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Composite vs. Porcelain: Which is the best type of veneers for you?

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Composite vs. Porcelain: Which is the best type of veneers for you?

Dental veneers are among the best treatment options to provide a smile makeover and improve your confidence. Veneers are bonded to the front teeth, but allow you to keep your existing teeth.

Depending on the veneer type, they can provide a natural look and conceal visual flaws such as misaligned, chipped, or crooked teeth. However, veneers are not ideal for those who have tooth decay or gum disease.

Here’s what you need to know about choosing composite or porcelain veneers for your smile.

Table of Contents

What are composite veneers?

Composite veneers, otherwise known as direct veneers, are thin shells made from composite materials designed to enhance your smile.

They can cover up many flaws in your natural teeth, such as discolouration, misalignments, unsightly gaps, stains, and more.


Cosmetic veneers are made from a composite material or filled resins. They are fixed directly onto the front teeth and crafted during the surgery. If you opt for indirect veneers, they are crafted in the laboratory.

During the initial appointment, your cosmetic dentist will discuss whether cosmetic veneers are the right option. They would work with you to pick the colour of the veneers so that they match your natural teeth as best as possible.

Your dentist will clean your teeth before beginning the veneer procedure. They would then move on to the prep work. When applying direct composite veneers, the dentist will need to trim a layer of enamel from your tooth structure to give space for the veneers.

Next, they will add adhesive glue to the composite material to ensure that it sticks to your teeth. During the composite bonding process, the dentist will stick the veneers to the front surface of the teeth.

Using a special UV light, the glue on the resin material will harden, thus bonding to your teeth. Once the bonding is completed, your dentist would check to ensure that the veneers fit properly and match your desired shape.

If you choose to receive indirect veneers, the dentist will need to create a mould of your teeth. When these permanent veneers are ready, the dentist will etch your teeth and apply the adhesive material to the teeth.

Again, the dentist will use a special light to harden the glue on the composite resin.

Dr. Sam Jethwa fitting veneers


Composite veneers are much more durable today than they were in the past. They typically last between 5 to 7 years. Once the veneers are worn down, patients will need a replacement set. The better you take care of your veneers by practising good oral hygiene, the longer they are likely to last.



Composite veneers have a more opaque and solid colour to them. Although they can conceal cosmetic flaws in a person’s teeth, cosmetic veneers look less natural compared to porcelain veneers.

The veneers can gradually stain over time, ruining the visual appearance. Since these composite veneers are made from composite materials, they are more susceptible to cracks and chips over time.



In the UK, composite veneers cost between £100 to £400 per tooth. Fortunately, Bespoke Smile makes it affordable to achieve your dream smile.

At Bespoke Smile, we offer monthly repayments starting from £16 per month for simple treatments. Many patients pay off their veneers in 24 months.

We also offer other financing plans like an interest-free loan. Whether you choose to opt for our Bespoke Smile finance or loans, veneers are a low-cost option to improve your smile.


What are porcelain veneers (ultra-thin veneers)?

Porcelain veneers are custom-thin shells made from a porcelain laminate material, which is much stronger than the composite material from composite veneers. These veneers are about 0.2 to 0.5 mm thin, making them much thinner than composite veneers.

These ultra-thin veneers are a brilliant choice for those who want a minimally invasive treatment or have worn down or small teeth since less enamel would need to be trimmed to fit porcelain veneers.


Porcelain veneers are cosmetic dentistry treatment that takes about two or three visits to complete. The dentist will perform X-rays during the first visit to ensure you have healthy teeth.

On the next appointment, the cosmetic dentist will trim down the surface of the tooth. This process requires removing a layer of enamel to make space for the porcelain veneers. Since these thin shells are between 0.2 to 0.5 mm thin, the process is minimally invasive.

Your dentist will then get impressions of your teeth and create a mould to send to the dental lab. It may take several weeks for the ceramist to complete the permanent veneers. In the meantime, you would most likely wear temporary veneers until the permanent veneers are back from the dental laboratory.

Once the permanent veneers are sent back, the dentist can begin the bonding process. The dentist will clean your teeth and use a grinding tool to etch your front teeth before application.

They’ll add special cement to the front of your teeth and shine a UV light to harden the cement quickly. This allows the veneers to stick onto your teeth easily.

Overall, porcelain is the superior option in terms of aesthetics and durability. At Bespoke Smile, we have our own “master ceramist” who creates all handmade veneers for the handmade Trial Smile.



Despite the ultra-thin appearance of porcelain veneers, they are incredibly strong and resistant to cracks and chips. A ceramist takes the mould and handcrafts the veneers to perfectly fit the patient’s mouth, so these veneers are customised specially for your teeth.

Typically, these veneers last at least 10 years as porcelain veneers are considered to be an advanced option among veneers. However, with proper care and maintenance, they can last up to 20 years.



Porcelain veneers use a laminate material with a translucent quality, providing a natural appearance.

Furthermore, these veneers are chip and stain-resistant, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy tooth-staining foods such as red wine, coffee, and soda.

Since porcelain veneers are ultra-thin, they require little tooth preparation, meaning the dentist will only trim a thin layer of enamel on the front of your teeth.



Porcelain veneers cost between £400 to £1,000 per tooth in the UK. Although it may sound expensive, Bespoke Smile offers various financing options to make the cosmetic procedure as affordable as possible.

Patients can also explore the Bespoke Smile finance, which start as low as £16 per month for up to 24 months. You can also opt to apply for interest-free loans to help pay for the treatment.

Hand making each temporary veneer

How Do You Maintain Veneers?

Whether you choose to receive composite or porcelain veneers will determine the durability of your veneers. However, the better you take care of them, the more likely they will last longer. Help prolong your new smile by taking practising good oral health habits. This includes:

  • Brush twice per day and floss daily. This keeps your teeth from decay and your gums healthy.
  • Avoid teeth-grinding and chewing on hard objects.
  • Wear a mouthguard while playing sports since physical contact can damage the veneers placed on the front teeth.
  • Continue your bi-annual dentist appointments for professional teeth cleanings and routine check-ups.

Final thoughts: composite veneers vs porcelain veneers

Composite veneers and porcelain veneers are excellent ways to transform your smile. For those who have specific cosmetic oral flaws such as worn, uneven, small, uneven, crooked, or discoloured teeth, veneers can be the ideal option.

Porcelain veneers are a premium option because they are more durable, look more natural, stain-resistant, and less invasive compared to composite veneers.

However, if you’re looking for a more affordable option while still achieving a beautiful smile that boosts your confidence, composite veneers can be a good choice.

At Bespoke Smile, our cosmetic dentists are experienced in improving patients’ teeth and helping them achieve their dream smile.

Request your free consultation online today to get started.

Written by Dr. Sam Jethwa
Written by Dr. Sam Jethwa

BDS (Lon) MFDS RCS (Edin) PgDip ClinEd (UK)
Areas of expertise: Smile makeovers using ultra-thin porcelain veneers, smile design to restore worn teeth and advanced full mouth restorative dentistry.

“A perfect, natural, or bespoke smile is possible to achieve for anyone. There is no substitute for the feeling of confidence an individual and beautiful smile can give. We have developed techniques, which we teach to dentists across the UK and abroad, to help them better their care in their clinics. I believe in comprehensively treating every patient, to bring them up to absolute health, and then put in place maintenance to avoid patients from recurrent replacements, and further treatment. It is a passion for me to deliver an unrivalled experience and end result, which stands the test of time”

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