With advances in dental technology and methodology, it has become easier than ever to achieve the smile of your dreams. Patients looking to correct one or more problems need only schedule an appointment with their cosmetic dentist, and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. The difficult part is not finding treatment as much as it is finding the appropriate procedure to meet a patient’s wants and needs. Therefore, we hope to simplify the task by giving our Washington, D.C. patients all the relevant information on our cosmetic services.
Dental bonding and porcelain veneers can both accomplish many of the same goals, but to different capacities and through different methods. Thus, patients should understand the various advantages and disadvantages inherent in each technique in order to make the best decision for their smile.
Uses for Dental Bonding and Porcelain Veneers
First, it is worthwhile to note the most common problems that are addressed through porcelain veneers and dental bonding. Typically, either of these procedures can mask the following flaws:
- Gapped teeth
- Undersized or misshaped teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Enamel erosion
For smaller problems that are limited to one area of a tooth, dental bonding may be an adequate solution. However, for larger or more glaring problems, porcelain veneers tend to be a better alternative. For a better idea of how well each technique can conceal a specific flaw, consult your dentist.
Advantages of Dental Bonding
Dental bonding primarily benefits from having greater convenience over porcelain veneers, due to a simpler procedure:
- Quicker results: Porcelain veneers usually require two appointments - one to prepare teeth and taken impressions, and another for the veneers to be fitted and cemented on. This can take days or weeks to complete while the veneers are created in the interim. Dental bonding, on the other hand, takes a single visit that is often completed within an hour.
- Less invasive: Whereas porcelain veneers require the removal of enamel for preparation, composite for bonding is applied directly over a tooth. The procedure does not alter preexisting tooth structure and is virtually pain free.
- Less expensive: Composite resin is less expensive than porcelain, and the straightforward procedure further contributes to a relatively inexpensive cost.
- No long-term commitment: Once veneers are applied, those teeth must always be covered by veneers or crowns due to lost surface enamel. Because bonding does not remove any tissue, patients do not have to worry about keeping their teeth covered if they cannot afford to replace the restoration.
Advantages of Porcelain Veneers
As a dental material, porcelain surpasses composite resin in appearance and durability. Therefore, veneers tend to produce the best cosmetic results:
- Realistic texture: Porcelain more closely matches the textural qualities of enamel, giving it a natural appearance.
- Better color matching: Porcelain tends to come in a greater variety of shades, allowing a dentist to better match veneers to any patient’s smile.
- Stain resistance: Porcelain is far more resistant to stains from food and drink, allowing it to keep its color for years without yellowing, as composite is prone to do.
- Longer lasting: Porcelain veneers have a longer expected lifespan than dental bonding, able to last 15 years or longer without much wear or discoloration.
Which Procedure Is Better for You?
In some cases, the choice between bonding and veneers is primarily one of expense vs. convenience: are patients willing to spend more for the quality of veneers, or is the potential difference not worth it? Even when cost is not an issue, the degree of a flaw may help determine which treatment is more appropriate. Since bonding is more of a way to “touch up” a touch, it is often a better choice for minor flaws, while veneers cover the entire surface of a tooth. Ultimately, the best way to gain an accurate understanding of how each technique can help you is by speaking personally with your dentist.
Schedule a Consultation
Dental bonding and porcelain veneers each have their merits, although it’s up to you to decide which technique can best meet your cosmetic goals. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Starr to see how our services can help you, and take the first step toward achieving a superior smile.