Teeth that are chipped, discolored, or worn may make you feel uncomfortable, perhaps causing enough embarrassment that you refrain from smiling.
Bell Dental Smiles in Lake Jackson offers a variety of treatments to recapture your smile, from dental bonding to porcelain veneers. There are pros and cons to each method, but each treatment produces beautiful results when done properly. Our goal is helping you find the method that matches your needs.
Both cosmetic tooth bonding and porcelain veneers offer dramatic results, but they have different benefits that you should understand.
Both methods can be used to mask common cosmetic issues, including:
- Tooth color
- Tooth shape
- Tooth length
- Tooth size
- Spacing between teeth
- Worn or decayed teeth
Porcelain veneersare thin porcelain shells placed on the front of teeth to hide imperfections. With their translucent quality and luster, porcelain veneers offer the most natural looking restoration. They are also resistant to stains and are stronger than dental bonding materials so they should last longer.
The fitting process for veneers is more time-consuming. The original tooth needs to be shaped to accommodate the veneer. A molded image is then sent to a dental lab where the veneers are custom made to fit your teeth. At another appointment, the veneers are applied to the prepared tooth with an adhesive.
Because veneers are custom made for your mouth, they require multiple office visits and take longer to create. This increases the cost as compared to dental bonding.
Dental bonding is a quicker method of improving your smile and less expensive than veneers. It typically takes one office visit of an hour or less. We apply the bonding material, a putty-like resin, directly to the tooth. It is then shaped and molded to correct the cosmetic problem. An ultraviolet light hardens the resin before a final round of shaping and polishing completes the treatment.
The resin is color-matched to your tooth. Dental bonding takes about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth to complete. The ease and speed of this method makes the process less expensive than veneers.
A drawback is that the resin used in dental bonding is not as strong as porcelain and it can stain over time. In addition, the bonding material lacks the tooth-like translucent qualities of porcelain. For these reasons, dental bonding may be a better choice when the cosmetic flaws are smaller and in a less-noticeable location.
Which Option Is Best?
There is no one “best” method for all situations. Instead, it is a matter of matching the treatment to your needs. Porcelain lasts longer, has the luster of a natural tooth, and is more stain resistant, but it is also more expensive. Bonding is less expensive, looks beautiful, and can last many years before it discolors.
Understanding your goals, the condition of your teeth and the location of the problem will help determine the best option for you. For patients with crooked, gapped, or otherwise misaligned teeth, Invisalign® treatment may be the best solution.