How are composite dental veneers different than porcelain dental veneers?

Composite veneers are made from composite resin, essentially the same material used for tooth colored fillings. They are often bonded and formed directly on the tooth. Color matching, contours and thickness can be a challenge; however, they can be somewhat readily repaired. While cost may be less than with porcelain veneers and results can be very nice, the esthetics achieved may not be as good as with porcelain veneers.

Porcelain veneers require an impression to be made and sent to the lab for veneer fabrication. While the veneers are being made, temporary veneers may have to be worn. The veneers are then evaluated in the mouth and bonded into place. Porcelain veneers are more costly than composite veneers, cannot be made directly in the mouth and cannot readily be repaired.

Placement of veneers can be a very technique sensitive procedure involving significant time and expense. Also as with many dental procedures, it may be necessary to replace veneers at some time.
The big difference is the material used. Porcelain veneers are porcelain, and are very strong. Composite veneers are made of composite resin (which is still strong, but closer to plastic in nature.) Of the two, porcelain is the superior, both in strength and look (and they will last longer too). But porcelain veneers are also more costly, and requires more visits.

Composite veneers are usually hand made by your dentist in your mouth. They usually are completed in one visit. The success and beauty of them is totally dependent on the practitioner providing the service. They usually are more conservative than porcelain veneers. Many times they are done without any removal of tooth structure. This makes them entirely reversible. They will not last as long as porcelain veneers and cost about half as much. 

Composite dental veneers are different from porcelain dental veneers in that they are less expensive and can usually be completed in one appointment. Porcelain veneers are made in a dental laboratory, and several visits are usually required to fit them properly. Additionally, porcelain veneers are considered to be more durable and stain-resistant than composite dental veneers, and usually require that less of your original teeth be removed before they are placed. Discuss your options with your dentist in order to decide whether composite dental veneers or porcelain dental veneers are right for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.