Cosmetic dentistry with its many procedures, can give you a beautiful smile. It can fix your teeth problems whether it’s misalignment, cracked or chipping teeth, unsightly spacing, uneven or dark colored teeth, uneven or too much (or not enough) smile showing, or even gum erosion. Dental bonding and veneers are two examples of cosmetic dentistry procedures that improve your smile. The question patients always ask about dental bonding vs. veneers is: “What is the best solution?”
Dental Bonding vs Veneers
Dental bonding and veneers will mask imperfections in teeth, but there are differences in the procedures, materials and cost.
Also known as bonded restoration, dental bonding is a painless way to make minor repairs to teeth. Bonding uses tooth-colored material, called composite resin. Composite resin is put on the tooth, then shaped and hardened with light.
- Fill in a small gap between two teeth
- Repair decayed teeth by filling a cavity with tooth-colored resin
- Change the shape of a tooth
- Repair or cracks in teeth
- Cover up discoloration
- Protect the root of a tooth after it's been exposed by receding gums
- Make a tooth look larger than it is
In addition to providing cosmetic relief, bonding can be used to fill cavities.
- Quick. Procedure can be completed in one visit
- Relatively low cost compared to veneers
- Once the resin has been bonded to the tooth, it is basically permanent. This means that it is very unlikely to fall off or break away but you might need to have it retouched or replaced.
- If you have very small imperfections on your teeth, bonding could be the answer.
Its durability depends on the state of your oral health. Discoloration and breakage is inevitable 1) if your mouth has a high acidic pH value (if you are a soda drinker or loves to eat sweets), 2) if the bonding was not supported by a solid tooth structure, or 3) if you are a night grinder.
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that cover the fronts of teeth. Imagine how artificial fingernails look and how they are attached – veneers look, feel and are applied the same way.
The procedure for veneer application usually requires three or more office visits over the course of several weeks. The dentist will first reshape your teeth by removing some enamel to allow for the added thickness of the veneers. Then, a molded image is sent to a dental lab where the porcelain veneers are made to exactly fit over your teeth and cover any imperfections. Finally, the veneers are applied to the natural teeth with adhesive material.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry states that the function of veneers is to cover up gaps between teeth and hide crooked, misshapen or stained teeth.
- Provide a natural looking appearance
- Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well
- Porcelain veneers are stain resistant
- Veneers don't require extensive shaping procedures
- The color of veneers can improve upon that of dark teeth
- More longer lasting than dental bonding
- Veneers cost more than composite resin bonding
- Veneers are not repairable should they become damaged (example: Cracked because of teeth grinding, accident or trauma to the tooth, etc.)
- They may temporarily cause your teeth to become more sensitive because of the removal of enamel
Invest on Your Dentist
Whether you decide to invest in dental bonding or porcelain veneers, make sure you have all work done at a reputable dentist. Remember, the results of the cosmetic procedures are truly varied depending on the ability of the dentist and the laboratory that does the resin and veneers!
When Dr. Reese makes porcelain veneers, he not only addresses the natural color and shade of the surrounding teeth, but also the gum or gingival architectural and how that enhances the tooth appearance for your overall smile enhancement.
“I rely not only on my skill in preparing teeth, but have also spent countless hours studying tooth and smile characteristics as appropriate for faces and personalities.” – Dr. Ted Reese, DDS, MAGD
Dr. Reese is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and has been practicing cosmetic dentistry for over 30 years. Read more about Dr. Reese. You can see an example of a same-day restoration (dental bonding) done on a patient in our Instagram account. You can check out more of his work on our cosmetic gallery.
What options you would like to consider? Download this form to Analyze Your Own Smile or schedule an appointment by calling 317-882-0228.