Dental bonding and dental veneers are commonly compared in dentistry because the two treatments offer some similar benefits and applications. However, they are distinct and provide patients with different benefits, too. For this reason, neither dental bonding nor dental veneers are necessarily better when compared objectively. However, one treatment might be better than the other depending on a patient’s individual situation, treatment goals, and preferences.
As is the case with most dental treatments, the right question to ask is not necessarily which treatment is better but which treatment is the right treatment for you.
What Is Dental Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is a composite resin material that can be applied to the surface of the teeth and then shaped, molded, smoothed, or textured before being cured to achieve a desired look or address a variety of oral health concerns.
What to Expect When Getting Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is a simple process that involves thoroughly cleaning and drying the treatment area. Depending on the treatment area, the amount of dental bonding applied, the location of the treatment area, and the purpose of the dental bonding, the dentist might need to lightly score the treatment area to improve contact with the tooth for a more secure bond.
Once the treatment area is ready, the dentist selects a shade of dental bonding that blends in seamlessly with the surrounding tooth enamel and then applies it to the tooth. The bonding can then be molded to achieve the desired shape and look. It is then quickly cured and hardened with a special light, and the patient’s treatment is complete.
Typically, the application of dental bonding is quick and painless and does not even require the use of local anesthetics.
What Concerns Can Dental Bonding Address?
Dental bonding offers both cosmetic and restorative benefits, including:
- Cover permanent stains or discoloration
- Fill in tooth gaps
- Repair chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
- Correct irregularly shaped or sized teeth
- Improve smile symmetry
- Fill cavities
- Protect weakened teeth
- Help with tooth sensitivity
Pros and Cons of Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is a highly versatile treatment, offering a wide variety of applications with both cosmetic and restorative benefits. The process of getting dental bonding is also quick, non-invasive, and painless. While dental bonding is durable and long-lasting, with a lifespan of about five to 10 years if properly cared for, it is not a permanent treatment. This means patients can use dental bonding to “try out” a new look without having to commit to the treatment for life. Additionally, dental bonding is a relatively inexpensive treatment option.
What Are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are thin, wafer-like shells of porcelain that are designed to fit over the front, visible portions of the teeth to improve or alter the look of a patient’s smile.
What to Expect When Getting Dental Veneers
The process of getting dental veneers requires a couple of dental appointments. During the first appointment, the dentist consults with the patient to create a design of the patient’s new smile.
Before we can design the patient’s veneers and send the specifications to our dental prosthetic lab, we must first prepare the patient’s teeth. This preparation involves grinding off a very thin layer of tooth enamel. This makes room for the porcelain veneers to be placed and ensures a natural look and feel.
Once the patient’s teeth have been prepared, we take a digital scan of the patient’s mouth to ensure a perfectly designed and fitted set of veneers. We then send these specifications to our dental lab for manufacturing.
When the veneers are ready, we schedule the patient for another appointment. During this appointment, our dentist uses dental cement to permanently fix the patient’s dental veneers to the teeth.
What Concerns Can Dental Veneers Address?
Dental veneers are purely a cosmetic dental treatment. Although they don’t offer restorative benefits to patients, they do have nearly limitless potential for making over the look of a smile. Dental veneers can:
- Correct minor imperfections or completely change a smile’s appearance
- Cover permanent stains and discoloration
- Hide chipped teeth
- Cover tooth gaps
- Improve smile symmetry
- Create the look of a straight smile
- Correct the appearance of irregularly shaped or sized teeth
Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers
Dental veneers can be used to completely change the appearance of a person’s smile, helping them to create a fresh, new look. Plus, porcelain is by far the most natural-looking material used in cosmetic dentistry. It can be dyed to achieve a naturally bright-looking smile, and it also offers a similar level of transparency as natural tooth enamel.
Porcelain is a stronger material than composite, but veneers are still susceptible to damage if they are not properly cared for. Typically, dental veneers last between five and 15 years, depending on their placement and care.
The process of getting porcelain veneers is lengthier and more invasive than that of dental bonding. Additionally, since a layer of tooth enamel must be removed to accommodate the placement of dental veneers, veneers are also a permanent treatment.
Dental veneers tend to be more costly than dental bonding.
Dental Bonding vs. Dental Veneers: Which Treatment Is Best for You?
Both dental bonding and dental veneers offer a wide variety of benefits. Determining which treatment is right for you, however, largely depends on your individual smile goals, treatment expectations, budget, and preferences.
If you’re interested in correcting your major or minor smile imperfections, we encourage you to contact Northern Colorado Prosthetic Dentistry at 970-579-4716 to request a consultation with Dr. Andrew Bock.