1. Veneers
  2. Porcelain vs Composite Veneers: Which Is Right For You?

Porcelain vs Composite Veneers: Which Is Right For You?

Overview

Composite Veneers

  • Durability: More prone to chipping and breaking down over time, less durable than porcelain, typically lasts 4-8 years.
  • Appearance: Similar in colour to natural teeth but may lack the translucency of porcelain veneers.
  • Procedure: Same-day, sculpted directly onto teeth in a single dental visit.
  • Advantages: Less invasive, reversible, easy to repair, immediate results.
  • Disadvantages: More porous, prone to staining, softer (less durable), requires frequent care, and lasts 4-8 years.

Porcelain Veneers

  • Durability: Can last 10-20 years, strong and a good long-term investment.
  • Appearance: Natural-looking with a translucent quality similar to natural enamel.
  • Procedure: Requires multiple visits and temporary veneers during the creation process.
  • Advantages: Strong, low staining and chipping risk, conservative preparation.
  • Disadvantages: More expensive, requires replacement if chipped.

Comparisons

  • Material: Porcelain veneers are thin, durable ceramic; composite veneers are a mix of plastic and glass.
  • Appearance: Porcelain offers better translucency; composite may not match this quality.
  • Durability: Porcelain is more durable and long-lasting; composite is less robust.
  • Procedure: Porcelain requires a more complex, multiple-visit process; composite is quicker and simpler.
  • Cost: Porcelain is more expensive; composite is more budget-friendly.
  • Repair and Maintenance: Porcelain requires full replacement if damaged; composite is easier to repair.

Veneers were created to help you get your smile back. From correcting poorly shaped,  crooked, broken or chipped teeth to closing gaps and even helping to fix minor to unsightly stains on your teeth, veneers help change the overall appearance of your smile. Veneers are purely cosmetic dentistry and cannot correct an under or over-bite of the jaw.

For veneers, Perth City Dental offers both composite and porcelain veneers to help you get the tooth structure of your dreams. We’ve highlighted some advantages of both to help you choose a side.

Composite Veneers

What Are Composite Veneers?

Composite veneers are a same-day procedure, meaning they are sculpted to your teeth in one go as you sit in our dental chair and relax. Similar in colour to your tooth, the resin is applied directly to the tooth surface and then shaped and sculpted by a dentist.

Using high-intensity light, the resin is then hardened, and if needed, more layers can be added and sculpted until you have a nicely shaped tooth. On finishing, the resin is given a polish and shine to give it that more natural appearance and you are good to go.

Advantages of Composite Veneers

Due to this quick and convenient process, composite resin veneers are considered less invasive and are immediately noticeable.

The biggest advantage of composite veneers is that they are reversible. Requiring minimal to no preparation on your teeth, composite resin is not a permanent fix, so it can be removed and replaced or even added to as required. This is very helpful in the case of a chipped tooth as it is very easy to repair, whereas a porcelain veneer would need replacing.

Disadvantages of Composite Veneers

Composite resin veneers are a more porous substance than porcelain and can pick up more staining over time. If you are a lover of tea, coffee, curry, berries and/or red wine, this might not be the most suitable option for you.

They are also a softer material than porcelain, which means they are more likely to chip and break down over time and require a lot more love and care.  This also means that they do not last as long as porcelain and would need replacing after 4 to 8 years.

Our team offer a complimentary polish-up of composite veneers at your six-monthly check-up, as well as a scale and clean to maintain your composite veneers and ensure they have the longest possible lifespan.

Porcelain Veneers

Durability and superior cosmetic dentistry results are key when it comes to porcelain veneers, and they can last anywhere between 10 to 20 years or even longer if maintained correctly. Porcelain is extremely strong and when considering the price, they are definitely value for money and a superb investment.

When fabricated using high-quality materials by perfectionist lab technicians and a dentist with a good eye for aesthetics, porcelain veneers look incredibly natural. They have that same translucent, glassy-looking quality that our natural tooth enamel possesses.

Porcelain veneers are not a same-day deal procedure, and you may have to wear temporary veneers until they are finished being sculpted and created in the laboratory. Porcelain is a great solution should you have worn enamel, wear and tear, genetic defects, uneven teeth, etc., as they address serious concerns such as these.

These days, porcelain veneers can be fabricated with little to no preparation of the teeth, which means they can be very conservative. So, if you’re looking for durable, natural-looking veneers, porcelain is definitely the way to go.

Advantages of Porcelain Veneers

Because porcelain is so strong and durable, the chances of it staining or chipping are very low. The glaze that is applied after application reinforces this strength too.

While some dentists may warn you to change your diet due to the porous nature of composite resin that can stain, porcelain does not require this change in lifestyle as it does not stain easily.

Many people believe porcelain veneers are destructive of a tooth’s structure but in actual fact, they are very thin and are prepared and applied much like acrylic nails. Their strength comes from the underlying enamel structure, which means the less the tooth is prepared, often the stronger the veneer becomes after it has been bonded to the teeth.

Porcelain is a more permanent veneer option, and we work with our patients to ensure great results with minimally invasive techniques. We even give our patients the chance to see what they would look like with veneers using a carefully crafted mock-up from a cast model of their teeth and placing temporary dental veneers in their mouth BEFORE they opt to go ahead with the porcelain veneer treatment.

Disadvantages of Porcelain Veneers

The only disadvantages to porcelain veneers are that it takes more than one visit to get them and they are more expensive than composite resin ones initially.

Another thing to remember with porcelain is that if you chip a veneer, you will need to get it replaced.

Comparing Porcelain and Composite Veneers

Porcelain and composite veneers are both sought-after choices for enhancing dental aesthetics, yet they exhibit distinct characteristics that cater to different needs and preferences.

Material Composition

The material composition forms a fundamental difference between the two. Porcelain veneers are crafted from a thin layer of porcelain, a ceramic renowned for its robustness and enduring quality. This material is meticulously shaped to conform to the teeth’s front surface.

In contrast, composite veneers consist of composite resin, a compound integrating plastic with glass particles. This material is versatile and is typically moulded directly onto the teeth.

Appearance

When it comes to appearance, each type has its merits. Porcelain veneers are particularly esteemed for their ability to replicate the natural light-reflecting qualities of real teeth. This gives them a high level of translucency and an appearance that closely resembles natural dental enamel. Additionally, porcelain is highly resistant to stains, maintaining its pristine appearance over time.

Composite veneers, while capable of being fashioned to appear quite natural, might not achieve the same level of translucency as their porcelain counterparts. They are also more susceptible to staining as time progresses.

Durability and Longevity

The aspect of durability and longevity is crucial in differentiating the two. Porcelain veneers generally boast a longer lifespan, often lasting between 10 to 15 years or more, particularly with diligent care. Their resistance to chipping and staining is a significant advantage.

Composite veneers, in comparison, usually have a shorter lifespan, typically around 5 to 7 years. They are less robust than porcelain and are more prone to wear and damage.

Procedures

The procedure involved in placing these veneers also varies significantly. Porcelain veneers require a more involved process. This usually entails at least two dental appointments. The first step involves removing a small portion of the tooth enamel to accommodate the veneer. An impression of the teeth is then taken, which is used to custom-fabricate the porcelain veneer. This veneer is then placed on the teeth in a subsequent visit.

On the other hand, composite veneers can often be completed in a single visit. The composite resin is applied and sculpted directly onto the teeth, necessitating minimal or no removal of tooth enamel.

Associated Costs

Cost is another critical factor. Porcelain veneers are generally more expensive due to the material quality and the intricacies involved in their fabrication.

Composite veneers offer a more cost-effective solution, making them an appealing option for those on a tighter budget.

Repair and Maintenance

Lastly, the aspect of repair and maintenance set these two apart. Porcelain veneers, if damaged, typically require complete replacement.

Composite veneers, however, are easier to repair if they sustain any damage.

In essence, porcelain veneers are a premium option, offering durability, a natural look, and longevity, but at a higher cost and with a more complex placement procedure. Composite veneers, while more affordable and quicker to apply, do not offer the same longevity and are more prone to staining and damage. The decision between porcelain and composite veneers should be made based on individual dental needs, aesthetic preferences, and budget considerations.

Visit our veneers page for more information on veneers treatment pricing.

Contact Perth City Dental Today to Book Your Veneers Treatment

If you’re looking to get dental veneers, Perth City Dental can help you make the right decision. Contact us and book a consultation today, and let’s discuss your treatment options and goals in detail.

Regardless of your choice, both types of veneers, porcelain and composite, offer great results that are sure to give you a perfect smile.