Dental veneers and dental bonds are two cosmetic dentistry options that can help reshape or rebuild a problem tooth. A bond involves the dentist applying a thin coat of tooth-colored resin to the exterior of your natural tooth then hardening the material with a special light. Veneers are custom-crafted dental shells that are affixed around the exterior of your tooth using a bonding cement.
A veneer could be considered a more extensive form of bond. But there are a few factors to consider when choosing between the two, which can determine which is the better option.
Size of Tooth
Oddly sized teeth are one of the main reasons patients seek out a bond or veneer. Whether the problem tooth is too small or too large can help determine which fix is best for you.
If the tooth is unusually small, bonding is the better option. Your dentist can build up the layers of the bonding material until the tooth is the same size as its equivalent teeth. Veneers require the dentist to shave down the existing tooth some so this wouldn't be a great option for your problem.
But that shaving makes veneers a great choice for an overly large tooth. Your dentist would need to shave down the tooth regardless to try to match the equivalent teeth. So it's easy to shave off a bit extra then create and attach a veneer for a perfectly shaped tooth.
Is your problem tooth a molar or another type of tooth that takes on a lot of bite force while chewing? Then you might want to look elsewhere as neither bonding nor a veneer is going to be the ideal choice. Both materials can chip or break off with frequent exposure to heavy bite force.
A better option for a hard bite tooth is a dental crown backed with metal. The porcelain upper will still give you the look of a natural tooth while the metal provides strength. You can also go with a fully metal zirconia crown, which resembles the natural tooth enough to pass at a glance.
Do you frequently drink coffee or smoke? Your natural teeth can be whitened with a quick dentist visit. But unnatural additions such as a bond or veneer can't be whitened in the same way.
The composite resin used in bonding is far more prone to surface staining than the porcelain of veneers. That's not to say that a veneer will never get stained, but the chance is lower and it will take more time. So if staining is a major concern for you, a veneer would likely be the better option.
Extend the whiteness of your veneer by brushing right after you consume a potentially staining substance whether it's a cup of tea or a cigarette.
For further assistance, contact a local cosmetic dentist, such as Nittany Dental Associates.