Composite Veneers Vs Porcelain Veneers – Which One is Better?

Veneers are ideal for covering up imperfect teeth that are chipped, crooked, broken, stained, misshapen or have gaps in between. Veneers are suitable for a single tooth or up to 10 teeth on each arch. Sometimes referred to as ‘instant orthodontics’, veneers can achieve a rapid cosmetic fix compared to the time required for conventional orthodontics. But veneers can’t help change a bite or fix any problems with the teeth.

We make veneers from one of two materials – composite resin or porcelain. A patient has their veneers made from either. The two materials have advantages and disadvantages that need to be considered when deciding.

Composite Veneers

A composite veneer is a resin material fixed to the front surface of a tooth. After applying the resin to a tooth, it’s cured under a light and polished.

Pros of Composite Veneers

The following advantages make composite veneers a popular choice amongst some patients.


Composite veneers are cheaper than porcelain. For those people needing veneers on multiple teeth or are on a budget, composite veneers are a budget friendly option.

Speed of Treatment

Composite veneers are sculpted on the teeth rather than prepared in an off-site lab. Composite veneers can be completed in one appointment because the material is placed on the teeth, cured and polished.


Not everyone wants to make a commitment to have veneers for life. Composite resin veneers require minimum preparation work to a patient’s natural teeth, so if they decide to have their veneers removed, their natural teeth haven’t been damaged.

Cons of Composite Veneers


Staining can occur on composite resin veneers from dark-coloured foods and liquids. To avoid staining, drink black tea, coffee and red wine in moderation or use a straw to reduce the time the liquid comes into contact with the veneers. Tobacco can also cause staining on composite veneers, as it does on teeth. Regular alcohol consumption can also damage the bonding material.

Porcelain Veneers

Very thin layers of custom made porcelain are manufactured in a laboratory using a mold of a patient’s prepared teeth. The porcelain veneer shells are bonded to the front of a tooth to change its appearance.

Pros of Porcelain Veneers

Durable and Resistant to Staining

Porcelain is a stronger, more durable material than composite resin. Porcelain veneers have a lifespan on 10-15 years compared to composite veneers, which last 5-7 years. The porcelain is also more likely to look good for longer. Porcelain is more stain resistant and less likely to chip compared to composite veneers, which are porous and susceptible to staining.

Closest Looking to Natural Teeth

Most people think porcelain veneers have a more natural tooth-like appearance than composite veneers. The porcelain finish is more translucent, similar to human tooth enamel.

Cons of Porcelain Veneers


The extra expense of porcelain veneers is their biggest downside. Many will argue the increased upfront cost of porcelain is offset by their longer life than composite veneers.


You will need to invest a little more time waiting for porcelain veneers to be ready for fitting. With porcelain veneers manufactured in a lab offsite, there’s additional time required to brief the lab and for transporting the veneers to the surgery for fitting.

Not Reversible

For porcelain veneers to adhere, a thin layer of natural tooth needs removing. Because of the preparation work to the natural teeth, it’s not possible to remove veneers in the future and not have any other treatment.

Temporary Veneers

While veneers are being prepared in the lab, many patients opt for temporary veneers. These are usually fixed to teeth with temporary cement and can come away from the natural tooth easier than final veneers. For the short time that temporary veneers are in place, patients should avoid eating foods that are more likely to cause a breakage. This includes most hard foods such as raw vegetables and hard fruits, popcorn, ice and crusty bread. Tough or chewy

foods like meat and lollies should also be avoided. Temporary veneers can easily stained so avoid red wine, tea, coffee, berries and tomato-based sauces. Soft, non-staining foods are best for temporary veneers.

Cosmetic Treatment Options

There are often multiple options for improving the aesthetics and health of a smile, with veneers being just one option. Some alternatives are less invasive, such as dental bonding, which will mask a minor imperfection or teeth whitening. Neither requires the preparation work of drilling natural teeth that porcelain veneers require. Orthodontic braces may achieve a similar aesthetic result as veneers but may take a year or longer.

Also, not everyone is a suitable candidate for veneers. When teeth are broken, badly decayed or in need of a root canal, a dentist or specialist may recommend a patient choose crowns instead of veneers. A crown is thicker and covers the entire tooth.

There’s a lot to consider when deciding which treatment option is right for you. It’s best to speak to your prosthodontist about the pros and cons of each one. Not every dentist or specialist will recommend the same treatment, so it’s ideal to see a prosthodontist for a second opinion <link to future article> before commencing any treatment. A second opinion can save you time and money and help you achieve your goal.

For more information on our treatments using porcelain veneers click here, or for more information on all our treatments for cosmetic dentistry click here. If you have any queries about mouth restorations, prosthodontics or require a second opinion, call us on (08) 9321 1632 or book an appointment.