If you aren’t happy with your teeth, then both bonding and veneers can be very helpful for fixing the imperfections. If you want to change the appearance of your teeth, then you need to make sure that you have all the information available to you. Research the process and overall lasting effects of both bonding and veneers, so you can make the decision that is right for you.
A veneer is a thin shell that is placed on the front of the tooth. Veneers are custom-made for each patient, and are usually made from porcelain, which makes them all but indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
A dentist will start the process of fitting veneers by removing a thin layer of enamel from your teeth. They will then take a mold of your teeth, and use this to create the veneers. In between your appointments, you may be given temporary veneers to wear to cover the part of the tooth that has been removed. Next, composite resin cement is used to glue the permanent veneers individually onto your teeth.
Porcelain veneers are ideal for covering gaps in the teeth, and can also be used to hide crooked, misshapen, or stained teeth. Veneers can be used to correct overcrowding too, and can do a lot to transform the look of your smile.
Porcelain veneers have many benefits, including:
- They can be used to create teeth that are uniform in size and shape
- They look natural, which makes them very discreet
- They are very resistant to any staining
- They require minimal preparation to be fitted. The reshaping of the existing tooth enamel can be done under local anesthetic.
A veneer is made outside of the mouth, but bonding is placed inside the mouth by a dentist, and is then shaped and hardened to match the rest of your teeth. A small amount of chemical is placed onto the tooth to make it rough. The dentist will layer a composite resin onto the tooth, and shape it to give a natural finish. The process of bonding is more delicate than veneers, but it is also much quicker, so many teeth can be done in the same visit.
Bonding is suitable for minor repairs. It can be shaped to look like the missing part of a tooth, and can be used to fix cracked or chipped teeth, or to correct tooth spacing.
Bonding also has several benefits, including:
- There is virtually no preparation of the tooth required. The substance is just pasted onto existing teeth
- It can be done in just one visit to the dentist’s office
- It is an easy, but temporary, solution to chipped or misshapen teeth.
There are, however, a few disadvantages of bonding too, which you should be aware of before making your decision about whether bonding is right for you. The resin that is used in bonding isn’t resistant to staining, unlike veneers. This means that, over time, you may find that your smile becomes discolored, especially if you enjoy things like red wine and black coffee.
Dental bonding is also only applied to the teeth that actually require it. This makes it a far better solution for only minor imperfections and repairs, and is not really suitable for a full makeover of your smile.
Which is right for me?
Every case of cosmetic dentistry is different, so only you can decide whether veneers or bonding is the right decision for you. If you aren’t sure, speak to your dentist about the decision and ask for their advice.
Which you choose will depend on the extent of the improvements that you wish to make. If your smile only has a few imperfections that you would like to correct, then you might wish to choose dental bonding, thanks to the advantages of speed and ease of the process.
If, however, you are seeking a more complete makeover of your smile, then you may do better with veneers. These are more likely to give you the more dramatic results that you are looking for.
Whichever you choose, make sure you take the time to do your research. This will help you to make an informed choice that will work for you, and make sure that you understand the process, and how to care for your smile once the work is completed. An appointment with your dentist is the best place to start. They can assess the quality of your teeth and make it easier to decide on the best course of action.