Dental bonding and veneers are a great way to cosmetically brighten and change your smile. Here, our Whitehorse dentists explain the key differences between these two procedures.
Altering Your Smile With Dental Veneers or Dental Bonding
There are a few things people can do to restore their smile, other than cosmetic procedures.
If you are looking to change the shape, colour, or appearance of your teeth, you may want to look into dental veneers or bonding. Both procedures can help hide visible imperfections on your teeth and may be able to give you the appearance of a more uniform smile.
What are dental veneers?
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that sit on the front layer of your teeth. They can add length, change the shape, and lighten the colour of your teeth. A single veneer can be placed individually to cover just one tooth, or a full set can be applied to multiple teeth to make your smile more even.
A laboratory custom-creates veneers to suit the size, shape and color of the patient's existing teeth. The veneers are placed directly on the teeth, which makes them thicker, therefore the procedure usually requires the removal of a thin layer of enamel. Appointments are needed to plan, but once that is done the actual process can often be done in 2 to 3 visits.
Who could benefit from veneers?
Are you curious if you're a good candidate for veneers? You may be, if you have any of the following:
- Severe stains and discolouration
- Cracked teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Large gaps in between your teeth
- Crooked teeth (mild to moderate)
- Teeth that overlap
- Worn teeth
Pros of Veneers
Veneers can create white, uniform smiles by covering cracks, stains, and poorly shaped teeth. Porcelain is resistant to staining and is very strong, making it resistant to chipping and cracking as well.
Veneers are colour matched as closely as possible to your natural teeth. They are made to appear slightly translucent, just like natural teeth, and as a result, are quite realistic in appearance.
Cons of Veneers
Veneers are considered a permanent procedure. Tooth enamel is removed and replaced with the porcelain that is then bonded to the top layer of the tooth. This means that the tooth has been permanently changed by the veneer process.
Veneers can also be somewhat costly. This is because they are custom-made and can often take more time and skill during preparation and placement.
What is dental bonding?
Dental bonding is a general term that includes all processes in which white fillings are applied to teeth. Bonding is placed on the front of the tooth to change the size, shape, and colour, much like a porcelain veneer. Dental bonding can be used to repair individual teeth or rebuild several teeth.
Bonding can be a good choice for those with a small dental irregularity they want to improve. Just like with veneers, the dentist will colour match the bonding material to your neighbouring teeth.
Who might benefit from dental bonding?
Dental bonding might be right for you if you have the following:
- Minor stains
- Misshapen teeth
- Exposed roots from receding gums
Pros of Dental Bonding
Bonding is typically done in one appointment so it is often quicker than the process for porcelain veneers, which takes at least two appointments. If the extent of the cosmetic work required is minimal to moderate, bonding is often less expensive than porcelain veneers.
If the bonding chips or breaks over time, it is typically quick and easy to repair. If taken care of properly, dental bonding can last for up to 10 years before it needs to be replaced.
Cons of Dental Bonding
One of the disadvantages to dental bonding is that it is not as strong as porcelain. It can chip more easily and is more porous, meaning it is more susceptible to staining.
The challenge of dental bonding is the aesthetic limitations of the material. It can be more difficult to mask very dark and discoloured teeth.
In addition, while a single or a few teeth may be relatively simple, an entire smile can be difficult to improve with bonding. For that reason, dental bonding can end up being almost as expensive as porcelain veneers, as it may take considerably more time and skills on the part of the dentist.