Cosmetic Dentistry Options: Are Bonding and Veneers the Same Thing?

Cosmetic dental treatments are an excellent way to boost one’s confidence and make your smile look as beautiful as it is healthy. In our last post, we discussed how porcelain veneers work—but we also provide a similar treatment called dental bonding. Whereas bonding and veneers can often correct the same type of cosmetic flaws, the process and materials used are quite different.

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Porcelain veneers are the standard “go big” option for transforming your smile. However, patients don’t always want comprehensive, permanent changes. Bonding allows you to correct cosmetic flaws on a smaller scale and with less of an investment of time and money.

What is Dental Bonding?

Like veneers, dental bonding creates a new surface for the front of a tooth. This makes it an ideal treatment to cover dark stains that don’t respond to whitening or create a new shape or size for a given tooth. Gaps, chips, and enamel erosion can be corrected with bonding, as well. Dental bonding is not usually recommended if you want to correct all the teeth that show when you smile (veneers are still -best for getting a brand-new smile) but it can correct those one or two teeth that stand out and disrupt the harmony of your smile.

Unlike veneers, dental bonding is done one 100 percent in the dental chair. Rather than use porcelain shells that are made in a laboratory, bonding uses the same material that is used in tooth-colored fillings: composite resin. This material is made from a composite of very fine plastic and glass particles held together by a resin matrix. If you have any tooth-colored fillings, you already know how durable and dependable this substance is, and how long it can last.

How Bonding Works

During a bonding treatment, Dr. Haney will first use a shade guide to identify the right hue of dental composite to use. He will then etch the surface of the tooth to roughen it slightly. This ensures that the composite will bond properly to the tooth for a stable and long-lasting result.

The composite is then applied to the tooth, and sculpted into the right shape, size, and thickness to create a new surface to cover the tooth. When the right form is reached, a curing light is used to permanently harden the composite. After it is hardened and bonded to the tooth, Dr. Haney will continue to shape and polish the composite until it blends well with your other teeth and gives you the results you seek.

How is Bonding Different from Veneers?

When comparing the two treatments, the important things to keep in mind are that:

  • Bonding is reversible.
  • Bonding is less expensive.
  • Bonding is faster.

On the other hand:

  • Veneers last longer (10-15 years vs bonding’s up to 10 years).
  • Veneers create more comprehensive smile transformations.
  • Veneers tend to stain less than bonding.

Ultimately, there’s no “better or worse” when it comes to bonding and veneers. Some patients prefer bonding to correct their flaws, while others choose veneers. Many patients choose bonding when they are already pretty happy with their smiles, but just have one or two issues they wish to correct. The less permanent nature of dental bonding is also attractive to many patients who aren’t sure whether they are interested in a lifetime commitment to maintaining their cosmetic enhancements. Having a frank discussion with Dr. Haney can help you decide which treatment is right for your smile goals.

To learn more about cosmetic dentistry, contact Knoxville smile makeover specialist Dr. Jack Haney. At your consultation, we will listen to your concerns and explain all the possible ways to improve your smile. No matter what you choose to do, Dr. Haney’s training and experience ensure you will get high quality results! Call us today at 865-693-6886 to make an appointment.

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