Finding the best ways to enhance your smile is easier than ever today. Cosmetic dentistry continues to offer new and exciting treatments, and two, in particular, are dental bonding and veneers. While both of these have distinct advantages, you may be wondering which one is better for you. Below we delve into their differences and how to choose the best option for your particular needs.
What is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is a focused process in which a pliable resin material is applied to the surface of one or more of your teeth. This material is tooth-colored, matching as closely to your natural color as possible, and is highly durable.
To start, your dentist will slightly roughen the tooth surface then apply a small amount of a special conditioner. The resin is then added to the top and shaped.
With the use of a high-intensity curing light, the resin will harden quicker, and when it does, your dentist will make any necessary adjustments or shaping to match the desired look before giving the tooth a polish.
The entire process for dental bonding is simple and quick in just one appointment, so you won’t have to spend an extended amount of time in the chair or make return visits. It can last between 3 and 10 years in most cases before requiring a touch-up or a replacement. Dental bonding is also reversible should you decide to go with another option in the future, such as veneers.
What are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are thin, shell-like covers, usually crafted out of porcelain. They are attached to the surfaces of natural teeth and provide a realistic and natural appearance that blends in with the surrounding teeth, thus enhancing your smile.
Veneers can fit the current shape of your teeth or reshape them to create a more even and balanced smile. Each one is customized for your mouth, and your dentist will need to take impressions to send to a dental lab prior to the actual procedure. It can take a few weeks for the lab to craft and return them to your dentist.
The procedure itself begins with the preparation of each tooth, which includes removing parts of the surface to facilitate a snugger fit of the veneer. Your dentist will then apply a strong dental adhesive to that prepared surface and place the veneer.
Dental Bonding or Veneers: Which Is Better?
Both dental bonding and veneers are viable options that can offer stunning results for your smile. Determining which is better, however, will depend on your particular dental health, personal preferences, goals, and budget.
When is Dental Bonding a Better Option?
Dental bonding is best for patients with only minor imperfections that do not require extensive treatments or procedures. It can:
- mask stained or discolored teeth
- repair slight chips or cracks
- close small spaces or gaps between teeth
- improve the shape of a tooth
- protect receding gum lines
Dental bonding can usually be shaped to cover these smaller imperfections and, although durable, is best for teeth that do not need to exert as much biting force, such as the front ones.
If you prefer a one-visit treatment option that is simple, quick, and minimally invasive, dental bonding is definitely the better choice. It is also less expensive than other cosmetic dentistry options, including veneers.
When are Veneers the Better Option?
Veneers are a better option for those patients requiring significant procedures or treatments to enhance their smile. Good candidates include those who have the following:
- severe discoloration or staining,
- large spaces or gaps between teeth,
- noticeable cracks or chips, or
- a variety of other conditions.
If you are looking for an option that will keep your smile at its brightest over the long term, veneers may also be the better option. The reason for this is that veneers are stain-resistant, while dental bonding is not and may darken through the years.
Veneers last longer than dental bonding as well, often up to 15 years or even a lifetime when cared for properly. While they do cost more, you’ll need to weigh this against the fact that they do last longer, which can save you both time and money over the long term.
Whichever of these two options you choose, you will need to care for them much like your regular teeth and continue to follow up with your dentist to ensure they last as long as possible.
Contact Stiles Dental Care Today to Find Out More About Dental Bonding and Veneers
When you are ready to enhance your smile, you can count on the professionals here at Stiles Dental Care to provide you with all the details and information you need to make an informed choice. To learn more about dental bonding, veneers, or other available treatments to make over your smile, contact our office today and schedule a consultation.