Difference Between Composite Veneers and Porcelain Veneers?

If you are considering a smile makeover, veneers can help improve the appearance of your teeth and give you the smile of your dreams. There are two different types of veneers you can choose from at our Lakewood, CO dental clinic: composite and porcelain. Here we look at the difference between the two to help you decide which ones are right for you.

How Are Composite Veneer and Porcelain Veneer Procedures Different?

Both composite and porcelain veneer procedures are similar in that your CO dentist applies a thin layer of material to your teeth to improve their appearance. 

When you receive composite veneers at your Lakewood, CO dental clinic, we apply a bonding material directly to your teeth, allowing us to sculpt the shape and appearance. We use a resin, pliable material that we color to the whiteness you desire. The resin then hardens, creating a natural-looking tooth.

For porcelain veneers, instead of using a soft material, we produce the veneers at a dental lab. We will take a mold of your teeth that the lab will then use to craft your veneers. The veneers are like thin “shells” of porcelain that offer a very natural look. As with the bonding material, we will tint the porcelain to the level of whiteness you desire.

Does the Procedure Require Preparation?

Both procedures can require some tooth preparation to accommodate the veneers depending on the shape of your teeth. For porcelain veneers, your Lakewood dentist removes a thin layer of the enamel, which means the procedure is not reversible. The veneers are affixed directly to the tooth surface, providing the same protection as your enamel, but the enamel is permanently removed. For composite veneers in Lakewood, there can be less preparation, as the bonding material is applied directly onto your tooth. As a result, they can be reversible.

How Long Do the Veneers Last?

Both materials are highly durable, but in general, composite veneers do not last as long as porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers can last from 10 to 15 years, while composite veneers last about 4 to 8 years. One thing to keep in mind is that although composite is easier to chip, it is also easier to repair. When porcelain veneers are damaged, you must replace the entire veneer piece.

Do Porcelain Veneers Look Different From Composite Veneers?

Most people agree that porcelain veneers look much more natural than composite. This is because their translucent properties are very similar to your natural teeth, so they tend to shine and sparkle the same way. Composite resin is definitely an improvement over many aesthetic issues; however, they just don’t have that same sparkle. In addition, porcelain is stain resistant, while composite veneers can discolor over time. Because the resin is resistant to whitening treatments, the stains are permanent.

How Do the Costs of Each Compare?

As you can probably guess, porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite veneers. This is because the fabrication of the veneers adds to the costs. Your porcelain veneers also typically take at least two appointments to apply. Just keep in mind that porcelain veneers last longer, so what you save in the long-term helps bring the costs between the two more up to par.

Which Ones Should I Get?

The easiest way to narrow down your choice for your veneers in Lakewood, CO is to consider the following:

  • Timing: If you want a quick makeover, composite bonding can be completed in one day. Porcelain veneers take two or more appointments to apply. 
  • Cost: If budget is a consideration, getting porcelain veneers will cost more. However, they will also last longer.
  • Permanence: If you are concerned about permanence, composite veneers can be reversed but are likely to stain easier. Porcelain veneers will last for a lot longer and be more stain-resistant. 
  • Appearance: While both offer a natural look to improve your smile, most people find porcelain more appealing and natural.
  • Damage: If you grind your teeth, you might be more likely to damage your veneers. In this case, depending on what your dentist advises, composite bonding is best as it is easier to repair.


Interested in learning more about veneers? Schedule your next appointment with Dr. Elizabeth Turner in her Lakewood, Colorado dental clinic and she’ll get to know you and evaluate your unique needs.

To learn more about our cosmetic dentistry services in Lakewood, CO, visit this page here.

About the Author

Dr. Elizabeth Turner is a whole-health, family dentist in Lakewood, CO who provides general, restorative, and cosmetic dental care. She focuses on the mouth-body connection and helps her patients smile confidently, breathe clearer, and live healthier lives. 

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