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Cosmetic dentistry is a $5 billion industry, helping people feel more confident in the way they look. Cosmetic dentists seek to help patients improve the appearance of their smile through services such as applying dental veneers. 

If a veneer is the best option for you, there are two choices you should know about: composite vs. porcelain veneers. 

Discover the differences between the two here to help you choose which might be the right option for your smile. 

What Are Composite Veneers? 

Composite veneers are created from composite resin or polymer-based materials made of both organic and inorganic parts. Dentists use composite resin in cosmetic repairs, such as applying veneers to improve the look of a smile. 

Dentists apply the composite veneer to the front of your tooth to improve the shape or color of your teeth. 

What Are Porcelain Veneers? 

Porcelain or traditional veneers are made of a thin, contoured piece of porcelain. Dentists cement porcelain veneers to the front of your teeth to improve the shape, color, or look of your smile. 

One of the main differences between composite veneers and porcelain veneers is that this type is custom-designed. 

The Pros of Composite Veneers 

Perhaps the biggest advantage of composite veneers is the price. The cost of veneers can be quite expensive, which is an important factor to consider as veneers are a type of cosmetic dentistry. Most cosmetic dentistry procedures aren’t covered by insurance, which means you’ll likely pay out-of-pocket. 

Although the cost varies, you can expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $1,500 per tooth. The more veneers you need, the faster that cost adds up. 

Another benefit that patients like about composite veneers is that they take less time. In most cases, composites can be made while you wait, making it a same-day treatment. 

Dentists shape the resin, which is shaded to the color of your teeth. Afterward, they use a special light to harden the resin. As a result, it’s a much faster procedure than getting porcelain veneers. 

Another advantage is that, if necessary, composite veneers are reversible and replaceable. There is no alteration to your permanent teeth. 

The Cons of Composite Veneers

Composite veneers do not last as long as porcelain veneers. On average, they last between 5-7 years. Composite also isn’t as strong as porcelain, and it may chip. 

Composite dental veneers stain the same way that your natural teeth do. Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant. Keep this in mind if you drink or eat a lot of foods that can stain your teeth, you’re a smoker, or you plan on having a bleaching treatment in the future. 

The Pros of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain is much more durable than composite resin. With proper care, they can last anywhere from 10-15 years. In many cases, that’s more than double the lifespan of composite veneers. 

While both porcelain and composite veneers look good and can improve the look of your teeth, porcelain has a very natural appearance. Porcelain veneers reflect light well, making them look like natural teeth. Most people won’t be able to tell that you have veneers. 

Custom-designed porcelain veneers can match any tooth color or shade. 

Composite veneers have a porous surface, which makes them more susceptible to staining. As such, you may have to alter your diet or cut back on foods and drinks that stain teeth if you choose this option. Porcelain has the advantage here, as it’s stain-resistant and stronger, making these veneers less likely to chip. 

Porcelain veneers overlap the edge of the tooth, which can cover gaps in your smile and make your teeth look straighter and more uniform. This type of dental veneer is also custom-made to suit your teeth best. 

The Cons of Porcelain Veneers

The downside of porcelain is that it takes more time and resources to design the veneer and place it. Getting these veneers takes longer than a day due to their custom nature. In fact, it’s a multi-step process that involves preparing your teeth, taking impressions, and having the veneers made in a dental laboratory. 

As such, you can expect the process to take a couple of weeks. In the meantime, you’ll receive temporary veneers to wear. 

Porcelain veneers are also the more expensive option upfront. 

How much do porcelain veneers cost? Again, the price varies depending on several factors, but you can expect to pay between $900 to $2,500 per tooth. 

That’s certainly more expensive than composite veneers. However, you must also consider the lifespan.

Porcelain lasts far longer than composite resin, meaning you won’t need them repaired or replaced as often. You have to consider the costs of replacing composite veneers every few years and decide if it’s worth it. 

Other Factors to Consider

The state of your natural teeth also plays a part in which option is best for you. If you have badly chipped or damaged teeth, it’s best to consult with your cosmetic dentist. They’ll tell you the procedures you’re a good candidate for and how those procedures can help improve the look of your smile. 

Your dentist may only offer one option. If that’s the case, ask them about the pros and cons of that type of veneer. Here at Lockhart Dental, we use porcelain veneers as we believe porcelain’s durability and unparalleled appearance make them the clear choice. 

Also, veneers are a type of cosmetic dentistry. Your dental insurance may not cover them. If you don’t have the funds for the procedure, you may want to consider options such as CareCredit, which can finance dental procedures.

Ask your dentist about the financing options available to you. 

Composite vs. Porcelain Veneers: Which Is Best?

In the comparison between composite vs. porcelain veneers, we think porcelain comes out on top. Although composite veneers are cheaper upfront, they don’t last as long. Porcelain makes the best choice over the long term for a smile makeover that lasts. 

Here at Lockhart Dental, we’ve been helping patients feel better about their smiles for years. If you’re ready to learn more about your veneer options, set up an appointment today.