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Composite vs Porcelain Veneers

Depending on the amount of damage to a tooth, there are different options that your dentist and you may choose from for tooth repair. If the damage to the tooth is too much for a dental bonding, but not quite severe enough for the placement of a dental crown, your dentist may opt to place a veneer. If this is the case, they will need to choose the material—the most popular of which being composite and porcelain.

What Are Veneers?

In order to understand the difference between composite and porcelain veneers, it is important to understand what a veneer is. Essentially, a dental veneer is an appliance that is placed over a damaged tooth that has been reshaped to better fit the appliance. A veneer will improve the cosmetic appearance of the tooth, which will in turn improve a patient’s overall smile. They will also provide durability and strength that is very similar to that of an undamaged, natural tooth.

Why You May Need Veneers

There are a few different reasons for the placement of dental veneers. Some of these include:

  • Chipped Teeth
  • Cracked Teeth
  • Broken Teeth
  • Discoloration
  • Crowding
  • Damage Due to Tooth Decay

There are different options for treatment that depend on the type and severity of the damage to the tooth. It is important to have a tooth repaired before the damage becomes more severe. A decayed tooth can worsen to a point in which the tooth cannot be repaired, and a broken tooth can continue to break. By having tooth decay removed—and by repairing the tooth quickly—the process of repair will be minimal, and the dentist will be able to save more of the natural tooth.

What Are Composite Veneers?

There are two common materials that dentist will often use to construct veneers—composite and porcelain.

Composite veneers are made from a composite material that is strong enough to return a lot of the functionality to a patient’s tooth. Composite veneers also cost less than porcelain veneers. Another advantage of composite veneers is that some dentists may have the materials to craft the appliance in-house—allowing them to place the veneer in as little as one visit!

Still, composite material is less durable, and composite veneers often only last around 5-7 years.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are an excellent choice for both aesthetic and practical reasons. The porcelain used is a much more durable material than the material used for composite veneers—meaning they are able to last longer. Porcelain is also less likely to stain. Patients that opt for porcelain veneers can expect their veneer to last as long as 10-15 years—sometimes even longer.

Still, porcelain can be a little more costly upfront. While porcelain veneers may last longer—giving them a higher value in the long run—they aren’t an option for all patients. You may want to consider porcelain, though, for an amazing material that can last decades. Speak with your dentist about both composite and porcelain veneers, and see which option is best for you.

Interested in finding out more specially about our practice and porcelain veneer process? Contact Meadowdale Dental Clinic today. We're happy to assist you on your way to a beautiful, healthy, confident smile.

If you're just interested in learning more about porcelain veneers, here's reading on how long you can expect your veneers to last.