Veneers vs. Dental Bonding

If you want to improve the shape and color of your teeth, you may be considering porcelain veneers or dental bonding. Both cosmetic dentistry procedures will enhance the appearance of your smile by altering the size, color and/or shape of imperfect teeth. In addition, both treatments are considered restorative options that repair visible damage and hide flaws.

What Are Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin porcelain sheets that are placed on the front surface of teeth. This type of restoration is used to change the shape, or color of teeth or to add length. A porcelain veneer is custom-crafted in a dental lab to fit and match the color of your natural tooth perfectly. If the desire is to whiten tooth surfaces, that can be done as well. Since they are placed on a tooth, the added layer will add thickness. For this reason, a treated tooth would need to be prepared to allow for the new layer. One to three visits are needed to plan for the procedure. The process of placing one or more veneers requires 2–3 appointments over the course of 2–3 weeks.

Who Can Benefit Most from Veneers?

Dental veneers are a good option for creating a flawless smile. Generally, veneers are intended for patients with minimal damage, bad stains or discoloration, wear and tear, and minor tooth rotations. If the damage is too severe to be repaired with a veneer, a crown may be the solution. A dental crown will provide full coverage. With teeth that are crowded or strikingly rotated, orthodontic treatment may be needed. Your overall oral health will also need to be checked to be sure the veneers will serve you well for a long time. The best candidates for dental veneers have:
  • Chipped teeth
  • Cracked teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Large gaps in between teeth
  • Severe stains and discoloration
  • Teeth that overlap
  • Worn teeth

What Is Dental Bonding?

Bonding is a blanket term used to describe all cosmetic procedure that involves applying white fillings to teeth. In most cases, dental bonding is the process of placing filling material to the front tooth surface to alter the shape, color, and size. Bonding can repair a single tooth or rebuild several imperfect teeth for a more uniform smile. It is a good choice for patients who want to improve minor irregularities. Much like dental veneers, the bonding material is made to match the surrounding natural teeth. It is perfect for those with a small irregularity they want to improve. Just like with veneers,

Who Can Benefit Most from Dental Bonding?

Bonding is effective for minor cosmetic fixes and tooth discoloration. It can be used to cover chipped, cracked or discolored front teeth, or to rebuild broken teeth with minimal damage. Dental bonding can repair:
  • Chips
  • Cracks
  • Exposed roots from receding gums
  • Gaps
  • Minor stains
  • Misshapen teeth

Dental Veneers or Dental Bonding?

As you can see, both treatments are very similar. Veneers and bonding are both used to enhance the appearance of teeth. Your treatment choice comes down to exactly what you need. You and your dentist can discuss your options and put together an individualized plan. In short, veneers are typically placed for long-lasting tooth repairs. Dental bonding can also fix imperfect teeth, or be used for cosmetic enhancement.