If your teeth are chipped, unevenly spaced, discolored, too small or otherwise not to your liking you’ve probably considered cosmetic dentistry. Enhancing your smile is one of the best things you can do to improve your appearance and confidence. But which treatment is right for you – porcelain veneers or dental bonding? This article will explore the differences so that you can make an informed decision.


Differences in Materials & Procedures

The Dental Bonding Procedure – Single-Visit Treatment

Dental bonding or chair-side bonding is a single-visit procedure whereby the teeth are prepared (only if necessary) and bonding material is applied and shaped to achieve the desired form. The bonding process is highly technical, involving bonding materials of different shade and transparency. Often a color modifier is necessary to customize a look. This direct veneering technique is not taught in dental school and is an art that very few dentists in the world have had training in and, or have mastered.

Read exactly what happens during the tooth bonding procedure.

Porcelain Veneers Procedure – Multiple Trips to the Dentist

As the name implies, porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are bonded onto the front surface of teeth. They require at least two visits: one for the preparation of the teeth, impressions, and temporization. The second visit is for the delivery of the veneers.

The porcelain veneers process at Bunker Hill Dentistry


Differences in Results

Cosmetic bonding and porcelain veneers can help to hide imperfections and flaws on your teeth. But each one looks a bit different, needs to be cared for differently, holds up differently and has its own pros and cons. This may leave you wondering what is better. Here is a bit more information about the differences in the results of bonding versus porcelain veneers.

Bonding Results – Effective, but Only with the Right Dentist

If you are having bonding done, it requires the work of a highly skilled dentist who has mastered the technique, like Dr. Le at Bunker Hill Dentistry. The bonding is completed on the tooth by hand, meaning you need a dentist to get it right or the bonding work may stand out and look obvious. When done properly, bonding can help to disguise imperfections and flaws, such as a chipped tooth. However, this technique is more likely to stain and is not as long-lasting as veneers.

Porcelain Veneers – The Best Permanent Solution

If you are looking for a long-lasting, permanent solution to the problem, porcelain veneers are the way to go. When properly adhered or cared for, porcelain veneers can last you several decades, if not a lifetime. If you want an option that is easy to care for, that you don’t have to worry about staining and don’t have to worry about replacing, porcelain veneers may be the way to go.


Differences in Costs

As you look into improving your smile, the cost of the procedure may come into play, as most cosmetic procedures are not covered by dental insurance. As such, you may find yourself wondering what the difference in cost is between dental bonding and porcelain veneers. Read on to learn more about the financial costs associated with both options.

Dental Bonding – A Cheaper Alternative

Dental bonding is typically cheaper than porcelain veneers. On average, each tooth that has this procedure performed on it runs about $500 to $1000 per tooth. In addition to being cheaper upfront, fixing dental bonding is also cheaper. If the dental bond chips or breaks in the future, that chip or break can be re-bonded. Unfortunately, if a veneer breaks, the entire veneer needs to be replaced.

Porcelain Veneers – Pricey but Long-Term

Porcelain veneers cost more money than dental bonding. On average, it costs $800 to $2,000 per tooth for veneers. While this may seem costly if you are concerned with the budget, it is important to note that porcelain veneers last longer than dental bonding. As such, when you take the extended lifespan into account, porcelain veneers may actually be more cost-effective than dental bonding. Additionally, compare pictures of porcelain veneers to dental bonding. Many people prefer the look and are willing to pay more for the aesthetics.


Are You A Better Candidate For Veneers Or Bonding?

You control some of the choices – the cost of the procedure, the duration and the number of dental visits required may nudge you to favoring one procedure over another. But there are other considerations best left to a dentist to decide. The severity of your situation is perhaps the most important. If you need a total smile makeover, veneers are probably a better option, while bonding is ideal for fixing minor imperfections.


Bonding and Veneers – FAQs

Can You Whiten Porcelain Veneers?

Fortunately, porcelain veneers rarely stain. As such, if you have a full set of porcelain veneers, there is no need to whiten them. If you do not have a full set of veneers, it is important to whiten your teeth to your desired whitening level before having the veneers placed. This ensures the veneers match your desired tooth whitening level and will always match when you whiten your natural teeth.

It is important to note that teeth do naturally darken as you age. As such, you may find that your veneers no longer match your natural teeth if they have darkened. If this occurs, it is best to replace your veneers with new ones to ensure everything matches and looks as natural as possible.

Can You Whiten Bonding?

The answer to this is not clear cut. Direct bonding does not stain or whiten as easily as your natural tooth enamel. This helps to keep the bond looking decent for a prolonged period of time. However, once they stain, removing those stains can be extremely difficult. In most cases, it is easier to rebond your teeth if they no longer match your natural tooth color, either due to your natural teeth changing color as you age or stains on the bonding material.

Can You Put Veneers Over Composite Bonding?

If you have bonding in place, but have decided veneers are a better fit for you, you may wonder if you can put veneers over composite bonding. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not one size fits all. The two factors that are looked at is how much of your natural tooth is left and how much composite bonding covers the tooth. Ideally, you want as much of the natural tooth in tact with as little bonding in place as possible. This is because a porcelain veneer adheres best to your natural enamel. Ultimately, only a cosmetic dentistry professional can decide whether you can place veneers over your bonding.

Can You Replace Porcelain Veneers with Bonding?

The last question you may have is whether you can replace a porcelain veneer with bonding. The answer to this question is yes, you can remove a porcelain veneer and have bonding placed. However, porcelain is a higher quality product than composite bonding products, so it rarely makes sense that you would want to replace a veneer for bonding.