Veneers vs. Bonding: Two Popular Options for Smile Makeovers
If you have ever wanted to brighten, lengthen, straighten, or otherwise improve your smile, you’re not alone. Over one-third of adults in America feel unhappy with their smile, namely due to the way their teeth look. With so many people being negatively affected by the aesthetic appearance of their teeth, it comes as no surprise that two of the most popular cosmetic dentistry services are veneers and bonding.
Dental veneers and dental bonding are common options for individuals who want a total smile transformation with minimal invasiveness,especially under circumstances where their teeth are healthy and only cosmetic flaws are a problem.
But how do you choose between veneers or bonding? We’re glad you asked. Ultimately, your dentist will help you decide. However, there are some key differences between these two cosmetic dentistry services that are helpful to know, including the pros and cons, as well as what characteristics make for an ideal candidate for either procedure.
Basic Differences Between Veneers and Bonding
Initially, veneers and bonding can seem very similar. Both are cosmetic procedures involving the placement of a special material over the surface of your teeth to change their appearance in terms of shape, color, and size. But there are a few characteristics that set them apart from one another.
Let’s take a look at the five different ways veneers and bonding are different.
1. Materials Used
Veneers are made from porcelain, a high-grade ceramic material. Dental bonding uses a composite resin material.
When you hear the term “porcelain veneers” being used, it’s in reference to true veneers. However, if you hear the term “composite resin veneers,” it’s in reference to dental bonding. The use of “veneers” in both terms can be confusing, so always ask your dentist for clarification if you’re unsure.
2. Application Method
Porcelain veneers are applied over the existing tooth. Your dentist will prepare your teeth by removing a small amount of your enamel to make room for the porcelain caps. From there, he/she will take an impression to have custom caps sculpted by a lab to fit your newly prepared teeth.
During the bonding process, your dentist will prepare your teeth with minimal to no enamel removal and sculpt the resin material directly over the surface of them. The resin material is fully cured to harden, and then it is polished to finish.
Porcelain veneers are a more in-depth procedure, and you’ll need to wait for your permanent caps to arrive from the lab (you’ll be given temporary veneers in the meantime). Dental bonding is completed in one visit.
3. Degree of Effects
Porcelain veneers and dental bonding both help address issues, such as staining, chips, cracks, gaps, and general wear and tear. The difference is porcelain veneers have a much more significant effect on these issues compared to dental bonding.
Porcelain veneers are best for severe staining, big gaps, significant chips and/or cracks, and tooth overlapping, and they can even help in some cases of crooked teeth. Bonding is ideal for minor stains, small gaps, small chips/cracks, and other minor issues.
When properly cared for, porcelain veneers and dental bonding are capable of lasting over 10 years, with veneers lasting as long as 15+. The reason porcelain veneers tend to last longer is because of the porcelain material itself, which is more durable than the composite resin used in bonding.
5. Average Costs
Porcelain veneers can be significantly more expensive than bonding. The costs of either service can vary widely between dental practices, so it’s important that you consult with your dentist before receiving any treatments.
Pricing is a major deciding factor for many individuals, so don’t feel embarrassed to ask your dentist for estimated costs.
How to Tell When Dental Bonding Is the Right Choice for You
Gregory Sexton, DDS, offers dental bonding to patients looking to transform their smiles by addressing minor cosmetic flaws with their teeth. While porcelain veneers are still a fantastic option, in many cases, dental bonding simply makes more sense for our average patient.
Here are four signs dental bonding could be the perfect solution for you.
1. You have healthy teeth and stick to an oral health regimen.
The composite resin material used in dental bonding isn’t as durable or stain-proof as porcelain veneers, but this isn’t generally a big concern for patients who already practice a dentist-recommended daily oral health regimen. You’ll continue to care for your teeth the same way you have been. You can also come back to see Dr. Sexton for reapplication if you find that your bonding needs an update from normal wear and tear.
2. You want to minimize damage to your existing teeth.
It isn’t possible to get porcelain veneers without a dentist removing some of your enamel. An experienced dentist will remove as little enamel as possible, but this still permanently affects your teeth, and you’ll always need to have veneers in place once you get them. Dental bonding is far more gentle to your teeth and can be removed. This characteristic of bonding also makes it a good choice for teenagers and young adults.
3. You don’t have severe cosmetic flaws in your smile.
Unless you have very large gaps, severely crooked teeth, or significant chips, chances are high that dental bonding will be enough to give you the smile you want. The average patient with minor chipping, small gaps, or minor staining/discoloration will find that dental bonding and its advantages outweigh full porcelain veneers.
4. You don’t have a huge budget for cosmetic dentistry.
Since cosmetic dentistry is rarely covered by dental insurance, we understand how important cost consideration is for our patients. Porcelain veneers can end up being extremely expensive, especially if you’re doing a total makeover on all visible front teeth. For close to half the costs of porcelain veneers, we can give our patients a dental bonding makeover instead.
Ready to transform your smile with dental bonding?
If you’re interested in learning more about dental bonding, or if you want to see if it’s the right choice for you, give us a call to schedule a consultation with Gregory Sexton, DDS.
At your consultation, Dr. Sexton will first complete an exam to see how your oral health is currently, and then he’ll check for trouble spots that require treatment before bonding can take place. From there, you’ll have an open discussion about cosmetic imperfections in your smile, and Dr. Sexton will explain which flaws can be fixed with dental bonding.
After your consultation is complete, you’ll schedule another appointment with Dr. Sexton for the actual bonding application process. Before you know it, you’ll have a brighter, more even smile that you’ll love to show off.