If you have chipped, partially broken, or discolored teeth, and you and your dentist don't think you need a crown, then you may have been considering whether you should have your teeth bonded or get veneers instead. Both procedures work to improve your smile by covering the problem areas, but they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here is more information about both procedures.
What is bonding?
Bonding is a procedure where resin is used to reshape imperfections in your tooth. Generally, the resin is bonded to the tooth and shaped to achieve a desired look. After the resin is hardened with a high-intensity light, it is polished to look like natural teeth. While bonding is commonly used on chipped or broken teeth, it can also be painted over stained and discolored teeth.
What are veneers?
Veneers are pieces of porcelain or composite material placed over a tooth for the same reasons that bonding is performed. However, veneers can also fix problems such as gaps and crooked teeth. Generally, some tooth material is removed to both help the veneer adhere to the tooth and to make it look more natural.
Pros of bonding:
Bonding is less expensive and can be done in one visit. People who have existing gum disease or who have thin enamel can have the procedure done. Bonding builds up material on the teeth rather than taking it away. If the resin is damaged, it can be more easily repaired.
Cons of bonding:
Bonding doesn't last a long time and may need to be touched up regularly to keep it looking good. It also stains much more easily than veneers and is more likely to break on hard foods. This procedure may also change the way your bite comes together.
Pros of veneers:
They look more natural than bonding and will last longer as long as they are cared for properly. Veneers are less likely to stain than bonding and are much stronger once they are properly placed on the tooth.
Cons of veneers:
They tend to cost more and require at least two visits to prepare and bond the veneers so that they look and fit perfectly. Some tooth material may need to be removed for the best, most natural-looking fit. Cracked or broken veneers can't be repaired and must be replaced.
If you think that your teeth can benefit any type of cosmetic procedure such as bonding or veneers, talk to a dentist like Leo Uicker DDS that specializes in cosmetic or restorative dentistry for more information about these procedures. In the end, your teeth will look great and you will be wearing a big smile in no time.