The Difference Between Veneers and Dental Bonding

by Dr. Follette | Date Published: 2017-10-11

Perhaps there would be more smiling in the world if everybody were born with perfect teeth, but this obviously is not the case. Imperfections in teeth come in all sorts of variations, and nearly all of them are enough to inspire sensitivity and self-consciousness in people. Thankfully there are cosmetic dental procedures that can help mask these imperfections, but patients don’t always know which option is best for them. Both veneers and dental bonding are reasonable options for patients, but it is important to know the pros and cons of each.

What Is the Difference Between Veneers and Dental Bonding?

While both procedures do an excellent job covering up the imperfections in teeth, they do differ considerably in how the procedures work, what sorts of materials are used, and how much the procedures ultimately cost.

Veneers

For those looking to mask imperfections with what essentially amounts to a perfect reproduction of a perfect tooth, veneers are an obvious first consideration. Custom made for each individual tooth, veneers are made from porcelain and are colored to match the hue of the other teeth in a patient’s mouth perfectly. They are durable, meant to last a lifetime, and they also are impervious to things that otherwise would stain teeth, like coffee and tea.

The procedure for veneers is rather time-intensive, as it requires teeth first be reshaped to make room for the veneers. Then, an image of the patient’s tooth or teeth is sent to a lab, where custom veneers are manufactured. Once they have been made, the patient can return to the dentist’s office to have them applied. It requires three visits over several weeks, but the finished product absolutely is worth all of the trouble.

Dental Bonding

The much more affordable and convenient option is dental bonding, mostly because it involves tooth repair rather than creating an entirely new tooth veneer to overlay an existing tooth. Dental bonding uses a resin to match the color of the original tooth and is performed freehand by the dentist on the spot. Most often this procedure is used to rebuild chipped teeth, repair cracks in dental enamel, close gaps between teeth, and create the illusion of alignment in teeth that actually are askew.

This process is nowhere near as invasive or lengthy as the one required for veneers, and because the products themselves are less expensive, it typically means savings for the patient as well. Making them even more cost-effective is the fact that dental bonding can be repaired, where veneers require complete replacement if damaged.

If you are someone who is uncomfortable with the way your teeth look, perhaps dental bonding or veneers could be an answer to improving your confidence in the great smile that lurks behind your lips. While both are perfectly acceptable options for patients, cost, time and the type of procedure help decide which is best for a certain individual.

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Carol E. Follette, D.D.S., takes great joy in helping patients feel better about the way their teeth look, and these procedures ensure that is exactly what happens.