Megan Arjmandi DDS

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Why dental veneers are often a better choice than dental bonding

Dental veneers and dental bonding are two common cosmetic treatments used to improve the look of teeth. While bonding can provide a minimally invasive option for minor issues, veneers tend to provide more dramatic and longer-lasting results in many cases. Here’s a look at some of the key differences:

Durability – Veneers are made from very strong ceramic or porcelain materials that resist staining and chipping much better than bonding resin. They better maintain their pristine appearance over time. Veneers typically last 10-20 years or longer before needing replacement, while bonding may only last 5 years or so.

Stain resistance – The porcelain and ceramic used for veneers are less prone to absorbed stains from coffee, tea, wine, and other foods that can discolor composites over time. Bonding stains more easily since resin absorbs pigments.

Color and shine – Veneers generally provide a more life-like, translucent luster that looks and feels more like real enamel. The porcelain reflects light naturally for a bright white smile. Bonding can look slightly duller over time.

Ideal uses – Veneers work better for major flaws like badly stained, misshapen, worn, or crooked teeth. Bonding is better for small chips, minor gaps, or slight discoloration. Veneers cover more of the tooth’s surface area if broader changes are needed.

Longevity – In addition to their 10-20 year lifespan, veneers also resist damage from normal chewing and biting forces better than bonded resin. Veneers don’t easily crack or pop off like bonding material can.

Preparation – Veneers require minimal shaving of the original tooth’s enamel, around 0.5-0.7mm usually. Bonding doesn’t remove tooth structure. But veneers are also reversible if desired.

Process – Getting veneers takes 2-3 office visits. Bonding is typically done in one visit. Custom-made veneer molds are a more complex process. 

Costs – Because veneers require lab work, they are more expensive, around $925 to $2,500 per tooth. Bonding costs less at $200 to $600 per tooth. Veneers are a bigger investment.

Look – Veneers can mimic the exact shape, size, and color of surrounding teeth more seamlessly. Thin veneers mean minimal change to the tooth’s original form. Bonding is thicker.

While bonding has its uses, dental veneers provide a more dramatic cosmetic improvement with results that should last for over a decade or longer. Their stain resistance, strength, and realistic appearance make them worth the higher initial price for many patients seeking a smile makeover.