Dental bonding and veneers are powerful tools if a problematic smile needs to be fixed. Broken teeth and cavities are able to be repaired, but they may also be used on healthy teeth to repair the colour, angle, or even the spacing of your teeth quickly and without resorting to corrective braces. Bonding can often be done in a single visit, whereas veneers may take only a few visits. So, what is the difference? Which one is right for you?
Below you can find information to help you determine which one is more appropriate for you.
The Process of Dental Bonding
A bonding restoration is used to make minor repairs to your teeth. A composite resin is mixed and matched to the colour of your teeth. It can then be shaped and molded for specific purposes. This resin can be used to replace missing parts of a chipped tooth or used to build up the side of a tooth to fill in gaps between teeth. It can also be painted onto the front of a tooth to hide staining and match the appearance of the other teeth. Once the resin has been shaped in a specific way, it is then hardened using a special light. After hardening, the restoration is polished to have a smooth finish. The primary drawback to a bonding restoration is its lack of permanence. Over time, the restoration will be worn down and your dentist will have to apply another layer of resin and polish it down once more.
The Process of Dental Veneers
Unlike bonding restoration, a veneer is more like a mask for your tooth. It is a shell that is applied to your tooth that meets the desired angle, colour, and size. This mask usually takes at least two dental visits. First, a chemical mixture has to be applied to the tooth which will prepare it to hold the veneer in position. Then, a casting is made of your tooth to make sure that the veneer is a perfect fit when it is complete. While your permanent veneer is being made, a temporary veneer may be placed. This temporary veneer is fragile and should be treated carefully. Your permanent veneer may be a composite resin or a porcelain veneer.
Unlike dental bonding, a veneer is much more permanent, as the shaping of the tooth may be necessary to apply the veneer. Although porcelain veneers resist staining, it still has to be treated just like a regular tooth with daily brushing and flossing. If the veneer is not sealed, food can become trapped behind the veneer causing staining or even cavities. Another thing that must be considered is the strength of a porcelain veneer. Chewing on ice cubes or biting your nails could cause your veneer to break, and clenching or grinding your teeth can also make your veneer prone to breaking.