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Veneers 101: Different Types, Benefits, and Costs

Dental veneers

Not all of us are born with a perfect set of straight, pearly white teeth; even if we are, accidents happen and our teeth might suffer cosmetically! Thanks to cosmetic dentistry,  you can achieve your dream smile through dental veneers. They are an ideal option to improve the aesthetic appeal of your teeth and smile, particularly if you are self-conscious about having stained, chipped, misaligned or gappy teeth.

If you’ve decided to invest in veneers, the next question to ask is whether they are the best option for you.

What is the difference between porcelain veneers and composite veneers?

There are two types of dental veneers – porcelain and composite. In short, porcelain veneers are shells of porcelain that are adhered to the front, outer-sur of a tooth, while composite veneers are created with resin, which is applied and shaped to the tooth.

Application Time

Composite veneers take less time to apply to the teeth, as they are created while you sit back in the dentist’s chair. Your dentist will match a shade of resin to the colour of your teeth, then apply, cure and polish the resin, creating a natural looking new smile in one visit.

Alternatively, porcelain veneers take at least two visits to craft and apply. This is because a mould of your teeth is required to create the thin, porcelain shells that make up the veneers. During your first visit, a mould or impression of your teeth is taken and your dentist will apply temporary veneers for you to wear. At your second visit, your dentist will remove it and bond the new porcelain veneers to your teeth using cement.

Material and Appearance:

  • Porcelain: Made from thin, strong shells of ceramic, porcelain veneers boast a natural, translucent look that seamlessly blends with your existing teeth. They’re highly resistant to staining and chipping, offering a durable, long-lasting solution.
  • Composite: Crafted from resin, composite veneers can be directly applied and sculpted onto your teeth during a single appointment. While they can achieve a natural look, they’re generally less translucent than porcelain and may be more susceptible to staining and chipping over time.


If you want the most natural looking smile, porcelain veneers are the best choice. Porcelain has translucent properties, which gives the veneers depth and the ability to mimic the way natural teeth catch and react to different light.

Although composite veneers can be colour matched perfectly to the shade of your teeth, the resin does not have the same natural appearance of porcelain.

They are also incredibly stain resistant, which keeps your veneers looking natural and white. Unfortunately for composite, the resin used is prone to staining, so pigmented foods and drinks may stain your bright smile.


When it comes to durability and longevity, you want your new veneers to last as long as possible. You will be happy to know that porcelain veneers, with the right care and regular dental check-ups, will last between 10-15 years! Thanks to their stain-resistant properties, your veneers will keep their bright, white colour and appearance for the long haul too.

In comparison, composite veneers are less durable and may require replacing more often. It is worth noting that if you do suffer a crack or chip to your porcelain veneers, the veneer is not repairable, so you will need to have the entire veneer replaced. 


Due to the quick nature of the procedure, composite dental veneers come with a lower cost – often half the cost of porcelain veneers. They do come with a higher overall cost; however, they also have a raft of additional benefits, including durability, stain resistance and natural appearance. 

How can your dentist help with dental veneers

Dental veneers are a worthwhile investment to improve your smile and self-confidence. Your dentist plays a crucial role in every step of your dental veneer journey, ensuring a smooth and successful experience. Here’s how your dentist can help:

Before the procedure:

  • Consultation and Evaluation: During your consultation, your dentist will carefully examine your teeth and oral health to ensure veneers are the best fit for your individual needs. They’ll discuss your desired outcome, address your concerns, and recommend the most suitable type of veneer based on your needs and budget.
  • Preparation: If needed, your dentist will prepare your teeth by removing a minimal amount of enamel for proper bonding of the veneers. They’ll also take impressions to create custom veneers or choose prefabricated ones if suitable.
  • Color Matching: Beyond just color, they’ll consider factors like your natural teeth’s brightness, undertones, and even translucency to create veneers that seamlessly blend in.

During the procedure:

  • Placement and Bonding: Whether you’re enjoying a hot coffee or a crunchy snack, your veneers will remain firmly in place thanks to the strong and reliable dental adhesive. Your dentist will prioritize both aesthetics and functionality, guaranteeing each veneer fits perfectly and feels natural.
  • Finishing Touches: They’ll polish and refine the veneers to create a smooth and natural-looking surface.

After the procedure:

  • Post-operative Care: Your dentist will provide instructions on how to care for your veneers, including proper brushing and flossing techniques, and foods to avoid. They’ll also schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your veneers and ensure their long-term success.
  • Maintenance and Repair: Over time, veneers may require minor adjustments or repairs. Your dentist can expertly handle these, ensuring your smile continues to shine.

Additional ways your dentist can help:

  • Respond to your inquiries and attend to any apprehensions you might have during the entire procedure.
  • Offer various pain management choices to guarantee your comfort throughout the procedure.
  • Offer different financing options to make veneers more accessible.
  • Collaborate with other dental specialists if needed to ensure optimal results.
  • For a smile that shines, choose a dentist who shines in skill and experience. Their expertise and guidance will ensure you achieve a beautiful, healthy, and long-lasting smile.

Before you decide on whether composite veneers or porcelain veneers are for you, it is possible to weigh up the pros and cons of both types with Balmain Dentist.