What is the Difference Between Dental Bonding and Veneers?

From fixing a chipped tooth, repairing decay, or closing a gap between teeth, patients have a variety of reasons that they may seek cosmetic dental procedures.  One procedure that patients often turn to restore a healthy appearance is dental bonding.  There are two types of poulsbo dental bonding procedures:  direct composite bonding and veneers.  Understanding the characteristics of both can allow patients to make the best-informed decisions regarding their oral care.

Direct composite bonding is when the dentist applies a composite resin to repair damage or discoloration of one or more teeth.  At the start of the procedure, the dentist will prepare the tooth by painlessly etching or abrading the surface in order to allow the adhesive to adhere to the tooth.  A putty-like resin is then applied to the tooth, molded to shape, and hardened using high intensity ultraviolet light.  Once the resin is cured, it is further shaped, polished, and honed to achieve the desired results.  Anesthesia is generally not needed as the 30 to 60-minute procedure is painless and done in a single visit.  Patients can expect costs to be in the range of $300 to $600 per tooth.  Because the bonding material is not as strong as our natural tooth enamel, bonding does eventually need repairs.  As such, patients will typically see results last around three to five years before repairs will be needed.

The second form of dental bonding involves adhering veneers to the tooth.  The veneers, manufactured from either porcelain or composite materials, are essentially glued on and cover the whole front of the tooth.  Often, to accommodate the veneer, the tooth will be cut back to reduce the size or shape but this can sometimes be accomplished with bonding materials.

Veneers are made of two materials:  porcelain and composite (plastic).  Porcelain veneers will require that your teeth be molded by your dentist before being sent to a dental laboratory where they will be custom created.  Composite veneers do not require this molding step and are simply bonded to your tooth enamel in a single visit.  Composite veneers can run from $350 to $600 per tooth whereas porcelain veneers will range from $900 to $2500.  While quicker and significantly less expensive than porcelain, composite veneers are not as durable as their porcelain counterparts and typically do not last as long.

When reviewing the characteristics of dental bonding versus veneers, there are clearly some considerations that need to be compared.  The first is cost (financial and time).  Generally, dental bonding will be less expensive than veneers and only requires a single visit to the dentist.  Veneers tend to be more expensive and in the case of porcelain, require multiple visits for molding and adhering to the tooth.  A second difference between dental bonding and veneers is durability.  As mentioned previously, the materials used in dental bonding are weaker than our natural tooth enamel and as such, require repairs every three to five years.  The materials used in veneers, especially porcelain, are stronger, more durable, and can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years.  Finally, patient preference, comfort, and procedural candidacy are all things to take in mind.

More on Dental Bonding : What is Dental Bonding

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