EXPERT Q&A

Q: What is the difference between bonding and veneers? What do they correct? When should each be used?

What our experts say:

A veneer is a front facing, like a cabinet door; it covers the whole front of the tooth. Some people will say they don’t want to have veneers placed because they don’t want to have their actual teeth cut back (we have to cut back a little of the front tooth if we are changing color and shape); but we can do the same thing with bonding material. There is a technique used called a no-prep veneer, which is an ultra-thin veneer made with porcelain that we can use. Porcelain lasts longer and doesn’t stain. Some composites will break down over time and stains can get imbedded into the composite.  Usually we don’t cover the entire tooth surface with bonding, but it can be done, if that is what the patient wants. 

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Dr. Jason Kasarsky

Cosmetic Dentist

New York, New York

They are a nice way to fix chipped teeth non-invasively; however, bonding can’t fix teeth with vertical fractures in them.  Bonding is a less permanent way to fix the teeth, you usually only get 3 to 5 years with them, but it’s a quick fix with one dental visit. Veneers are now thin and can last from 5 to 20 years, so they are a more of a permanent solution and provide a more protective structure for teeth because it covers the whole tooth so the nerves are protected.  Bonding does stain where veneers don’t.

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Dr. Swati Agarwal

Cosmetic Dentist

San Francisco, California