The Difference Between Veneers and Dental Bonding

Veneers and dental bonding are both common cosmetic dentistry treatments that can be used to correct concerns and perfect your smile. 

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are placed on the front side of a tooth. They can be used to add length, change the shape and to improve the color of your teeth.

Typically 4-6 veneers are needed to create an aesthetically pleasing smile, however, if you are looking to recreate your entire smile, you may need to consider a full set (6-10) of veneers. Porcelain veneers are made in a dental laboratory by a dental technician. They are hand crafted, fitted and colour matched to your teeth.

Although they can be placed directly on the teeth, they do require some preparation to reduce the thickness of your natural teeth to allow for a minimum thickness of porcelain to cover the tooth underneath. It is always best to plan out the steps of the procedure with your dentist before starting treatment. Once you have a plan, the actual preparation and cementation of

the veneers can be done in 2-3 visits over a 2-3 week period.

Who Can Benefit From Veneers?

Veneers can be a good option for older individuals with severe stains, moderate wear, minor rotations and minimal damage to their teeth. If the teeth are too damaged or worn, a full coverage dental crown may be a better solution. If your teeth are significantly rotated or crowded then orthodontic braces are often required to properly align and position your teeth into a stable position. Veneers can often be a final step after orthodontic treatment to replace missing or worn away enamel.

To ensure your veneers will last as long as possible your dentist should check the general health of your teeth and gums as well as your bite. In our office, this is completed during your Comprehensive Exam.

You may be a good candidate for veneers if you have:

● Stains and discoloration

● Cracked teeth

● Chipped teeth

● Gaps in between your teeth

● Crooked teeth (mild to moderate)

● Worn teeth

What Is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is a general term to describe the placement of a white filling material on a tooth. Most commonly, bonding is referred to as the placement of filling material on the front surface of a tooth to change the size, shape and colour of it, much like a porcelain veneer. Dental bonding can be used to repair individual teeth or to rebuild several teeth as well as creating a uniform, youthful looking smile.

Who Can Benefit From Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is perfect for younger individuals, minor fixes, discolouration and small imperfections. However, it can also be used as a conservative alternative to veneers. Unlike veneers, none (or a minimal amount) of the tooth structure is required to be removed prior to placing the filling material. When bonding is being considered to recreate a natural looking smile it takes time and preparation between you and the dentist to ensure the bonding will last as long as possible. Bonding requires the dentist to paint resin and sculpt the final shape of the tooth. This requires additional training beyond dental school to achieve a naturally beautiful looking tooth. Bonding can be a great way to “test drive” the look of your new smile before committing to a veneer.

Both veneers and dental bonding have specific pros and cons that will impact which option is recommended for you. 

Pros Of Veneers:

Veneers create a beautiful, white, uniform smile. They can cover cracks, stains and poorly shaped, misaligned teeth easier than bonding. Porcelain tends to stain less, is much stronger and is less likely to chip or break. Nevertheless, porcelain veneers have a lifetime of around 15 years.

Cons Of Veneers:

Veneers are permanent. A thin layer of your tooth enamel is removed which will be replaced with the porcelain. This makes veneers essentially an irreversible procedure as the teeth have been permanently altered. Veneers are also costly because they are custom made in a lab. Veneers require time and skill in both the preparations and placement of them.

Pros Of Dental Bonding:

Bonding is typically done in one appointment so it is “faster” than a veneer. It requires no reduction or loss of enamel. Bonding is also less expensive than a veneer. Bonding is quicker and easier to repair and if taken care of properly, can last a few years.

Cons Of Dental Bonding:

The material used for bonding is a composite resin, therefore, it is not as strong as porcelain. It has a higher risk of chipping and is more prone to staining due to its porous nature. It can be more difficult to mask very dark and discolored teeth with resin material. The ability to get an excellent result depends primarily on your dentist’s artistry and their ability to manipulate materials. Bonding for minor repairs is relatively simple, but cosmetic bonding for an entire smile is very challenging. For this reason, cosmetic bonding carries a higher fee than a dental filling to address a cavity. It takes considerably more clinic time and skill on the part of the dentist.

While they produce similar results, dental bonding and veneers are two distinct procedures. Your cosmetic dentist can help you to determine which one is right for your unique needs and the results you are looking to achieve.

Book a consultation with one of Ambiance Dental’s skilled and experienced cosmetic dentists today. Click here to book online.