Dental Veneers – Porcelain Or Composite Which Should You Choose?

dental veneer treatmentThere is no doubt that cosmetic dentistry procedures here at Chesterfield can improve your smile. In fact studies show that one third of American adults are unhappy with their teeth. If you’re among that number then you may be considering dental veneer treatment to make changes.

Both porcelain and composite veneers can be used to improve your smile. They serve the same purpose and involve a tooth colored material which is placed over the front of the teeth to improve your smile. So what’s the difference and which should you choose? Let’s take a close look at the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Firstly…What are porcelain veneers?

Veneers are custom made wafer thin shells of porcelain which sit on the front surface of the tooth and are color matched to your surrounding teeth for a seamless finish. Once bonded in place they can improve the appearance, shape, color, size, and length of a tooth. Interestingly, veneers were first invented by a California dentist in 1928 when an actor needed to temporarily change the appearance of his teeth for his role in a film.

The main reason patients choose porcelain veneers is because they look very natural. Once the veneer is in place, it’s very hard to tell that it’s false. Porcelain bears a remarkable resemblance to our natural tooth enamel. Two other reasons they are preferred is because they are:

  • More stain resistant than composite veneers because porcelain is not porous.

  • Strong and durable which means their approximate life-span is 10-15 years.


One major down side to choosing porcelain veneers is often the cost. They are more expensive than composite veneers because they involve more time, expertise, and resources in order to create them. Other disadvantages include the facts that:

  • Porcelain veneers can’t be repaired. If they break then the whole veneer will need to be replaced.

  • The natural tooth needs to be altered before applying so once fitted, the process isn’t reversible.

  • They require more preparation than composite veneers.

So what about composite veneers?

Conversely, composite veneers are made from composite resin, the type of material we use for tooth colored fillings. They are the closest alternative to porcelain veneers and are often bonded directly onto the tooth.


One real highlight of composite veneers is that there is little to no preparation of the tooth required, meaning that as much of the natural tooth is preserved as possible. In addition they are:

  • Applied in one visit – Most porcelain veneers are custom-made at a dental laboratory and usually take 2-3 visits unless a CEREC machine is used.

  • More affordable – Therefore they are definitely the more budget friendly option to improve your smile.


Although strong, composite veneers are less durable than porcelain, so as a result they may need replacing more often, approximately between 2-5 years. Also they are:

  • Not as stain resistant as porcelain veneers due to the resin material being more porous.

  • Not recommended to make drastic changes to the teeth. Instead porcelain veneers are better for more complicated cases.

If you are interested in having a smile makeover and would like more information about dental veneer treatment here at Chesterfield, be sure to call us today to book a consultation with your cosmetic dentist Dr Akinwande on (314) 469 6429.