If a patient has chipped or stained teeth, sometimes fillings or teeth bleaching are not enough to improve the appearance and function of their teeth. Dakota Dental works with patients to explore their options and find out whether dental veneers or bonding would be a good course of action to improve their smile.
Tooth veneers and tooth bonding are two different processes with similar outcomes. Both veneers and bonding involve adding a thin layer of material onto a tooth to cover a chipped tooth or damaged area. Veneers and bonding techniques are also used to achieve a white smile in cases where teeth bleaching may not be recommended (for example, if patients have tooth-colored fillings, caps, or crowns on their teeth).
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are custom-made to fit an individual’s tooth. Veneers are difficult to stain and are durable, lasting from 10 to 15 years or more. Getting veneers requires a few trips to the dentist, to determine the need, to prepare the tooth for a veneer, and to scan your teeth and mouth to accurately design the veneers so that it comfortably align with your natural smile.
To place veneers on teeth, a dentist will remove a small amount of the existing tooth enamel to make space for the veneer. A digital scan of the tooth is then made and sent to a laboratory to create the veneer, and a temporary veneer is then placed on the tooth. Once the porcelain veneer is made, the temporary veneer is removed, the tooth is cleaned, and adhesive is applied to the tooth. It is then cured with a light for about a minute to attach it to the tooth.
Composite bonding, while producing a similar result as veneers, has some notable differences. Bonding uses a composite resin that is applied directly onto the tooth’s surface. The affected tooth is treated with a very mild etching solution to roughen its surface and then the dentist applies the resin to the tooth and shapes it. A light hardens the resin, and the dentist then polishes it for the final result.
Dental bonding costs significantly less than veneers, but the result may only last from five to seven years, versus more than 10 years for veneers. The resin used in bonding is also more porous than the porcelain in veneers, so they are more susceptible to staining.
To find out what type of process is the best option for your smile, schedule a consultation with the dental team at Dakota Dental. Their trained team can discuss options with patients to determine what procedure works best for their teeth, their budget, and their lifestyle.