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Dental Bonding vs Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers and bonding are two popular cosmetic dentistry procedures that can repair minor issues like cavities while improving the appearance of your teeth. Bonding and veneers are similar but bonding is applied to a section of your tooth and veneers are applied to the full front surface of your teeth. Trying to choose between the two? Here's what you should know about the differences and how your Las Vegas dentist can help. 

How Dental Bonding Works

Bonding is an effective and affordable procedure that repairs minor damage to the tooth with a special tooth-colored resin. The bonding material can build the tooth back up after fixing a small cavity, fill gaps between teeth, change the shape and size of a tooth, or restore proper color to a stained tooth. 

Dental bonding isn't a good choice for severely damaged teeth, however, because composite resin won't withstand extreme bite force and it does break down within 3 to 8 years. Commonly used as an alternative to amalgam fillings, bonding can also be a purely cosmetic procedure. 

How Dental Veneers Work

Veneers can be used to address many of the same cosmetic concerns as bonding including stains, chips, minor cavity repair, and gaps. It's very different, however, because it can be permanent and it's a custom solution. Veneers are very thin porcelain "shells" that fit over the entire front of your teeth. Veneers can change the color, shape, and size of your teeth. 

Because veneers are made from porcelain, they are very strong and less likely to chip or wear away like bonding. Veneers can last a lifetime but the procedure is irreversible because placing veneers requires moving a very small amount of enamel from your teeth. 

To place veneers, your dentist will first remove a thin layer of enamel from your teeth and make an impression of your teeth and bite to produce the custom veneers. The fit will be tested and the veneers will be trimmed if needed. Next, your teeth are cleaned and etched for a strong bond and a special cement product is applied to your teeth. A UV light activates and cures the dental cement to permanently affix the veneers. 

Which Option Is Best?

Dental veneers and bonding are both great options to address minor dental problems like cavities and gaps while dramatically improving your smile. Both can address crooked teeth, stains, gapped teeth, and many other concerns to give you the smile you've always wanted. Bonding is a very affordable procedure your Las Vegas dentist may recommend for one or a few teeth that need cosmetic work but veneers are usually recommended for a more dramatic and long-lasting change.