Composite vs Porcelain Veneers

Dental veneers are a great way to restore chipped or fractured teeth or gaps in the teeth. Veneers can even be used to fix a crooked smile! Veneers are most often made out of porcelain, though composite material can also be used. It is important to note that any type of veneer is considered cosmetic by most dental insurance companies and probably will not be covered so the cost of treatment will strictly be out-of-pocket for the patient. Let’s take a look at the difference and the advantages of each.

Composite Veneers

Composite veneers are not as expensive as porcelain veneers, ranging from $250 to $1,500 per tooth. There are a couple of advantages to composite veneers aside from cost, time, and invasiveness.

Your dentist can complete composite veneers in one visit. The same material that is used for a filling is applied directly to the front surface of your teeth to give you a new smile. Once your dentist has the material on your tooth shaped to your liking, it is cured with an ultraviolet light that hardens the material. Your dentist will then refine the shape and polish the composite to a shiny, natural-looking finish.

Composite veneers are a non-invasive treatment and can be removed without any damage to natural tooth structure.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers cost between $500 and $2500. Even though they cost significantly more, the advantages of porcelain veneers generally make them the more cost effective option in the long run.

Porcelain veneers do take more than one visit to complete but porcelain is much stronger than composite and can last up to 20 years whereas composite veneers will need to be replaced possibly every five years, if not more frequently. Porcelain veneers are usually made by a dental lab so you will have at least two visits to your dental office before you have your new smile. Porcelain is more resistant to chips than composite and does not stain, so go ahead, enjoy that glass of cabernet!

The lab that fabricates your porcelain veneers will be able to match the translucency of your natural teeth. Our teeth get thinner and more translucent at the edge and that type of shading just cannot be done with composite.

The only real drawback to porcelain veneers is that they are a bit invasive since they are permanent. In order to allow room for the veneer to fit over your tooth, your dentist will need to remove a bit of tooth structure. While it is not as much as it used to be, it is still enough that you will always have to have a veneer on that tooth for the rest of your life.

Choosing Your Veneers

Your dentist will be able to help you determine if porcelain or composite is best for your individual case. Not everyone would be best suited to composite veneers, depending on lifestyle and oral care habits. Even though composite veneers are more cost-effective at first, they often require repairs and replacing, which can add up very quickly to cost more than porcelain. The ultimate decision is yours and your dentist will help you make the best choice for you!

What are Porcelain Veneers?