The Differences Between Dental Bonding and Veneers

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If you want to transform the appearance of your smile by covering minor cosmetic defects in your teeth, you may be a little confused by the many different cosmetic dentistry options available to you. Thanks to evolution within the field of smile improvements, it is now possible to enhance virtually any aspect of our teeth or cover those which give us cause for concern. Two of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments are dental bonding and veneers. Despite helping patients to reach the same outcome, they are very different treatments. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between them to help you make an informed choice as to which may be right for your smile transformation

What is dental bonding?

Dental bonding is an extremely simple yet effective cosmetic treatment that is used to cover minor imperfections on teeth. The entire procedure can be carried out in a single appointment and is non-invasive and painless. The process involves using a tooth-colored material called composite which is putty-like in nature. It is applied to the tooth and artistically molded so that any imperfections are covered. It can be manipulated to fill gaps, build up worn surfaces or cover chips, cracks or discoloration. Once the composite has been applied and your dentist is happy with its appearance, it is hardened using a special curing light that secures it permanently to the tooth. The tooth is then polished to a high shine and the treatment is complete.

What are dental veneers?

Dental Veneers are thin, shell-style covers that are created specifically for each tooth that they are to cover. The process takes place over two appointments. The first is used to prepare the teeth by filing down a little of the natural enamel. This is done under local anesthetic ensuring you don’t feel any pain but is necessary to ensure that the veneer fits flush to your tooth. Then impressions of the tooth/teeth are taken which will be used to create the veneer/s. A temporary veneer may be bonded to the tooth while your custom-designed version is being created.


Around a week later you will return to your dentist’s office where the fit of your custom veneer will be checked, and if satisfied, your dentist will bond it permanently to the front surface of the tooth. Like bonding, veneers can be applied to a single tooth or multiple teeth.

What are the key differences between dental bonding and veneers?

  • Bonding is non-invasive, veneers require a little of the natural tooth enamel to be removed via filing making it a minimally invasive process.
  • Bonding can be completed in one appointment, veneers require two.
  • Bonding is carried out using composite. Veneers use a durable ceramic substance that is stronger and longer lasting than composite.
  • Veneers are far better at resisting staining than composite, helping you to keep your smile looking healthy and attractive for longer.
  • With proper care, veneers have been shown to last at least twice as long as bonding on teeth.
  • Dental bonding is normally less expensive initially, but veneers are considered to be a valuable investment in the long-term appearance of your smile.

To find out more about either of these successful cosmetic dentistry solutions or to schedule a consultation to see which is right for you, please contact our dental office today.