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Veneers vs. Bonding: Which is Right for You?

Dental bonding vs porcelain veneers:  both offer great solutions for anyone who wants to restore their beautiful smile and/or correct some slight damage or discoloration that may be present.

While both options tackle some of the same problems, the procedures are very different.  

So, let’s take a closer look at each solution to determine which one will be the most effective for your individual situation.

What are Veneers?

A veneer is a type of crown made up of a certain type of ceramic that is placed over your remaining tooth structure to restore the overall function, appearance and strength of your teeth.  Every veneer is custom-made by an elite technician at our dental lab to fit perfectly onto your tooth.  

Veneers do require extra preparation of your natural teeth to allow for caries removal, alignment of where the final veneers needs to be and to allow for a certain thickness of the veneers to be made so that they do not break.   This means that it will take more than one appointment to complete the procedure.  

Veneers are most commonly used to:

  • Cover up any severe stains or discoloration
  • Close up any large gaps in between the teeth
  • Restore cracked and/or chipped teeth
  • Restore overly worn teeth back to its original function (Full mouth rehabilitation)

What Is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is used to enhance or restore the appearance of your teeth and to fix slight chips/cracks on your teeth.  It uses a composite resin that can be sculpted or formed into any shape to address a number of potential issues.

So, you could say that “bonding” is a more general term that is used any time this special filling is applied to the teeth, but it is mostly used when the resin is placed on the front surface of the tooth.

The goal is to slightly improve the shape, size, and color of the tooth (or teeth).  

This is a great option for patients who have a single irregularity that they want to repair or some slight chips/cracks on one or several teeth.   

The most common uses for dental bonding include:

  • Repairing chips, cracks, and other damage such as cavities
  • Covering minor stains and discoloration
  • Reshaping teeth
  • Treating roots that have been exposed

Which is Right for You

Each of these procedures are valid choices in a range of different circumstances. Which one you choose can depend on a number of variables. (Be sure to contact us for a consultation on all your dental options.)

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each procedure to create a more complete picture and help determine which will be right for you.

Veneers:

There are a lot of pros to veneers.  First, they create a beautiful, uniform appearance almost immediately.  They can cover up most cracks or stains easily, and most consider them more effective at doing so than bonding.

The materials used to create the veneers are also more resistant to staining.  So the shade that the veneer is made, will not discolor in the future even with wine, coffee or tea drinking.  Due to it being made in the dental lab, the added strength of the veneers mean they can also be more resistant to chips or breaks.

It is important to note, that veneers require your dentist to reshape your tooth/teeth to make room for the veneer to be put on or to remove any cavities, discrepancies before the veneers are permanently cemented on.   This is important because veneers need to be made at the correct form, fit and function in order for it to last you a long time. On average, veneers can last you anywhere from 5-25 years.

Bonding:

Bonding is usually considered a faster procedure than getting veneers, because it can generally be completed in a single appointment (rather than two or more).  The esthetic outcome all depends on the materials that your dentist uses and whether he/she is a true dental artist. Once bonding is placed, the maintenance is similar to what you woul normally do for your natural teeth.  Bonding is less expensive than veneers. 

However, since the bonding material is a composite resin, it won’t be as strong as the porcelain veneers.  It is much more porous than porcelain, so it is more likely to stain sometime down the road. Most patients who choose to go with bonding, usually need to have it redone every 2-5 years on average due to the staining and/or chipping aspects of this material.

A Direct Comparison

So, after all that, let’s look at the main points and see how they stack up:

  • Costs – Bonding tends to be the more affordable option
  • Durability – Veneers are the stronger
  • Coverage – Veneers are a more efficient choice if you’re working on several teeth at once
  • Appearance – While both options are capable of delivering great results, most tend to prefer the smooth and natural appearance of veneers 

Dental bonding can offer a temporary solution while dental veneers offer a powerful solution to help restore your smile.  If you’re ready to learn more about your options for restorative or cosmetic dentistry, be sure to set up an appointment today.

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