Composite Veneers vs Porcelain Veneers:the difference

A patient asked me “what is the difference between composite veneers and porcelain veneers?”. There are several difference that you should be aware of.   In my previous blog, I explain that a porcelain veneer is a facing for the tooth that is fabricated out of porcelain in a dental lab to bond onto the front surface of the tooth.  I gave the different reasons for doing a veneer also (refer to Porcelain Veneers: an alternative to tooth whitening).  A composite veneer also covers the front surface of the tooth, but uses a composite (tooth colored) filling material instead.  It is placed by the dentist in the same way a composite filling would be.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of veneers.  Composite veneers can be done without any waiting time to be made.  Porcelain veneer take 1 to 2 weeks to make.   They are also about 25% of the cost of porcelain veneers.  Composite veneer can be billed to your dental insurance and canbe covered at up to 80% (on most insurance plans).  Porcelain veneers are considered a cosmetic procedure and are not usually a covered benefit.  Like their porcelain counterparts, Composite veneers can usually be done without anesthetic and can be used for multiple purposes.

Probably the biggest disadvantage of composite veneers is that they do not last as long.  They tend to chip morw easily than do the porcelain veneers.  They also have more of a tendency to pick up stains on the veneer itself.  So, composite veneers are a less expensive option to porcelain veneers and can be covered by your dental insurance benefits, but they do not last as long and seem to pick up stains more readily that the porcelain veneers.  Again, thanks for the question.

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