Dental Bonding Or Veneers: Which Should I Get?

If your smile could use a makeover, porcelain veneers and composite bonding are two options available to help with teeth that are chipped, cracked, discolored or spaced too far apart. Which treatment you should get depends on a few factors.

What are they?

Porcelain veneers are made from a thin layer of porcelain that provides a natural, translucent look. Veneers are glued to the front of the teeth like the equivalent of fake fingernails, hiding a broad range of imperfections and completely transforming the look of a smile.

Bonding uses composite resin, which is plastic, to repair the tooth. This tooth-colored material can be used to repair a decayed, discolored or chipped tooth or can make teeth appear longer. Bonding is typically applied to just one or two teeth rather than the entire smile. During bonding, a dentist applies a small amount of composite resin to the tooth. They mold it over the problem area and smooth it to match seamlessly with the problem tooth. The resin is then hardened into place with a special light.

Why get veneers?

Veneers produce a more natural-looking result than bonding because of their translucency. They're also long-lasting; they shouldn't need to be replaced for 10 or 15 years with proper care. Bonding typically needs replacement every five years or less. Porcelain veneers are also exceptionally stain-resistant. The resin used in bonding is not.

Why get dental bonding?

One reason to choose dental bonding is that it's less permanent than veneers. Less of the tooth's enamel needs to be removed before applying the bonding material than when applying veneers. Additionally, bonding can be done in just one office visit, while veneers call for two appointments since the veneers need to be made off-site. The final consideration is the price; bonding is significantly less expensive than porcelain veneers.

Are bonding and veneers covered by insurance?

In the majority of cases, veneers and bonding won't be covered by dental insurance. Keep in mind that there is an artistry involved with both bonding and veneers and choosing a dentist based on the lowest price may not give you the results you're after. Ask to see photos of past work and check the references of any dentist you're considering going to for cosmetic dentistry.

Which should you choose?

Porcelain veneers and dental bonding both help to improve your smile and boost your confidence, but the option that's right for you depends on your teeth and the results you're looking to achieve. Visit a cosmetic dentistry professional for an assessment and for expert advice on the best option for improving your smile.