Dental bonding, veneers and other cosmetic procedures are a great way to lighten and change your smile. Our dentists in Coquitlam explain key differences between these procedures in this post.
With cosmetic dental care, we can help patients change the look of their smile.
If you are looking to alter the colour, shape or general appearance of your teeth, you might want to look into dental veneers or dental bonding - both procedures can help hide visible imperfections on your teeth. They may also be able to five your smile a more uniform appearance.
What are dental veneers?
These razor-thin pieces of porcelain sit on the front layer of your teeth and can change shape, lighten the colour of your teeth and add length to them. A single veneer can be applied individually to cover just one tooth or a full set can be placed to multiple teeth to bring a more even appearance to your smile.
Veneers are custom-made in a laboratory before they are fitted and colour-matched to your teeth. Placed directly on the teeth, they are designed to make the teeth thicker. Therefore, the procedure typically requires removing a thin layer of enamel. While appointments are needed to plan, once this is done the actual process can often be done in 2 or 3 visits.
Who could benefit from veneers?
You are a good candidate for veneers if you have:
- Severe stains and discolouration
- Cracked teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Large gaps in between your teeth
- Crooked teeth (mild to moderate)
- Teeth that overlap
- Worn teeth
Pros of Veneers
Veneers can create white, uniform smiles by covering cracks, stains, and poorly shaped teeth. Porcelain is resistant to staining and is very strong, making it resistant to chipping and cracking as well.
Veneers are colour matched as closely as possible to your natural teeth. They are made to appear slightly translucent, just like natural teeth, and as a result, are quite realistic in appearance.
Cons of Veneers
Veneers are considered a permanent procedure. Tooth enamel is removed and replaced with the porcelain that is then bonded to the top layer of the tooth. This means that the tooth has been permanently changed by the veneer process.
Veneers can also be somewhat costly. This is because they are custom-made and can often take more time and skill during preparation and placement.
What is dental bonding?
Dental bonding is a general term to describe all processes whereby white fillings are applied to teeth. For cosmetic purposes, bonding is placed on the front surface of a tooth to change the size, shape, and colour, much like a porcelain veneer. Dental bonding can be used to repair individual teeth or rebuild several teeth, all with the aim of creating a uniform looking smile.
Bonding can be a good choice for those with a small dental irregularity they want to improve. Just like with veneers, the dentist will colour match the bonding material to your neighbouring teeth.
Who might benefit from dental bonding?
Dental bonding might be right for you if you have the following:
- Minor stains
- Misshapen teeth
- Exposed roots from receding gums
Pros of Dental Bonding
Bonding is typically done in one appointment so it is often quicker than the process for porcelain veneers, which takes at least two appointments. If the extent of the cosmetic work required is minimal to moderate, bonding is often less expensive than porcelain veneers.
If the bonding chips or breaks over time, it is typically quick and easy to repair. If taken care of properly, dental bonding can last for up to 10 years before it needs to be replaced.
Cons of Dental Bonding
One of the disadvantages to dental bonding is that it is not as strong as porcelain. It can chip more easily and is more porous, meaning it is more susceptible to staining.
The challenge of dental bonding is the aesthetic limitations of the material. It can be more difficult to mask very dark and discoloured teeth.
In addition, while a single or a few teeth may be relatively simple, an entire smile can be difficult to improve with bonding. For that reason, dental bonding can end up being almost as expensive as porcelain veneers, as it may take considerably more time and skills on the part of the dentist.