Is Dental Bonding Actually as Good as Veneers?
Dental Bonding or Veneers? Choosing the Best Treatment for You
When we’re trying to choose between two options, especially when it comes to dental treatment, it’s natural to ask, “Which option is better?” After all, you want the best results possible! Although there is sometimes a clear answer to this question, it often isn’t quite so simple as one option always being better than the other. In many ways, this is true between dental bonding and dental veneers.
While both can treat many of the same issues, they do so differently—and as a result, they have different strengths and weaknesses. This means that which is better for you depends on factors like the specific issue or concern, your treatment needs, and your personal preferences. So how does dental bonding compare to veneers, and how do you determine which option is best for you? We’ve created a guide to help you make a decision that will give you results you’ll love for years to come.
What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are permanently adhered to the front of your teeth. This placement allows veneers to resolve a range of cosmetic dental issues, including teeth that are permanently stained, slightly chipped or cracked, irregularly shaped, or widely spaced. Veneers resolve these issues—and in some cases, protect against future damage—while maintaining what’s unique about your smile.
This is because every veneer is custom made so that every aspect, from its shape to its shade, blends in with your natural teeth and fits your ideal appearance. They’re also applied individually, which means you can get a single veneer, a few veneers, or an entire set to meet your treatment needs and help you gain the smile of your dreams.
What is dental bonding?
Dental bonding is a durable, tooth-colored resin that is bonded to the surface of your teeth. It is then adjusted and buffed to match the shape and sheen of your natural teeth, allowing it to look completely natural. Bonding can resolve many of the same issues that dental veneers can, so it’s often used to repair chipped or cracked teeth that don’t yet warrant full-coverage crowns.
Just like veneers, it’s used regularly in cosmetic dentistry to resolve issues like staining, unevenness, and spacing. Dental bonding can also be used to lengthen or change the shape of a tooth, transforming its appearance and giving you a brighter, more beautiful smile.
What are the pros of dental bonding compared to veneers?
Although dental bonding and veneers carry out many of the same jobs, they’re very different materials with unique pros and cons. One of the major benefits of dental bonding is that it’s not permanent. Veneers keep more of your natural tooth structure than dental crowns do, but they still require Dr. Oxley to remove a small amount of enamel from the surface of each tooth. Because of this, veneers are not reversible. In contrast, bonding is easily removable.
If you decide you want to remove it, don’t want to replace it when it wears out, or want to replace it with veneers down the road, you can!
Additionally, bonding takes significantly less time to receive. This is because—while one of veneers’ major strengths is that they’re durable, custom-made pieces of porcelain—making veneers takes time. When you get veneers, it generally takes two appointments about two weeks apart, but bonding doesn’t require you to wait for it to be made because nothing has to be fabricated in a lab.
Instead, your dentist applies and sculpts the bonding directly on your teeth. Depending on the complexity of these changes, it generally takes between 30 minutes to an hour to complete a single tooth. Many people receive bonding in a single appointment, gaining the long-term results in a single day.
What are the cons of dental bonding compared to veneers?
The biggest downside of dental bonding, however, is its durability. The composite resin isn’t as strong as the porcelain used for veneers, so bonding is prone to chipping or breaking over time. It’s strong enough to withstand daily wear and tear, but you should still be mindful of your bonding. Thankfully, though, damaged bonding is easy to repair. Composite resin is also relatively porous, so it stains more easily than veneers.
Certain foods and drinks, like tomato-based sauces, coffee, and tea, will also stain it over time, making it stand out against your tooth. And since smoking produces strong, stubborn stains, this treatment likely isn’t a good option for smokers.
Other staining, however, can be mitigated somewhat by being more conscious of what you’re eating and drinking and by sticking to a great oral hygiene routine. But these qualities still mean that dental bonding has a shorter lifespan than veneers. Veneers generally last around 15 years or more with great care, while bonding can last anywhere between three and 10 years.
How long your bonding lasts depends heavily on how well you take care of it. In a sense, this is good news—it means that you have the power to get the most out of your dental bonding! And despite these downsides, bonding is still an incredibly popular treatment due to its appearance and versatility.
How does the cost of dental bonding compare to the cost of veneers?
The cost of dental bonding is another major benefit for many people. It’s much more affordable than veneers are, though how much each option costs depends on how many teeth you’re treating and the extent of work those teeth need. Either way, bonding is a budget-friendly treatment that makes cosmetic dentistry more accessible for many people. It’s another reason bonding has remained so popular even as veneers have improved and become more common.
If your budget is a concern for you, scheduling an evaluation with Dr. Oxley is a great place to start! Our office can give you an estimate for the costs of both bonding and veneers, including how much of your treatment your insurance is likely to cover. That way, you can compare the two and choose the treatment that meets all of your needs, including your budget!
How do you choose the best option?
With so many pros and cons to sort through, we know making a decision isn’t always easy—especially since what’s right for someone else isn’t always right for you. So how do you determine your best course of action? A good place to start is to consider what you want and need from your treatment.
If you’re unsure about committing to a permanent solution like veneers or if you have a smaller budget, you might benefit more from dental bonding. If you decide that you want veneers later, you can always do that—and getting bonding now could provide a solution while you save up for future veneers.
Bonding is also a great choice if you want immediate results that give you a new smile in one day. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a permanent, longer-lasting treatment that’s more durable and stain resistant, dental veneers are the way to go. You can always try writing down your treatment goals next to the pros and cons of each treatment to see which fits best. And don’t be afraid to ask Dr. Oxley for his opinion! He’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and give you the advice you need to make a decision you’ll love.
Are there any tips for finding a good cosmetic dentist in your area?
When you’re looking for a good cosmetic dentist, it’s a good idea to focus on more than just location. Convenience is important, but you also want a cosmetic dentist who is experienced in the type of treatment you’re looking into. After all, you want results you’re going to genuinely love, so finding a dentist you trust is worth it even if it means driving a little farther from home or work. You could start by choosing how far you’d like to drive, then research dentists in that radius by reading reviews. This helps you see other people’s experiences and gives you a good idea of how the office operates.
Narrow down your options to a top two or three and schedule evaluations with them. This part of the process is often overlooked, but it’s an important step. Meeting a cosmetic dentist before you choose to use their services allows you to ask questions about their training and experience level, and it simply gives you the chance to get to know them. We can’t express enough how important it is for you to feel comfortable with your dentist.
If you feel a dentist isn’t taking the time to really listen to you and answer your questions—or even if you simply don’t click with them—it’s okay to go with someone else. Finding a dentist this way will help you feel as confident and comfortable as possible during your treatment and ensures that you’ll get an outcome you love—and that makes the entire process more than worth it!
Get to know Dr. Oxley and his team today.
Both dental bonding and dental veneers can give you a new, beautiful smile that increases your self-confidence for years to come. Whether you’d like to learn more about your choices or just want to get to know Dr. Oxley, feel free to schedule an evaluation with us at any time.