Anterior veneers brunette smiling woman with pink background

Do you want to restore your smile and regain your confidence? Dental veneers may be a good fit for you. Veneers are one of the most popular procedures in cosmetic dentistry today, and many of our patients prefer them to caps or crowns.

If you’re considering veneers, you have two main options: traditional and composite. Let’s take a closer look at the two and help you compare your options.  

What Issues Can Veneers Treat? 

Dental veneers can help treat a number of cosmetic issues, including:

  • Discoloration 
  • Minor chips or breaks
  • Teeth that are worn down
  • Gaps
  • White spots on teeth
  • Misalignment or irregular tooth shape
Veneers on anterior white teeth

Patients tend to prefer veneers because they are less invasive than a crown. They look natural, they’re well tolerated by gums, and they’re durable. While some enamel must be removed to place the veneers, they don’t require as much shaping as crowns.

While they can be used to correct a number of issues, veneers aren’t a good fit for everyone. Veneers may not be the right fit if you have large chips, breaks, or severe alignment issues.

We can discuss whether you’re a candidate for veneers and recommend other treatment options if they aren’t a good fit for you.

What are Traditional Veneers?

When people use the term traditional veneers, they’re usually referring to porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are shaped and colored just like your natural teeth. They’re applied directly to the surface of the tooth, helping cover stains or small chips or cracks.

Porcelain veneers are made from composite ceramics. They’re exceptionally strong and durable, and they can be customized to match the natural shade of your teeth.

The Benefits of Traditional Veneers

There are many benefits to choosing traditional porcelain veneers, including:

  • A natural look and feel
  • Cover chips, cracks and stains
  • Restore your smile and confidence
  • Easy application 
  • Durable 
  • Stain-resistant 

Potential Drawbacks

While there are many advantages to traditional porcelain veneers, there are also a few drawbacks that you have to consider:

  • While durable, these veneers are not invulnerable to damage. They can still chip, break and even fall off if you grind your teeth or eat hard foods.
  • They’re permanent. Once you install veneers, you will always need to have veneers. 

While porcelain veneers are stain-resistant, they can still become discolored over time, especially if you consume coffee and tea regularly.

What are Composite Veneers?

Composite veneers are very similar to traditional veneers. But instead of being made of porcelain, they’re made from a resin material. Like traditional veneers, they are applied to the surface of your teeth to conceal and fix minor imperfections.

Composite veneers are generally less expensive than porcelain, and they can sometimes be fitted in a single visit. They can also be customized to match the natural shade of your teeth.

The Benefits of Composite Veneers

If you’re looking to improve minor imperfections in your teeth, composite veneers have many advantages.

  • They’re more affordable than traditional porcelain veneers. 
  • They’re natural looking, so they blend in with your smile
  • They’re less invasive than a crown or cap
  • They’re quick to apply

Potential Drawbacks

Composite veneers have many benefits, but they also have some potential drawbacks that should be considered.

  • They don’t last as long as traditional porcelain veneers.
  • They can become stained or discolored over time

Despite these issues, composite veneers are still a popular choice with patients and can last for many years with proper care, but once again patients will always need to keep the composite on the teeth for the long term.

Traditional vs Composite Veneers: What You Need to Know About This Cosmetic Dentistry Procedure

Now that you know a little bit more about traditional and composite veneers, let’s compare them. How does each type compare when it comes to cost, lifespan, aesthestics and the application process? 


When it comes to cost, composite veneers have the upper hand. Generally, porcelain veneers are significantly more expensive than composite.

While composite veneers have lower upfront costs, they are less durable and resistant than porcelain veneers. In the long run, composite veneers may cost more if they need to be repaired or replaced more often than porcelain veneers.


Both composite and traditional porcelain veneers can be customized to match the natural color of your teeth. 

But over time, composite veneers can become stained and discolored, just like your natural teeth.

Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant, so they are more likely to maintain their bright color for longer. Another advantage of porcelain veneers is that they reflect light like natural teeth.

Overall, traditional veneers have the edge when it comes to aesthetics, but composite veneers still have a natural look.

Porcelain laminate veneers


Because dental veneers are permanent, it’s important to consider longevity when choosing between composite and traditional veneers.

Both types of veneers have impressive lifespans and high durability, but porcelain still has an advantage in this category.

  • Porcelain veneers can last 10-15+ years with proper care
  • Composite veneers can last 4-10 years

How long your veneers last will depend on many factors, including:

  • Your diet and lifestyle. Eating hard foods will increase the risk of chips and veneer breaks, regardless of whether they’re composite or porcelain.
  • Your oral hygiene routine. Your veneers will last longer and look better if you maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and coming in for routine cleanings will help keep your veneers looking their best and prevent tooth decay.

While porcelain veneers generally last longer, the longevity of your veneers will depend on many factors - not just the material.


Traditional and composite veneers are similar cosmetic dentistry procedures. They both involve placing a thin, tooth-shaped shell onto the surface of the tooth. Both are permanent, so once they’ve been applied, there’s no turning back.

Let’s take a closer look at the process of applying veneers.


After we’ve determined that you’re a good candidate for veneers, the first step is a consultation to discuss your goals and the process. We’ll talk about the logistics before moving on to the next step. Once all of those details have been figured out, we can schedule an appointment to prepare your teeth for your new veneers.

Preparing Your Teeth

The next step is to apply the veneers. First, we’ll need to remove some of your enamel. Removing enamel is necessary because it prevents the veneers from looking too big and bulky. It also ensures that the bonding material will adhere to your teeth.

Next, we’ll take impressions and send them off to the lab for your new veneers to be made. This process may take one to two weeks.

Model try on of porcelain veneer

Applying the Veneers

Once your veneers return from the lab, it’s time to apply them to your teeth. First, we’ll check to make sure that they’re the right color and shape. If necessary, we’ll trim some excess material to ensure a seamless look. Our goal is to make your veneers blend in with your smile and are virtually invisible.

If you’re satisfied with the shape and color, we’ll clean and polish your veneers before bonding them.

After that process is finished, we’ll apply a special cement to bond your veneers to the surface of your teeth. Then, we’ll check your bite and send you on your way.

Whether you choose porcelain or composite veneers, you can rest assured that the application process will be virtually the same. However, composite veneers do have a slight advantage because they are generally much quicker to create. In some cases, you can get dental veneers in a single visit.

Which Type of Veneer is Right for You?

Deciding between traditional porcelain and composite veneers is a personal decision. The procedure is similar for both types of veneers, but each material has its advantages and drawbacks.

When weighing your options, consider the following factors.

  • Lifestyle: What is your diet and lifestyle like? Are you a big coffee or tea drinker? If so, porcelain veneers may be the better option for you.
  • Budget: What is your budget for the procedure? Composite veneers may be right for you if you need a more affordable treatment option.
  • Maintenance: Veneers require the same care as your natural teeth. However, porcelain veneers tend to be more durable and long-lasting than composite veneers. If you’re looking for a long-lasting restoration, porcelain is the better option.

If you’re unsure of whether traditional or composite veneers are right for you, we can help you decide. We’ll discuss your options and make a recommendation. 

Final Thoughts

Veneers are a simple and effective way to restore your smile, so it’s not surprising that it’s such a popular procedure in cosmetic dentistry. When deciding between composite and traditional veneers, weigh the pros and cons carefully. Ultimately, it’s a personal decision that depends on your preferences, budget and long-term expectations.

If you’re interested in veneers, contact our office today to schedule a consultation!

Sign up to get the latest content first!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Dr. Gurpreet Sidhu - Dentist at Lighthouse Dental Centre and Blue Water Dental
Dr. Gurpreet Sidhu

With nearly two decades of experience, Dr. Sidhu enjoys helping his patients learn about dentistry. Knowledge is meant to be improved, challenged and shared.

See All Posts

RElated Posts

Follow along as Dr. Gurpreet Sidhu shares the latest oral health trends that impact you and your family's overall health.