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There’s more than one way to enhance a smile, and composite dentistry provides an innovative solution that is less aggressive than some other techniques. The important thing to remember with composite dentistry is that skill and experience matters. Make sure to choose an AACD-Accredited cosmetic dentist who has the experience and know-how to create a beautiful and lasting result—cutting corners can lead to consequences! At Tam Dental Group, we are dedicated to delivering exceptional treatment for each person, and we can help you find the ideal approach, whether it’s composite-based or another method, designed to optimize your outcome.


Composite veneers are used to enhance the appearance of the smile by covering the front of the teeth. This treatment uses composite resin, a durable tooth-colored substance, to cover cosmetic and dental concerns. Composite veneers often require less (if any) reshaping of the natural teeth than porcelain veneers to obtain the desired outcome, which many patients appreciate. In addition to aesthetic enhancement, composite veneers can also correct many common functional concerns like chips, cracks, minor gaps, and more.


Porcelain veneers use thin porcelain shells that are attached to the front of the teeth to create a more beautiful smile. Composite veneers use hardened resin to do the same. Both can address similar concerns, and the right technique for you will depend on a number of personal factors, including cost, reversibility, durability, and aesthetics. Porcelain veneers typically last longer and can provide a more natural-looking result, but the cost is higher, and they are not reversible.


Composite veneers are a more conservative alternative to porcelain veneers, and some of the benefits of this technique include:

  • Improved appearance of stains, cracks, chips, gaps, and “small” teeth
  • More affordable than porcelain veneers
  • Requires little or no reshaping of the natural tooth
  • Treatment can be completed the same day
  • Beautiful results when applied by an experienced dentist
  • Easy to repair, replace, or remove—often a reversible procedure

Are Composite Veneers Right for Me?

Composite veneers can be an effective and economical solution to treat mild imperfections in your smile, such as small chips, fractures, gaps, stains, and misalignments. Like porcelain veneers, composite veneers can also help perfect the proportions of your tooth. If your tooth looks small, short, or “pushed back into the mouth” relative to the rest of your smile, veneers can refine the shape and size of the tooth to achieve fuller, healthier proportions. Although composite veneers can be very versatile, this treatment is most successful for patients who:

  • Are candidates for minimal or non-invasive aesthetic augmentation/enlargement of the teeth
  • Are bothered by minor cosmetic flaws in your teeth
  • Do not experience any pain or dysfunction in their smile or bite
  • Have no signs of gum disease
  • Have excellent at-home oral hygiene habits and a low plaque score
  • Would like a more affordable alternative to porcelain veneers
  • Are under the age of 28 years old

Dr Tam and our team can evaluate your smile to determine whether composite veneers or another cosmetic dentistry option is the best treatment to achieve your goals. For more minor issues, cosmetic bonding may be enough to reshape a damaged tooth.


The first step is a consultation and evaluation. It’s important to treat any gum inflammation or periodontal disease before beginning, so if you have any concerns, those will be addressed first. The teeth that will be treated will be dried and isolated to ensure the bonding material can be applied. In some cases, your teeth may need to be filed slightly to rough the texture for better adhesion. Composite material will then be added in layers to achieve the desired shape and opacity for natural-looking, beautiful results. The final step is polishing, after which your smile is ready to wear.


Most composite veneers and composite bonding can last seven to 10 years, and you can make sure to enjoy the longest possible outcome by taking great care of your teeth and gums—brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and scheduling regular dental cleanings. Immediately after the procedure is complete, you should be able to see the final results. Aftercare instructions will be provided at the time of your treatment, and you should be able to go about your day as normal soon after your procedure.


The price of composite veneers can range from about $650 to $1,500 per tooth, depending on the complexity of your treatment plan, severity of your condition, and other factors. Composite veneers are typically more affordable than porcelain veneers, and this is often a major consideration for patients. We will review the total cost of your procedure during your initial consultation, and we can help you find financing or review your dental benefits as needed.


Composite dentistry, which composite veneers are a part of, includes dental bonding. If you have a small dental concern on a single tooth, this may be the appropriate solution for you. If you have staining, you may also wish to consider teeth whitening. For misalignment, such as crowding, gaps, or overbites, Invisalign may be able to help you straighten your teeth and improve your bite. We understand everyone’s needs are unique, and if there are other treatment options that could help you obtain the outcome you want, we will review them in detail with you at your first appointment.

Dr Tam is currently the only New Zealand-based cosmetic dentist who is board-certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry, and accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). The rigors of achieving this credential have given her a level of experience — as well as an eye for detail — beyond that of her peers. It is notable that Dr Tam teaches other dentists how to beautifully complete composite and porcelain veneers as part of her workshop series, Skulpting Skool.

Additional Composite Veneers FAQs

Will composite veneers look natural?

Yes! Veneers are among the most natural-looking and convenient restorations in cosmetic dentistry, and typically appear indistinguishably within your smile. In fact, the results often appear so discreet and natural that many patients forget they even have composite veneers! Once fully placed, composite veneers should look and feel like a natural tooth. We invite you to peruse our composite veneers before-and-after photos — as well as our daily blog posts and Instagram, Facebook, Threads, and LinkedIn accounts — to get an idea of what the outcome can potentially look like.

What’s the difference between composite veneers and cosmetic bonding?

Both treatments use a tooth-colored dental resin to treat minor imperfections in a tooth. However, direct composite veneers are composed of a thin shell placed over the front of a damaged tooth to conceal cosmetic flaws. Bonding involves applying the composite resin to the enamel in layers to resculpt the tooth. In general, composite veneers are utilized with more extensive concerns when compared to cosmetic bonding, and use a more sophisticated color palette. Bonding is generally treated as a more conservative treatment in relation to porcelain or indirect veneer placement. Our team can help you identify the most ideal restoration for your needs.

How long will it take to place my veneer?

Composite veneers can usually be placed in one appointment, although this may vary depending on the nature of your dental plan and whether gum disease treatment (or other preliminary treatments) are necessary. If you’re combining composite veneers with other treatments in a Smile Makeover, multiple visits may be necessary.

Will I need to replace my composite veneer in the future?

Composite veneers are not designed to last forever, and additional treatment may be necessary in the future. That said, veneers can often last for 7 to 10 years with good care and a consistent dental hygiene regimen. The longevity of composite veneers can also be prolonged with easy preventive measures such as avoiding smoking, wearing a mouthguard while playing sports, not grinding and clenching your teeth, etc.

Can I whiten composite veneers?

No, teeth whitening is not possible with composite veneers. Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant while composite veneers are more susceptible to diet-based discoloration. The veneers are colored to match the exact shade of the rest of your smile, so teeth bleaching treatments may actually make your restoration appear more conspicuous amongst your surrounding teeth. For this reason, we recommend undergoing whitening prior to receiving composite veneers, if desired.

You probably have more questions, and fortunately, we have answers. Talk to our team to learn more about composite veneers and other cosmetic services that can give the smile you’ve always wanted to have.