Have a chipped tooth? A fracture? Maybe there are gaps or misalignment in your teeth or maybe you don’t like the discoloration or shape of your teeth. The first step is to determine if there are steps that need to be taken. If there are, the second is to be informed about your options and decide what is best for you. But when it comes to bonding and veneers, the first thing you should know is what is the difference?
Bonding is the application of a composite resin or plastic to repair broken teeth or to improve tooth appearance. It is often used for cosmetic purposes to cover up chipped teeth, but it can also be used to fill in gaps, close up spaces, and is an excellent alternative to fillings that will protect the root of your tooth. Bonding can an be used to lengthen your teeth or improve the shape if you don’t like the way they look and is a completely unintrusive solution to your problems.
When it comes to the procedure, your dentist will start out by etching you tooth to roughen its surface before your teeth are coated in a conditioning liquid that improves bonding. A putty-like resin is then applied and molded to the shape of your tooth before the material is hardened using a UV light. Once the composite resin has hardened, your dentist will go in and shape and smooth out the material so that it matches the rest of your teeth. This process can be done in one-half hour to an hour-long appointment.
Veneers are made up of a thin custom-made shell of porcelain material. The use of porcelain on your veneers resists staining better than a composite resin and mimics the lighting properties of your teeth. Veneers are typically used to fix chipped or fractured teeth, as well as hide misaligned or uneven teeth. Three appointments are required total for the consultation, making, and application of the veneers to your teeth and the process into total will likely take about 2-5 weeks.
For veneers, you will first have to come in for a consultation about what you hope the veneers will do and to sort out exactly what color and shape you want. At your next appointment, your dentist will remove about ½ a centimeter of your enamel to give thickness to the veneer and uses a putty material to get a model or impression of your teeth for the creation of the veneers. It takes about 2-4 weeks for the veneers to be made, during which time temporary veneers can be placed for unsightly teeth. During the application appointment, your dentist will make sure the veneer is the right shape, colors, and size, and then a cement will be applied and the veneer will be placed on and hardened by UV light. After the veneers are hardened to the teeth, any excess cement is removed. Your dentist will likely call you in for a follow-up visit to make sure that everything is going smoothly and that you are starting to adapt to your new teeth.
So What is Different Between the Two?
Well, aside from the material and procedure, dental bonding is best used in emergencies. If you have a fractured tooth bonding is the fastest way to get it repaired, and for minor corrections of your teeth, they may be ideal because the job can be done in one appointment. However, the three visits it takes for your porcelain veneers ensures a stronger and longer lasting experience.
If what you’re looking for is a long-term fix than the stainless material of porcelain veneers will be preferable to the composite resin used in bonding which is far more susceptible to staining and discoloration. However, veneers are definitely the more extreme process. It requires covering the entire tooth and shaving away some of your teeth, while bonding can be used to fill a gap in your tooth or repair a corner fracture.
What will work best for you is really all up to what you want to be done and the result that you hope to achieve. But if you still aren’t sure, you should call up your dentist and make an appointment so you can discuss what will work best for you with an expert.
Schedule your dental check-up today, at our Friendly Dental of Worcester office at (508) 791-4000, Unique Dental of Worcester office at (508) 753-5488, Taunton Dental Center office at (508) 822-1281, Uxbridge Family Dental office at (508) 278-2015.