In cosmetic dentistry, teeth bonding and veneers stand out as two common procedures to enhance the appearance of your smile. Both dental bonding and veneers offer unique benefits and can help address various dental issues, from chipped teeth and gaps to staining and misalignment.
However, choosing between teeth bonding vs. veneers can be a complex decision. Understanding the differences, pros, and cons assists you in making the best choice for your dental needs.
What are Teeth Bonding and Veneers?
Before we delve into the specifics of teeth bonding vs. veneers, let’s establish what each procedure entails. Teeth bonding, also known as dental or cosmetic bonding, involves applying a tooth-coloured composite resin material to the tooth surface. The resin is shaped, polished and hardened, seamlessly integrating your natural teeth.
Conversely, veneers are thin shells custom-made to fit the front surface of your teeth. The two most common types are porcelain veneers and composite resin veneers, each offering a unique blend of benefits.
Dental bonding is a simple, cost-effective cosmetic procedure perfect for minor adjustments and repairs. It can address issues such as small chips, cracks, gaps, and discolouration. Dental bonding material is applied on the tooth surface, shaped to match your teeth, and then hardened using a special light.
One major benefit of teeth bonding is preserving your natural tooth structure, as the procedure is non-invasive. It typically requires only one visit to the dentist, making it a convenient option for those with busy schedules.
However, the composite resin material used in tooth bonding is less durable or stain-resistant than veneers, meaning it may need to be replaced or touched up over time. Professional teeth whitening procedures may also affect the colour of the bonding material, leading to uneven shades if not managed properly.
Veneers, both porcelain and composite resin, are known for their ability to transform your smile. They are custom-made to fit your teeth, allowing for a more dramatic change in your teeth’s shape, size, and colour. Veneers can address more cosmetic needs than bonding, including larger chips, severe discolouration, gaps, and uneven teeth.
Porcelain veneers are highly sought-after due to their stain-resistant nature and durability. They mimic the appearance of natural teeth and can last over a decade if you take good care. Composite veneers may not be as long-lasting as porcelain ones but are more cost-effective and can be applied in a single visit.
The process of getting veneers typically involves two visits. At the first appointment, the dentist prepares your teeth for the veneers, takes impressions, and fits temporary veneers. At your next visit, the permanent veneers are bonded to your teeth.
However, unlike bonding, the veneer procedure is not completely reversible as it requires a small amount of enamel to be removed from your tooth surface.
Dental Bonding vs. Veneers: Which is Right for You?
The decision between teeth bonding vs. veneers depends on various factors, including the current state of your teeth, your desired outcomes, your budget, and how much time you’re willing to invest in the process.
Teeth bonding is an excellent option for minor cosmetic changes; it’s less expensive and can usually be done in one visit. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more dramatic transformation and longer-lasting results, veneers may be the better choice, albeit at a higher cost and with a longer procedure time.
It’s important to remember that veneers and dental bonding are cosmetic procedures, not all dental insurance providers may cover. Be sure to check with your provider to understand what is included in your coverage.
How Are the Procedures Performed?
Understanding how each procedure is performed can be beneficial to make a well-informed decision between teeth bonding vs. veneers.
Dental Bonding Procedure
The dental bonding procedure is quite simple and can be completed in a single visit. Your dentist starts by choosing a composite resin matching the colour of your natural teeth. They then prepare the tooth by slightly roughening the surface and applying a conditioning liquid, which helps the bonding agent adhere.
Next, the dentist applies the composite resin, moulds it into the desired shape, and smooths the surface. Once the tooth bonding agent is shaped, it’s hardened with a special light. After the material hardens, the dentist trims and shapes it before polishing it to match the shine of your tooth surface.
Dental Veneers Procedure
The procedure for veneers is more involved and usually requires two visits. During the first visit, the dentist prepares your teeth by removing 0.5mm of enamel from the front surface. This creates room for the veneer and helps it bond better to your tooth.
Your dentist will then make a mould of your teeth to create custom veneers for you in the dental laboratory. Temporary veneers might be placed on your teeth while you wait for your permanent veneers to be crafted.
On the second visit, your dentist will install the veneers on your teeth to assess their fit and colour, making any necessary adjustments. Once perfect, your teeth are cleaned, polished, and etched to facilitate bonding. The veneers are then applied using a special cement, which is hardened with a special light to activate the chemicals in the cement so that it hardens.
Longevity and Maintenance of Bonding and Veneers
In the teeth bonding vs. veneers comparison, longevity and maintenance are critical factors to consider. With good care, dental bonding can last between 3 to 10 years, contingent on your oral habits and the location of the bonded teeth. It’s essential to avoid hard food and candy and not to chew on pens, fingernails or other hard objects, as the composite resin material isn’t as strong as your natural teeth and could chip or crack.
Veneers, especially porcelain ones, are more durable and can last between 10 to 15 years or even longer with good care. Porcelain is stain-resistant, but you should still avoid drinks that stain, like coffee, tea, and red wine.
Remember that while veneers are strong, they’re not invincible and can be damaged by the same stresses that can damage natural teeth. Avoid biting your nails, chewing on ice, and using your teeth to open packages.
Sensitivity After the Procedures
Following either procedure, you may experience some sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks. This is completely normal and should subside after a few days. If the sensitivity persists, consult your dentist, which could indicate an underlying issue.
Maintaining Your Dream Smile
Regardless of whether you choose teeth bonding or veneers, maintaining your flawless smile requires proper care and regular dental visits. Brush and floss daily, avoid hard foods that could chip your veneers or bonding, and visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.
Ultimately, the best way to decide between teeth bonding vs. veneers is to have a conversation with a professional who knows your teeth and your cosmetic goals. At Casey Dentists, our team is committed to helping you achieve your dream smile.
Whether through veneers, or another one of our comprehensive dental services, we’re here to guide you through every step of your dental health journey. Contact us today to book your consultation and start your journey towards a perfect smile.