Porcelain Vs. Zirconia Veneers: What’s The Difference?

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What are Veneers?

A dentist bonds thin shells of porcelain or composite resin, called veneers, to the front surface of your teeth. They are a versatile solution for a variety of cosmetic concerns, including:

  • Discoloration
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Gapped teeth
  • Uneven tooth size or shape

Dental veneers have revolutionized smiles, boosting confidence and enhancing oral health. Among the myriad options, porcelain vs. zirconia veneers stand out. Each type offers unique benefits and aesthetic appeal, addressing diverse dental needs. Let’s explore the differences:

1. Material Composition and Appearance:

Porcelain Veneers:

  • Elegance and Natural Look: Porcelain closely mimics natural tooth enamel. It is translucent, giving your teeth a more natural appearance.
  • Custom-Made: Porcelain veneers are custom-crafted to ensure a perfect match with your existing teeth. It’s like acquiring brand-new, healthier teeth overnight.

Zirconia Veneers:

  • Durability and Strength: Zirconia veneers shine with unmatched durability. This material is stronger than porcelain and resists wear and tear impressively.
  • Aesthetic Catch-Up: While zirconia has improved in appearance, it may lack the translucency of porcelain. Still, it presents a satisfying option, especially for back teeth where strength matters more than subtle beauty.

2. Resistance to Staining:


Porcelain Veneers:

  • Stain-Resistant: Porcelain veneers repel coffee, tea, and wine stains effectively due to their smooth, glass-like surface.
  • Low Maintenance: Regular cleaning habits maintain their pristine appearance.

Zirconia Veneers:

  • Stain Resistance: Zirconia veneers also resist stains well, although their finish is less impenetrable than porcelain’s.
  • Robust Structure: Zirconia compensates for this minor drawback, preserving the veneer’s quality over longer periods.

3. Application Procedure:

Zircon and Veneers

Porcelain Veneers:

  • Tooth Preparation: The application of porcelain veneers often involves more preparation of the natural tooth. Dentists may need to remove a small portion of the tooth’s enamel to fit these veneers.
  • Irreversible Process: This process is irreversible and requires local anesthesia. A high degree of skill ensures the veneers fit flawlessly, blending seamlessly with natural teeth.

Zirconia Veneers:

  • Less Tooth Preparation: Zirconia veneers require less tooth preparation compared to porcelain.
  • Bonding Differences: Zirconia bonds less easily but offers impressive durability.


In summary, porcelain veneers excel in elegance, natural appearance, and stain resistance. They are ideal for those seeking a radiant smile. On the other hand, zirconia veneers prioritize strength and durability, making them a reliable choice for patients with bruxism or for posterior teeth.

If you need to know what’s the difference between emax and zirconia read this article.