What’s the difference between porcelain and composite veneers?

(Porcelain Veneers)

Porcelain and composite veneers can be used to cover a variety of flaws in teeth, from chips to stains to undersized teeth.  However, there are key differences.

 

Price:
Porcelain veneers tend to be more costly than composite veneers at the initial time of application.  Porcelain veneers in Australia range from $900-$2200 per tooth.  Composite veneers generally range from $350-$500 per tooth.  It’s worth noting that some people do not need every tooth covered by a veneer, and sometimes patients opt for 2-4 veneers to improve their overall smiles. A skilled dentist will be able to make veneers the right size, colour, and texture to blend in with a patient’s natural teeth.

Longevity:

With the higher price tag comes quality: porcelain veneers tend to wear better than composite veneers. Composite veneers can to chip away over time and may need to be replaced every 5-10 years. Porcelain veneers can still look great 15-20 years after application if cared for properly. So in the long run, porcelain veneers will by far outlast composite, and therefore the cost will be comparable.

Maintenance:
Because composite veneers can chip and stain within a few years, they need regular repairs and polishes. Porcelain on the other hand rarely needs to be repaired or replaced.


Staining:

Composite veneers stain quicker than porcelain veneers.  Avoiding teeth staining foods such as red wine and coffee can help you avoid premature yellowing of composite veneers. However, if you’re a Melbourne coffee-fiend or frequent visitor of the South Australia winery scene, porcelain may be a better option.

Number of veneers:

If you only need two or four veneers to improve your overall smile, composite can be a budget-friendly option with occasional veneer replacement needed every decade or so.  However, if you have undersized teeth or want a full set of veneers, porcelain can actually end up cheaper in the long run.  Replacing chipped or yellowing veneers can add up fast with more veneers, and frequent trips to the dentist for maintenance costs time and money. These problems tend to be minimised with porcelain veneers and proper care.

Check out some awesome of our awesome veneer before and afters here!