What You Should Know about Dental Bonding
The process involved in dental bonding includes the dentist applying a layer of bonding material onto the patient’s teeth, then using a curing light to harden that material. The process may be simple, but the results are truly stunning. Bonding can be used for any variety of minor dental issues, including chipped or cracked teeth, teeth that have worn down, filling gaps in between teeth, misaligned teeth, or teeth that are badly stained and can’t be brightened using traditional whitening methods. Because the bonding material can be made to very closely match the color of the patient’s natural teeth, people can choose to have all of their visible teeth bonded, or just a few.
Advantages of Dental Bonding
Aside from the obvious benefit of beautiful results, bonding offers other advantages as well, including the following.
- It’s fast. The procedure is surprisingly simple, involving the dentist applying the bonding material and using a light to harden it. Although it varies depending on how many teeth are involved, the majority of bonding procedures can be completed in a single trip to the dentist’s office.
- Bonding doesn’t require any removal of enamel from the natural tooth. Unlike veneers, bonding doesn’t require that the existing natural tooth be altered before the bonding material is applied.
- It’s affordable. Compared to veneers – and certainly compared to other restorations, such as crowns – bonding is surprisingly affordable.
Disadvantages of Dental Bonding
Of course, all procedures do have some downsides. What follows are some of the disadvantages of bonding.
- It’s not as long lasting as many other restorations. Depending on how well it’s cared for, dental bonding typically lasts between 5 and 10 years. That may sound like a long time (and it is), but other restorations usually last longer.
- Dental bonding isn’t as strong. When compared to the material used in other restorations – such as dental porcelain, for example – bonding material doesn’t hold up as well. The patient needs to take care not to eat certain foods that might damage the bonding material.
- Bonded teeth can be easily stained. Although bonding is often used to whiten badly stained teeth, the material itself can be stained in much the same way as a natural tooth. So people with bonded teeth need to avoid indulging in too many highly pigmented foods and drinks that may stain the bonding material.
What You Should Know about Veneers
Veneers produce the same stunning result as dental bonding, effectively repairing all sorts of minor cosmetic issues, including badly stained teeth, chipped and cracked teeth, worn down teeth, misaligned teeth, and closing gaps between teeth. A veneer consists of an extremely thin porcelain shell that is custom made to fit over the front of the patient’s teeth. The procedure involves the dentist making an impression of the patient’s tooth, having a veneer made from that impression, removing a small amount of enamel from the patient’s tooth, then applying the veneer to the surface of the tooth.
The end result is an absolutely perfect-looking tooth! And, similar to dental bonding, a veneer can be made to very closely match the shade of the patient’s natural teeth. So you might choose to have just a single tooth done, or several teeth.
Advantages of Veneers
The most obvious benefit of veneers is the difference they can make in a person’s smile. But along with that, veneers offer other advantages. These include the following.
- They’re durable. The dental porcelain used in veneers is an extremely strong material. If well cared for, a dental veneer can last 15 years or even longer.
- They’re strong. Unlike the material used in dental bonding, porcelain is extremely strong and works well in protecting existing teeth from further damage.
- Veneers are stain-resistant. Unlike bonded teeth, dental veneers remain the same shade as when they were originally applied. This means that the patient doesn’t need to be as diligent in avoiding certain stain-causing food and drinks.
Disadvantages of Veneers
You can see why so many people choose veneers. But as appealing as these restorations are, they do come with some disadvantages, including the following.
- It’s an irreversible decision. That may sound ominous, but it’s true. Because the veneer procedure requires the dentist to remove a thin layer of enamel from the patient’s natural tooth, and because that enamel never grows back once it’s removed, the tooth will always require either a veneer or another restoration such as a crown. So in that sense, getting a dental veneer really is an irreversible decision.
- They’re more expensive. Veneers can be a little pricier than other treatments, such as dental bonding. This can make a difference for some people since both veneers and bonding are cosmetic procedures that might not be covered by dental insurance.
- They can repair more significant issues. Generally speaking, patients with very minor issues might be better candidates for dental bonding. Dental veneers, on the other hand, can resolve more significant problems.
While both of these cosmetic treatments produce beautiful results, you’ll need to talk to your dentist to decide which is best for you. One thing is certain: the result will be one or more beautiful teeth and a gorgeous smile! To learn more about dental bonding and veneers, and to find out which method is the right choice for you, contact your Austin, Texas dentist today and schedule an appointment. Your beautiful new smile could be just a phone call away!