Are you unhappy with the condition of your smile? Have you noticed that you don’t smile as much as you used to because of it? Don’t just suffer in silence. Cosmetic dentistry offers you many options to restore your confidence in how you look when you smile.

Two of the most common options are dental bonding and veneers. Both can be used to fill in gaps between your teeth or fix misaligned or chipped or broken teeth or even stained teeth. Often people are not sure what the difference is between the two and how to pick the best option for their particular situation. Here is a quick guide to highlight what the difference is between dental bonding and veneers:

What Is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is a quicker procedure, completed in just one visit, and so is best for emergency repairs, but they do not last as long as veneers do. Bonding can also help protect any exposed roots that occur when teeth start to recede.

During the visit with your dentist for dental bonding, he or she will lightly roughen up the surface of the designated teeth to prepare for the bonding. Then he or she will us a composite material that is also used for white fillings when you have a cavity to fill in and reshape the surface of the tooth. The dentist will then use a drill to shape the bonded tooth to blend in naturally with the rest of your teeth.

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are made of porcelain and therefore are sturdier and will last you a lot longer than dental bonding will, but is also a longer, more invasive procedure.

To get veneers put on, it usually takes at least two visits to the dentist, but could take up to three. During the first visit, your dentist will first remove the enamel from the tooth or teeth that requires fixing and then he or she will make impressions of the teeth to use to create the veneers which are baked at high temperatures.

While waiting for the veneers to be made, which can take a few weeks, you will be given temporary veneers to wear. Then on the second visit, your dentist will adhere the veneers to your natural teeth. The veneers just cover the front of your teeth. Often veneers will be added to all the teeth in the top or bottom arch to give a more unified, beautiful smile.

If you like the idea of porcelain veneers because they are stronger and will last longer and because they don’t stain easily, but don’t want lose your natural enamel, then ask about no-prep veneers. These are a very thin veneer that can be placed over your teeth without having to shave the natural tooth down at all.

What is Best for Me?

Unfortunately, there is no straight cut answer to this question. Each person’s situation and wants and needs are different. It is best to come up with a list of pros and cons for each and then decide on which procedure works best for you. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Bonding doesn’t work on all types of fractures so it is important to talk to your dentist to see if it is even a possibility for your situation. If you have a tooth with a vertical fracture, then a veneer will be the best way to correct it.

Because they don’t stain and they are made of translucent porcelain, veneers look more like natural teeth. This and the fact that they are sturdier and last longer and don’t stain easily makes them seem like the preferable choice, but often cost is a major factor in the decision of whether to go with bonding or veneers.

Veneers can cost anywhere from around $800 to almost $2,000 for just one tooth. If you know you need to fix multiple teeth, then this procedure can become a major financial investment. Tooth bonding generally costs anywhere between $200 and $700 a tooth so it is a more economical option.

Besides cost, you might prefer bonding is you are looking for a quicker, easier fix to your problem. There are less steps to the dental bonding procedure therefore it can all be completed in just one visit. Plus, less preparation of the teeth is needed so you won’t have to lose as much enamel.

If you need a lot of work done and need a complete revamp of your smile, though, dental bonding is not the procedure for you. It works best for just small imperfections like a small gap between your front teeth or a small chip in one of your teeth.

Before making any final decisions, make sure you do some more research on the two procedures and consult with a few different cosmetic dentists to get a better sense of what will work for your particular situation. Remember, no one says that you have to go with what the first dentist recommends if it doesn’t feel right to you. Who does the procedure is as important as the actual procedure. Find one that is skilled and experienced in performing these procedures and one who you feel will always have your best interest at heart.

Maintaining Your New Smile

Whichever procedure you choose, proper care of your oral health is essential for maintaining your new smile. Make sure you are brushing and flossing properly twice a day and that you are going in for a cleaning every 6 months. Also put a stop to bad habits like biting your nails or chewing on pens that could cause the veneers or dental bonding to become damaged or fall off. You should even avoid opening nuts with your teeth too.

Imagine how much more confident you will feel with your new, more beautiful smile. Social situations you used to shy away from will be a piece of cake now that you can flash your pearly whites. You will find your life transformed in so many unexpected ways when you fix your smile. You are worth it, right?

Want to learn more about dental bonding and veneers? Contact PA Dental Wellness today to set up your free consultation.