Most people aren’t born with a set of naturally perfect teeth. Everyone has something about their smile that they’d like to change, if they haven’t already. Various dental problems like damaged, cracked or missing teeth are not an exception. These can be major sources of self-consciousness for a lot of patients who are reluctant to show off their smiles, especially in pictures. Fortunately, there are advanced dental treatments and procedures that can correct these issues. Dental bonding and porcelain veneers are two cosmetic treatments that can be used to discreetly cover natural imperfections or strengthen damaged teeth.
Keep reading to learn more about these two very common dental treatments as well as their differences so you can determine which one is right for you, with an informed decision.
What Is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is an affordable cosmetic procedure that’s used to cover up damaged, discoloured or decayed teeth. A special resin that matches the exact colour of your surrounding teeth is carefully prepared and then applied to the affected tooth. Once the resin cures and hardens in place, your dentist will polish it off and reshape it so that it blends in with your natural teeth.
Dental bonding is typically only recommended for minor teeth imperfections as it’s not a permanent procedure. One of the major perks of dental bonding, however, is how quickly the procedure can be done and there’s minimal upkeep required on the patient’s part. Simply maintain a healthy dental hygiene routine that involves brushing and flossing your teeth twice and once a day respectively and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Another benefit is that dental bonding is completely inconspicuous. No one will ever be the wiser that you’ve had any cosmetic dental work done. And, you can finally feel confident about your smile.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Alternatively, you can opt for porcelain veneers. As the name suggests, porcelain veneers are made of extremely thin porcelain material. Porcelain veneers are placed directly on top of the damaged tooth or teeth and are made to look exactly like your natural teeth. Porcelain veneers can be used to hide a number of dental imperfections including tooth discolouration, cracks, craze lines and white spots. Whatever blemishes you’re feeling self-conscious about, porcelain veneers are a great solution.
The application process is slightly more invasive than the procedure for dental bonding as a small amount of tooth enamel has to be shaved off. This is done so that the veneer can be perfectly fitted to your tooth and secured in place. Porcelain veneers are sturdy and will never become discoloured.
Unless you have extremely sensitive teeth, the application process is completely painless and can usually be done in one to two sessions depending on how much work needs to be done.
Comparing Dental Bonding to Porcelain Veneers
Ultimately, it’s up to you and your dentist to decide whether dental bonding or porcelain veneers are the best solution to correct your dental issues. With that said, here are a few factors you should consider to help make your decision a little easier.
Dental bonding is usually made of a composite resin material that’s designed to match the look of your teeth and to act as a sturdy protective layer for your teeth and to cover up existing damages while preventing them from getting worse.
Porcelain veneers are customized to the size, shape, and exact colour of your teeth. They’re made out of a durable ceramic material that’s meant to be long lasting. Your dentist will create a mould of your teeth and have it sent out to a lab where the porcelain veneers will be made to scale. This process can take a little bit longer than dental bonding which is usually done instantaneously.
As affordable as it is, dental bonding does have one significant pitfall. It’s a temporary solution to a permanent problem. On average, dental bonding only lasts about 4 to 8 years. Eventually, the resin will need to be replaced. Some patients overzealously worry about damaging their dental bonding resin and actively avoid eating certain hard foods or chewing with that tooth altogether to avoid damaging the structural integrity of that tooth.
Porcelain veneers are a lot more durable than dental bonding resin and typically last 10+ years. As long as you take good care of your teeth, porcelain veneers can last significantly longer. Many patients have even had theirs in for more than 20 years without requiring repairs or replacements. And, you don’t have to avoid chewing crunchy foods with your porcelain veneers.
As mentioned, the tooth preparation process for both of these cosmetic treatments varies. This is where dental bonding takes the cake in the sense that very minimal tooth preparation is required.
Unlike with porcelain veneers, your dentist usually doesn’t have to shave off any enamel to apply dental bonding resin. The only time where advance preparation is necessary for dental bonding is if there’s serious tooth decay, the damage is too close to the nerve, or if the tooth needs to be reshaped using a dental drill.
Otherwise, the only preparation that’s needed is to thoroughly clean the affected tooth prior to applying the dental bonding resin.
Porcelain veneers cost a little bit more than dental bonding, but the return on investment is also slightly higher considering they last longer and are more resilient. The cost of both cosmetic treatments varies based on the extent of the damage to your teeth, how much work needs to be done and the amount of material required.
Generally speaking porcelain veneers and dental bonding are considered cosmetic procedures, which aren’t typically covered by insurance policies. However, you may be able to get some coverage if you can prove that the procedures are required as a result of tooth decay or damage.
You can also talk to your dentist about enrolling in an affordable monthly or bi-weekly payment plan.
At Princeview Dental Group, we only have the best interests of our patients at heart. Our goal is to make sure that you’re completely satisfied with the treatment you receive from our professional and courteous staff. Book your appointment today!