The Difference Between Dental Bonding and Veneers
Have you ever wondered about the difference between dental bonding and veneers? Do you need help determining which might be the right choice for your dental needs? While a conversation with your dentist will always provide the most detailed guidance for your particular needs, the text that follows offers some basic descriptions and explanations of differences between these two common kinds of dental procedures.
Dental bonding is a term that is used to refer to a wide variety of dental fixes, from the repair of chips and cracks to the filling of cavities. It can also refer to the creation of direct composite veneers, which are an alternative to the more traditionally recognized porcelain veneers. In each of these procedures, dentists use a standard procedure of etching the tooth to be bonded (done with a painless acid etching material), coating it in an adhesive liquid or gel, and then adding layers of composite materials to the tooth and molding it to the desired size and shape. The newly formed composite material is then hardened with a laser or ultraviolet light. Before he or she is done, your dentist will also further perfect the shape of the newly formed tooth before polishing it to match the rest of your teeth.
Veneers come in two types, depending on the material used to create them. Regardless of the material used, veneers are thin slips of either porcelain or composite resin that are bonded or adhered to the front of your tooth, creating an instant makeover to teeth that might be damaged or stained beyond repair.
The most durable veneers are made of porcelain. These are created by first taking detailed dental impressions of your teeth as they exist to ensure a good fit and the most natural appearance possible. The veneers themselves are then created within these molds and later adhered to your teeth using the dental bonding procedure described above (etching, application of liquid adhesive, and then adhesion). Porcelain veneers are beautiful, custom-made dental solutions that can also be costly due to the labor-intensive process required to create them, but they also last a long time: ten to fifteen years.
A more affordable type of veneers are direct composite veneers. These have the same function as porcelain veneers but with a lower price point due to the lower cost of the materials required to make them and the considerably less labor-intensive process that is required overall. While direct composite veneers require an initial consultation with your dentist to determine if this is an appropriate solution for your dental needs, direct composite veneers do not require molds and therefore do not require dental impressions to be taken, either. Rather than adhering custom-made veneers to your teeth, your dentist will build them directly on to the top of your teeth during your visit (or series of visits, if you are covering a large number of teeth). While direct composite veneers are much less costly than porcelain veneers, they do not last as long – typically, for five to seven years rather than ten to fifteen years as in the case of porcelain.
How Will I Know Which Is Better for Me?
Your dentist is always the person who can best help you make a decision about what is right for your dental needs. If you still have questions about the differences between dental bonding or veneers or which might be best for your particular situation, call your dentist today for a consultation. They know you and your teeth best and are always there to guide you to the best dental solution for your unique needs.