Getting a bright, white perfect smile is easier than ever with advances in cosmetic dentistry. At Russell Family Dentistry in Tomball, Texas, our experienced family dentist, Dr. Louis Russell, Jr., specializes in smile makeovers.
When fixing smile imperfections, we utilize many dental tools and techniques, including veneers and dental bonding. Though both dental cosmetic treatments change your teeth’s shape, size, and color, there are differences between veneers and bonding.
Here, we want to share with you these differences so you can decide what cosmetic dental treatment works best for you.
Veneers are wafer-thin shells that adhere to the front of your teeth to cover your smile imperfections and create uniformity in your teeth. For our patients, we use e.max® porcelain veneers, which are thinner and more aesthetically pleasing than traditional porcelain veneers.
We use veneers to fix chipped teeth, fill in gaps, and cover stubborn tooth stains. We also use veneers to hide misalignments and change the shape and size of your teeth, so they all look the same.
After we decide veneers make the best cosmetic choice for you, we first prepare your teeth for the thin porcelain shell by shaving a minuscule amount of dental enamel from the front of your tooth. We then make an impression, which we use to create your custom set of veneers.
When we get your custom veneers from the lab, you return to the office for placement. We first check the fit and look of your veneers. If you’re satisfied, we bond the thin porcelain shells to your teeth, making adjustments to each veneer, so you get the best aesthetic results.
Dental bonding 101
With our dental bonding, we apply a tooth-colored composite resin to the front of your teeth. Like veneers, we use dental bonding to cover imperfections like chipped teeth, gapped teeth, tooth misalignment, misshapen teeth, and discoloration.
We also use dental bonding to treat dental problems like cavities and gum recession. The bonding material is an effective alternative to traditional amalgam fillings for cavities. With gum recession, the composite resin protects and covers the root surfaces.
When preparing your teeth for dental bonding, we first clean your teeth and apply a special acidic solution that creates an etching in your tooth’s enamel. This etching helps the composite resin bond to your teeth.
We then place the dental resin on your tooth, shape the material, and dry it with a special curing light.
Veneers versus bonding
Veneers and dental bonding address many of the same cosmetic issues, but there are differences between the two. For example, we use dental bonding for cavities, gum recession, and veneers to protect and strengthen chipped or cracked teeth.
There’s also a difference in the process for veneers and dental bonding. We can fix your smile with dental bonding in one visit, while the placement of veneers takes at least two visits.
But, because veneers are made of porcelain, they’re more resistant to staining than the resin in dental bonding. Veneers also offer a more comprehensive “fix” to your smile. They cover the entire front surface of the tooth, while bonding only fixes a portion of your tooth.
Bonding is an excellent choice for dental emergencies, however. If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, bonding is a quick and simple fix. On the other hand, veneers are a better choice if you have several teeth that need fixing.
Another difference between veneers and dental bonding is longevity. Veneers last anywhere from 7-15 years, while dental bonding lasts 3-10 years. Dental bonding may also be more likely to chip than veneers.
When it comes to cosmetic dental fixes, dental bonding makes a good choice for minor issues, while veneers work best for more complex cases.
The choice between veneers and dental bonding isn’t one you need to make on your own. Schedule an appointment with our dental expert by calling the office or requesting an appointment online today.