Direct composite veneers vs. porcelain veneers—which choice is right for you?

If you and your dentist have decided that veneers are the path you should take to achieve that beautiful smile, the next step is choosing the kind of veneers to go for. Direct composite veneers vs. porcelain veneers—each one has its pros and cons.

Direct composite veneers vs. porcelain veneers

Veneers, thin laminate shells that are contoured and shaped to cover the flaws of your teeth, can be made using porcelain or composite resin. Both materials serve the same purpose—they improve the color, shape and overall appearance of teeth—but have differences. 

The first is the cost. Porcelain veneers are typically twice as expensive as composite ones.

Porcelain veneers are typically made in an off-site lab, which means you need to return to your dentist to have them bonded to your teeth. You might need to wear temporaries while your veneers are being made in a lab.

Composite veneers can typically be fabricated while you wait. It’s a same-day treatment, an instant smile makeover. The procedure for composite veneers tends to be less invasive. Composite veneers are reversible while porcelain requires your teeth to be reshaped so the veneer could fit. 

But when it comes to durability, porcelain is the winner: it really does last longer. 

How long do veneers last?

Porcelain is a stronger material and if you maintain them well, your porcelain veneers can last from 10 to 15 years. Composite veneers last from 5 to 7 years. 

They are both tooth-colored but porcelain veneers offer a more natural tooth-like aesthetic because of its translucent quality. It is resistant to staining and chipping, thanks to its durability and the glaze that your dentist applies after treatment. Composite veneers need to be polished to achieve a more natural look. They are are more porous and more susceptible to staining so if you choose them, you will need to watch what you eat to avoid staining your teeth. 

Porcelain veneers, however, cannot be fixed. If it is chipped or broken, it will need to be replaced. 

Finding it difficult to choose? Don’t worry. Your dentist will guide you. What is important to you? Is there a budget you’d rather stick to? Would you want the best treatment money can buy? Are you concerned about reversibility? Do you want your veneers to as natural as possible? Talk to your dentist about your concerns and together you can choose the next step in achieving that beautiful smile.


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