Porcelain veneers vs. Composite veneers: Which is best?

Dr Alistair Graham
Dr Alistair Graham

If you’re considering dental veneers, your dentist will most likely present you with 2 options: composite veneers or porcelain veneers.

Both composite and porcelain laminate veneers have their benefits, as well as possible drawbacks. In this article, I aim to help you understand both the positives and negatives of both types of veneers, and what I generally recommend to my patients.

But first, let me explain the difference between composite and porcelain veneers:

Porcelain laminate veneers are thin “shells” of porcelain that are bonded to the front of the tooth. Composite veneers are made from a synthetic mix of resin (plastic) with glass and they’re applied to the tooth one layer at a time.

Now that we understand the difference between the types of veneers, let’s look at the benefits and disadvantages of each type.

Composite veneers pros and cons

Composite resin veneers are added to each tooth in single layers, which are sculpted in place by the dentist. This only takes a single session to complete.

The benefit of composite veneers:

  • Treatment can be completed in a single visit
  • Less expensive than porcelain veneers
  • Damage to the veneers can be repaired (chips and cracks)
  • Less enamel is removed from the natural teeth

The cons of composite veneers:

  • Composite resin tends to stain more easily
  • Less durable than porcelain
  • Repaired chips and breaks are often very visible
  • Shorter lifespan (around eight years)
  • Not as realistic looking as porcelain

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Porcelain veneers pros and cons

Porcelain laminate veneers are customised in a laboratory to perfectly match the individual’s colour, shape and size requirements. The entire process usually takes three sessions, including the consultation.

The benefits of porcelain veneers:

  • Stronger, more durable material
  • Longer lifespan (at least 10 years, but often longer)
  • Most natural, due to mimicking the way that teeth reflect light
  • Highly stain resistant

Possible drawbacks of porcelain veneers:

  • They cannot be repaired, so must be replaced if damaged
  • It takes longer to complete the treatment (usually three sessions)

Which type of dental veneers are the best?

At Mona Vale Dental, we offer both options of dental veneers.

For all of the reasons mentioned above, we recommend getting porcelain veneers if your budget allows, since they last longer and give a far superior aesthetic result.

If you’re interested in dental veneers do not hesitate to make an appointment with us for a personalised recommendation on what types of veneers will work best for you and your situation.

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Health insurance and payment plans

A portion of the costs may be covered by private health insurance, for patients with a comprehensive extras policy. At Mona Vale Dental, we offer health fund rebates and accept HICAPS, which means you only pay for the gap.

We also offer interest-free, extended and flexible payment plans so that people may get the procedure straight away (but pay gradually for the treatment).