If a minor crack, chip or other cosmetic blemish of the teeth is preventing you from smiling confidently, know that you have options with cosmetic dentistry. Dental bonding and porcelain veneers are two such options that Dr. Wayne Sutton of Sonoma Smiles offers at his comprehensive dental practice. Dr. Sutton explains the advantages and disadvantages of each in this blog post.
About Dental Bonding
Dental bonding involves applying a composite resin material to the teeth to cover up stains, discoloration, cavities, chips, cracks and small gaps between teeth. In addition, the bonding material can be sculpted to improve the appearance of crooked, misshapen, unevenly sized teeth, or worn tooth enamel.
The dental bonding procedure typically takes one appointment to complete. First, the dentist will use a shade guide to select the shade of resin that best matches your surrounding teeth. The resin, which is a putty-like material, is applied to the teeth and sculpted to the desired shape and size. Next, an ultraviolet light is focused onto the teeth so that the resin hardens and bonds to the teeth. The composite resin is then polished and buffed to create a radiant and seamless finish. Results with dental bonding can last five to seven years.
- It is cost effective
- Can be placed in a single appointment
- Can be applied to all tooth surfaces
- Because no tooth structure is removed, treatment is reversible
- No messy or uncomfortable dental impressions, molds or temporary dental bonding are needed
- Offers immediate results
- Results with dental bonding typically lasts only half as long as with porcelain veneers
- Composite resin is porous and more susceptible to staining and chipping than veneers
About Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are another versatile cosmetic dental treatment. Veneers are shells made of strong porcelain that are slipped over the front surfaces of teeth to cover up small chips, cracks, stains, unevenly sized or shaped teeth, gaps between teeth and worn tooth enamel.
The creation and placement of veneers typically requires at least two dental appointments. During the first appointment, a small amount of enamel is removed to accommodate the veneers. A local anesthetic may be used to minimize discomfort. Next, impressions will be made of the teeth to send to the dental laboratory that will create the veneers. It usually takes about two weeks for the veneers to be made. In the meantime, temporary veneers may be placed to protect the natural tooth enamel. Once the permanent veneers are ready, they will be placed on the teeth and bonded into place. Veneers are made to match the shape, size and color of the surrounding teeth for a natural-looking appearance. When properly cared for, porcelain veneers can last 10 to 15 years.
- Thanks to the strong quality of porcelain, results last longer than with dental bonding
- Highly resistant to wear and tear
- Most dentists agree that veneers offer the most natural-looking results
- Can only be placed on the front surface of teeth
- Considerably more expensive than dental bonding
- Because treatment involves removing a small amount of natural tooth structure, it is not reversible
- Results are not immediate as two dental appointments are required
Ultimately, the best option for you depends on your unique dental needs and goals. Dr. Sutton can meet with you to discuss your personal case and recommend the best choice for you. To schedule a consultation with Sonoma Smiles, please call (707) 585-2555 or email us today.