Dental Bonding vs. Porcelain Veneers
So, your teeth and gums are in good health, but you are unhappy with the actual appearance of your smile. You may be surprised to learn that many patients feel this way about the look of their mouths. A great number of patients maintain excellent oral health by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and seeing the dentist every six months for dental exams. While these habits make it easy to keep the teeth and gums healthy, they don't always address issues that negatively affect the appearance of the smile. Dental imperfections that can't be improved with good oral hygiene habits include:
- Gaps between the teeth
- Mildly crooked teeth
- Chips or fractures
- Discoloration, including yellow, brown, and white tooth stains
- Misshapen, disproportionate teeth
At Fine Dental, our Manhattan cosmetic dentists offer effective treatment for these dental flaws. Our patients can undergo the dental bonding or porcelain veneers placement process to achieve a better aesthetic. Here, we review the similarities and differences between dental bonding and porcelain veneers.
The Dental Bonding Procedure
Dental bonding involves the use of the same composite resin material used in tooth-colored dental fillings. Instead of filling cavities, however, the resin is shaped over the tooth to conceal cosmetic problems. The versatile material can extend the length or width of the tooth to treat gaps, chips, and misshapen teeth. It can also be applied over the tooth to cover stains, fill in fractures, and make the teeth appear more evenly aligned. After the composite resin has been applied and shaped, we shine an ultraviolet light on the treated tooth to harden the material and securely adhere it to the tooth.
The Porcelain Veneers Procedure
The porcelain veneers treatment process differs greatly from dental bonding. The dental bonding material is directly shaped and cured on the patient's tooth in our office, while veneers are indirectly fabricated from a piece of porcelain in a dental lab. Because the veneers are custom made for each patient, an impression of the teeth is taken to guide the lab technicians in crafting a fabrication that precisely fits on the tooth and produces the look that the dentist and patient have agreed upon. Once the porcelain veneers have been made, they can be securely bonded to the teeth.
The dental bonding and porcelain veneers treatments have some things in common, including:
- They treat the same types of dental flaws
- They are generally considered cosmetic, not restorative, treatments
- The aftercare routine is the same; patients should maintain good oral hygiene and avoid chewing on hard foods or other objects such as pens, pencils, or their fingernails
Though dental bonding and porcelain veneers can treat many of the same dental problems, there are many differences between the two treatments, including:
- Dental bonding is usually less expensive than porcelain veneers
- Dental bonding can be completed in one treatment appointment, while porcelain veneers usually require two treatment appointments
- Dental bonding requires less of the natural tooth enamel to be removed when compared to treatment with porcelain veneers
- Porcelain veneers are more durable than dental bonding; the bonding material may need to be replaced in three to five years, while veneers last 10 to 15 years
- Porcelain veneers are more resistant to staining than dental bonding
- Porcelain veneers look more natural than the dental bonding material; the porcelain offers more translucency and shine
- Dental bonding shares more similarities with the dental filling procedure, while the porcelain veneers process shares more in common with dental crowns.