In cosmetic dentistry, one of the overall goals of most available procedures is what we refer to as “dental restoration”.  Essentially, we are referring to the process of applying either dental bonding or cosmetic dental veneers to damaged teeth to give them a “like new” healthy appearance. Although both procedures will provide great results for the patient, there are some distinct differences between the two. These differences will tend to fall into the categories of preparation, cost, and after care.

Porcelain Veneers and Dental Bonding Long Beach

As far as preparation is concerned, dental bonding requires far less time than does the application of dental veneers. Dental bonding is a cosmetic dentistry technique that uses a composite resin to mask imperfections on the teeth. The resin is matched to the color of the patient’s teeth and applied freehand by the dentist. Bonding can be completed in as little as an hour per tooth. Veneers, on the other hand, will require multiple visits to your dentist to complete, as they are typically used to completely replace the face of the tooth, rather than touch up a discoloration or chip.

The veneer procedure is significantly more complicated in that the dentist has to remove some layers of the natural tooth enamel, usually 0.3 – 0.8 millimeters off the front of the tooth, in order to get the veneer to fit properly.  A temporary veneer is put into place to confirm the patient’s satisfaction with the fit and appearance and then a permanent, final veneer will be ready for placement on a subsequent visit.

When looking at differences in costs and benefits, the dental bonding procedure is generally going to be much less costly. However, items such as coffee, tea, and wine can stain dental bonding whereas veneers will not be affected. Also, dental veneers are used with the intention of remaking an entire set of teeth. Dental bonding is generally used to fix individual imperfections in the teeth.

Finally, there is the matter of aftercare or maintenance. Both veneers and bonding are vulnerable to chipping or even falling off. It is recommended that you not chew on hard objects such as ice cubes after your procedure has been completed. Most dentists will recommend you wear a night-guard which protects your teeth from nighttime grinding and clenching. It is a small, hard, clear acrylic retainer that fits over the veneers.

The biggest difference between bonding and veneers is perhaps in how long they last. Dental bonding can be expected to last for up to five years. Veneers, on the other hand, can last up to fifteen years if maintained properly.

There are clearly some distinct differences between dental bonding and dental veneers. One is not necessarily better than the other; rather, they fit different needs. Having a conversation with your cosmetic dentist is a great first step in determining which might be a better fit for you.