What’s the Difference Between Dental Bonding and Veneers?
Finding the Best Treatment for You
In one way or another, our smiles are connected to our identities. Your smile is one of the first things new people notice about you, and it’s how you interact with the world—whether you’re smiling out of joy, embarrassment, or any of the other emotions that a smile can show. So when you’re looking into getting cosmetic treatments to repair issues like stained or worn teeth, it’s only natural to want the best option out there. You want a treatment that will give you a naturally beautiful smile that you can feel confident sharing with the world.
As you begin looking into your options, you’ll likely see two treatments pop up again and again: dental bonding and veneers. These two cosmetic dentistry treatments treat many of the same issues, so when you’re researching from home, it’s not always easy to tell what the differences are between them. We want you to have as much access to knowledge about your treatment options as possible, so we’ve put together the guide below on dental bonding vs. veneers to help you determine which solution might be best for you.
What are dental bonding and veneers, and what is each made from?
There are a variety of materials and processes available for each of these cosmetic procedures, so there’s always the potential for a little variation. Despite the potential variations within each treatment, the materials used for dental bonding vs. veneers are quite different from each other. Dental bonding uses composite resin material, which is also used in tooth-colored fillings. Your dentist usually applies this resin to your tooth in putty form, then expertly molds and shapes it onto your tooth. They then cure the resin with a special light and shape and polish the material to match the gloss of your natural teeth.
In contrast, veneers are made of thin sheets of porcelain similar to the porcelain used for dental crowns. An outside lab creates these tooth-shaped pieces of porcelain, and your dentist adheres them directly to the front surface of your teeth. We also offer veneers that are made from composite material, which decreases their cost but gives them an appearance and durability more like that of dental bonding.
What issues can dental bonding and veneers solve?
While there are a lot of differences between dental bonding and veneers, they’re capable of treating a lot of the same issues. They’re both able to restore and even protect teeth that have suffered damage like chips, cracks, or enamel erosion, as well as improve the appearance of teeth by changing their size, shape, or shade. This can mean covering stains and discoloration, closing gaps between teeth, and lengthening the teeth to make your smile more proportionate.
But which treatment is the best solution for each cosmetic concern? Dental bonding is a good choice for small cosmetic changes, while veneers are generally best for repairing more major issues. Which treatment is best for you depends most on what you want from your results regarding factors like durability and appearance. Additionally, since dental bonding is reversible and veneers aren’t, bonding may be a better choice if you’re not sure that you’re ready to commit to a permanent solution like veneers yet.
How long will each treatment last?
While the composite resin that’s used in dental bonding is relatively durable, it’s not as durable as porcelain veneers. It’s one of dental bonding’s biggest downsides, as the resin is more vulnerable to developing stains over time and doesn’t last nearly as long as veneers. With great care, bonding can last about eight years before it needs to be replaced. In contrast, porcelain veneers are highly stain-resistant, even more than your natural teeth, and can last around 15 years.
Porcelain veneers are also more durable when it comes to damage because the porcelain they’re made out of is stronger than dental bonding’s composite resin. In fact, porcelain is about as strong as your natural teeth, so veneers are less likely to chip, crack, or break than dental bonding—though you should still be careful not to use your teeth, with or without veneers, as tools to open packaging or crack nuts because it risks damaging them.
One benefit of dental bonding when it comes to durability, however, is that it’s much easier to repair. If your bonding is damaged, your cosmetic dentist can repair it pretty quickly and inexpensively, but porcelain veneers that suffer damage generally need to be completely replaced.
Despite all these details, how long either restoration lasts depends heavily upon how well you care for it by practicing a great oral hygiene routine and stopping habits like smoking. Since dental bonding can stain over time, being more careful about consuming staining foods and drinks can also increase its lifespan and keep it looking beautiful longer.
How realistic will they look?
The technology and materials used in cosmetic dentistry have improved drastically over the years. Dentists like Dr. Desai pair these premier products with their artistry to craft treatments that look as natural as possible. Whether you get dental bonding or veneers, your treatment is designed just for you—ensuring that the shape, shade, and gloss of your restoration allows it to blend in with your naturally beautiful smile and complements your facial features.
If you break it down to dental bonding vs. veneers, porcelain veneers look the most natural and maintain that natural beauty for longer than bonding or composite veneers thanks to their durability.
Whether you get dental bonding or veneers, however, it’s likely that no one will realize you even have them. This is particularly true of our dental bonding, as Dr. Desai only uses the best composite products from Sweden and Brazil and has spent years developing and perfecting a system for bonding that allows her to precisely match the shade and gloss of your surrounding enamel.
If you’re worried about what the results will look like, feel free to ask to see before and after photos of dental bonding or veneers. We know seeing real-life examples can be incredibly helpful as you make your decision, so we’re happy to show them to you whenever you’d like!
Ready to explore your options for dental bonding and veneers? Speak with your dentist.
Dental bonding and veneers each have their strengths and weaknesses, but both can be an essential part of restoring your smile so that it more accurately reflects who you are—and so that you feel more confident sharing it with the world. If you’d like to learn more about one or both of these treatments or would like further advice on which would be best for you from a cosmetic dentist Newport Beach, feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Desai at any time.