Composite vs. porcelain veneers: which is right for you?

Whether you want to cover up stains, chips, gaps or crooked teeth, veneers can be an effective cosmetic dental option.

Veneers are made from either porcelain or composite resin. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on what you're looking for.

Here are some of the most common questions people have about these treatments, which could help you to make an informed decision.

Which veneers look the most natural?

Dental veneers are custom-made to look as close to your natural teeth as possible, while correcting the issues you want to.

However, porcelain veneers have the more natural finish, as the material reflects light in a very similar way to tooth enamel. Composite veneers still appear natural when they're polished.

Which are suitable for more severe issues?

If your teeth are more severely stained, damaged, misaligned or have larger gaps, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers.

Composite veneers are better suited to mild to moderate issues. If your problem is too severe to be treated with veneers, your dentist may recommend options such as crowns or orthodontic treatment instead.

Which veneers last longer?

Porcelain veneers last for 10-15 years on average, although when you practise good oral hygiene and follow your dentist's instructions, they can last for even longer.

Composite veneers tend to last about half as long, usually 5-7 years.

Which are stronger?

Porcelain veneers are much stronger than composite resin, meaning they're less susceptible to chipping.

However, they can't be repaired like composite veneers. If the porcelain gets damaged, it will need to be replaced. This can be comparatively costly.

Which are more resistant to stains?

Porcelain veneers are less susceptible to stains, although you should still try to limit your intake of strongly-coloured food and drink, such as coffee and red wine.

Composite resin is porous and more easily stained. Your dentist will recommend that you adjust your diet to avoid common sources of teeth discolouration.

Which treatment is faster?

Composite veneers can often be completed in a single appointment. Your dentist will prepare your teeth for the resin and then sculpt the veneers directly over the front of your teeth. The resin is then hardened using an intense light and finally your veneers are polished.

The procedure for porcelain veneers takes longer, as your veneers need to be prepared in a dental laboratory and delivered to your dentist before your next appointment. Your teeth will also require more preparation before the veneers can be fitted.

Which are cheaper?

Composite veneers are typically around half the cost of porcelain veneers. However, they also last about half as long and may need to be replaced sooner.

On the other hand, these veneers are easier to repair if they become damaged, while porcelain veneers will need to be replaced.

Where can I find out more?

Whichever type of veneers you're considering, speak to our dentists in Perth's Northern Suburbs to find out more about the treatment and make an appointment at a time that's good for you.

You can call us on (08) 9307 6700 or send us an enquiry online.