Teeth that are cracked, chipped, gapped, and discolored can take a toll on your self-confidence and make you feel like you’d rather hide your smile instead of letting it show. Fortunately, there are two wonderful cosmetic dental treatments that can address these problems: dental bonding and veneers. The only complication is that they can both fix all of these aesthetic flaws, so how do you know what one to pick? Read on to learn the difference between these two procedures and some factors to consider before choosing which one is right for you.
What is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is a cost-effective treatment that utilizes a putty-like substance called composite resin to address teeth that are chipped, gapped, and even discolored. There are dozens of different shades of resin, and the dentist will use the one that’s closest to the natural shade of your enamel. They’ll then sculpt the missing portion of your tooth, or if you’re using it to remedy discoloration, they’ll place it over the visible surface of the tooth.
Once the resin has been placed, it will be hardened with a UV light and sculpted and texturized to make it look like natural enamel. Many people aren’t even able to tell which of their teeth have been bonded!
What are Veneers?
Dental veneers are small sheaths that are made to fit over the visible portion of teeth and typically crafted from stain-resistant porcelain. Before they can be secured to each individual tooth that needs to be repaired, the teeth will need to be prepared by having a small amount of enamel removed from them. This will compensate for the thickness of the veneers, allowing them to lay flat and even with the natural teeth once they’re placed. Because of this part of the process, the treatment is considered permanent; although, most people don’t need to have their veneers replaced for 20 or more years.
Choosing Between Bonding & Veneers
When debating between bonding and veneers, the most important factor to consider is the extent of your dental damage. For example, do you just have one chipped tooth you’d like to repair, or are there several teeth that you want to transform? If you have a more extensive transformation, veneers may be the better option for you. This is because dental bonding is only practical for repairing mild to moderate damage or discoloration due to the nature of the treatment.
Another factor to consider is longevity. Veneers require permanent alteration of your teeth, but they also last for 20-plus years with the proper maintenance. On the flip side, bonding lasts between five and seven years, but no preparation of your tooth or teeth is required in order to repair it.
Ultimately, you’re the only person who can decide what treatment is right for you, so it’s good to be well-informed about each of your options! With this new knowledge under your belt, you can feel even more confident in your treatment results.
About the Author
Dr. Jeremy Goodman graduated from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and has completed a Residency in Advanced General Dentistry. He strives for excellence and precision by staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in his field and loves to help patients feel more confident in their smiles by providing transformative cosmetic treatments, like veneers and bonding. For questions or to learn what cosmetic procedure is ideal for you, visit Goodman Dental Care’s website or call 410-263-1919.