oral hygiene habits and regular dental cleanings and exams. Porcelain veneers are stronger than composite veneers, which means they’re less likely to chip or break.
Composite Veneers Are Less Expensive
Porcelain veneers and composite veneers have different price points, which is a deciding factor for many. Porcelain veneers cost more upfront because they are made with a higher quality material, while composite veneers are made with resin, which costs less. That said, when you factor in the more frequent replacements required for composite veneers, you may find that porcelain veneers cost less in the long term.
(Note that there are also direct composite veneers, which is a term sometimes used to describe cosmetic bonding. This is the least expensive option of all, as it involves applying resin directly to the tooth and sculpting it to cover over or fill in imperfections. Indirect composite veneers are fabricated and then placed on the tooth, just like a porcelain veneer.)
Similarities Between Porcelain and Composite Veneers
Up to this point, we’ve focused on differences between porcelain veneers and composite, but there are similarities, too. Both porcelain and composite veneers are used to correct a wide range of aesthetic issues, including minor misalignments, chips, size, stains, and gaps. They’re also applied the same way, by removing a very thin layer of enamel and then bonding the veneer directly to the surface of the tooth.
Learn More About Composite Veneers vs. Porcelain Veneers
If you have cosmetic imperfections in your smile that you’d like to correct, dental veneers are an excellent treatment option. The best way to determine which type of veneer is best for your needs is to schedule an appointment for a consultation to speak with one of our dentists. Contact us today at 440-247-8641 for more information.