Composite vs. Porcelain Veneers – Which Is Better For You, Your Smile & Your Wallet?

Written by Tolley Dental

May 23, 2023

Are you considering cosmetic dentistry options to give your smile a makeover? Veneers are often a go-to solution for improving the look of your teeth, and they come in two common forms: composite and porcelain.

Veneers can last up to 10 years when cared for properly, and they’ll bring you an instant boost in confidence and a beautiful smile. But is one particular type of veneer better than the other when all factors are considered?

In this article, we’ll be exploring the differences between composite and porcelain veneers and helping you choose which one is right for you, your smile, and your wallet. Let’s get started!

What are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin shells of tooth-colored material that are placed on the surfaces of your teeth. They’re used to enhance the overall appearance of your smile, as well as fix certain types of dental issues such as chips, gaps, discoloration, and more. Veneers can last for many years and are a great option for people who have mild to moderate aesthetic flaws in their smiles.

Dental veneers can be used to fix a variety of dental issues, whether it be cosmetic or functional. Ultimately, the best way to determine what kind of issues dental veneers can address is by consulting your dentist, who will evaluate your individual needs and make recommendations accordingly.

Dental veneers are typically used to address the following smile issues:

  • Crooked teeth and misaligned teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Worn down or misshapen teeth
  • Large gaps between teeth
  • Chipped or damaged teeth due to injury or trauma
  • Minor crowding

The Differences Between Composite Veneers and Porcelain Veneers

Composite veneers and porcelain veneers are both used to improve the appearance of your teeth, but they have significant differences. These include the materials, cost, durability, appearance, tooth preparation, and time required.


The main difference between composite and porcelain veneers is in their composition: composite resin veneers are made from a mixture of acrylic resin and glass, while porcelain veneers are made from fabricated ceramic. For composite veneer restorations, a dental laboratory does not need to be involved in the fabrication process as with porcelain veneers. The composite material can be shaped and placed directly onto the outer surface of the teeth by a cosmetic dentist. This makes them easier to change and adjust if needed. In comparison, porcelain veneers require processing by dental technicians in order to ensure their strength, durability, and aesthetic appearance.


The cost for composite veneers can range from $250 to $1,500 per tooth; this price is significantly lower than porcelain veneers which typically cost from $900 to $2,500 per tooth. Although composite veneers tend to be cheaper, they require more maintenance and need to be replaced far more often than porcelain. So while porcelain veneers may have a higher upfront cost, they are considered a long-term investment.


One of the key differences between them is durability. Although both types of veneers offer a durable solution, porcelain veneers are a stronger material that tends to be more resistant to staining and wear than composite veneers. Porcelain veneers can last up to 10 years or longer with proper care, while composite veneers generally last only 3-5 years on average. Composite veneers can be easily scratched and chipped, while porcelain is more difficult to scratch and chip.


In terms of appearance, composite veneers offer a slightly more natural look because they have a slightly opaque translucence that emulates the color and light reflection of natural tooth enamel. On the other hand, porcelain veneers offer a great level of customization as they can be made in any color or shape you desire to provide you with an even brighter and whiter smile compared to composite veneers.

Tooth Preparation and Time

The last major difference between these two lies in the preparation of your natural teeth and the time taken for each type. Porcelain requires more tooth preparation compared to composite, as well as a longer chair time. Generally, the entire process of fitting porcelain veneers takes at least two dental visits, while composite veneers can often be done in a single visit. With porcelain veneers, your first visit will be spent preparing the teeth by removing a small amount of tooth structure, then taking impressions to create your veneer. You will leave with a temporary veneer and return for a second visit once your permanent veneers are ready.

Composite Resin or Porcelain – Which Material is Better?

The answer to this question really depends on your specific needs and preferences. Composite resin is easy to apply and less expensive than porcelain. However, it is not as strong or long-lasting as porcelain, so it may need to be replaced more often. Porcelain is more durable and natural-looking than composite resin, which makes it a good choice for those who want a long-lasting result. However, porcelain tends to be more costly than composite resin and requires specialized tools for its application. Ultimately, both materials have benefits, so the best option for you will depend on your overall smile goals and budget.

Contact Our Office to Learn More About a Smile Makeover With Veneers

If you are considering a smile makeover with composite or porcelain veneers, it is important to consult with an experienced dentist. At our office, we understand the importance of having a beautiful and healthy smile. Our team of experienced dentists can help you determine which type of veneer is best for your individual needs and budget. We will also provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. Contact us today to learn more about composite and porcelain veneers and how they can help you achieve your dream smile.