Is a small chip, crack or gap in your mouth preventing you from sharing your smile with the world? Atlanta Smiles & Wellness offers several cosmetic dental treatments designed to mask or conceal an array of aesthetic imperfections. Two of the most popular are porcelain veneers and dental bonding. Although commonly used to treat the same problems, the two treatments have distinct differences. Our team breaks down the advantages and disadvantages of each in this blog post.
Porcelain Veneer Details
What they are: Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are placed over the front surface of teeth. Custom-made to each patient’s unique specifications, the veneers blend seamlessly with the surrounding teeth while masking small cracks, spaces, unevenly shaped or sized teeth, chips, gaps, worn enamel, discoloration and tooth stains. The veneer placement process typically takes two dental appointments. During the first, a small amount of tooth surface is removed to accommodate the veneers. Impressions are taken of the teeth to create the veneers and ensure a precise fit. The impressions are sent to a dental laboratory so they can be made. Temporary veneers will be placed in the meantime. Once the permanent veneers are ready (which typically takes two weeks from the first appointment), the dentist will place them over the teeth and make last-minute modifications.
Advantages: Veneers are made of high-quality porcelain that closely mimics the translucent quality of natural enamel. This also means that veneers are highly resistant to wear and tear. With good oral health, the average lifespan of veneers is between 10 and 15 years.
Disadvantages: Treatment with veneers is not reversible, as a small amount of natural tooth structure is typically needed to accommodate the veneers. Results with veneers are not immediate, as two dental appointments are usually needed to plan, create and place them. Veneers are also considerably more expensive than dental bonding.
Dental Bonding Details
What it does: Dental bonding involves applying a tooth-colored composite resin material to the teeth and sculpting it to obtain the desired shape and size. Like veneers, dental bonding can be used to conceal chips, cracks, gaps between teeth, misshaped or unevenly sized teeth, stains, discoloration and worn tooth enamel. Treatment with dental bonding is fairly quick and easy. First, the resin material is applied to the teeth and sculpted as needed. Next, an ultraviolet light is used to harden the resin and bond it to the tooth surface. The material is then buffed and polished.
Advantages: Dental bonding only takes one dental appointment to complete, so results are immediate. This also means that there are no messy or uncomfortable dental impressions, molds or temporary bonding needed with dental bonding. Because no tooth structure is removed, dental bonding is completely reversible. Unlike veneers, dental bonding can be applied to all tooth surfaces. It is also considered to be a cost-effective alternative to porcelain veneers.
Disadvantages: Composite resin is more porous and susceptible to damage and staining more than veneers. As a result, dental bonding typically lasts only half as long as porcelain veneers.
If you have questions about veneers, dental bonding or any of the cosmetic procedures we offer to beautify your smile, schedule a personal consultation. Contact Atlanta Smiles & Wellness by calling (404) 262-7733 or emailing us today.