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OMG What To Do? The Perfect Smile: Cosmetic Resin Bonding or Porcelain Veneers?

I am often asked this question:  “What should I do Doc?  I want a beautiful smile, which treatment is best for me?

The good news is there is not a “right” answer; there is what is “right” for you!

Here are some points to consider:

Beauty:  In the hands of a very skilled cosmetic dentist, cosmetic (resin) bonding can surpass the beauty of porcelain veneers.  In the hands of a skillful dental laboratory technician a porcelain veneer cannot be beat.  So really to make your decision based on beauty alone you must make sure that your dentist is qualified to preform either.  You can find an AACD Accredited dentist on this website who has been board tested on the finer details of cosmetic dentistry and has the acknowledged skills to be able to perform either of these services.  She or he will help you make the right decision for your smile needs and you can feel confident that they have the skills to preform either service for you.   We are an AACD Accredited office.

Longevity:  There is no question that porcelain veneers will keep their shape, color, beauty longer than cosmetic bonding. Porcelain does not wear; does not discolor with long term chewing or coffee/tea use; does not lose it subtle beautiful colorations with time.  Cosmetic bonding is a resin based material, a hardened plastic and with time (over 5-10 years) will wear, discolor, change shape and lose its initial natural beauty.  Porcelain veneers, being a high intensity, heat/oven fired material, like a porcelain vase will not change it shape, lose its color nor be affected by constant brushing.  Porcelain veneers can wear from excessive chewing, i.e. grinding of one’s teeth and even this will be a very subtle change over the course of 5-10 years.

Preparation of Natural Teeth:  This is much harder question to answer and if a big concern for you should be discussed with your dentist before any treatment is done.  To get a beautiful result, the dentist (cosmetic bonding) or the laboratory technician (porcelain veneers) needs to have enough room for the material to shine.  For a small number of smiles this can be a simple over lay of the teeth in which case there is no tooth change (preparation) needed.  This approach, for either treatment option, would work where the teeth are small and / or pushed back. Most of us do not have that luxury.  Usually teeth are in the basic right spot and might be overlapped or too big; might be discolored; or have many colors across the front from old cavities, stained fillings or age related dark color; or the teeth might be too worn with time and the bite needs to be built back up.  These are all indication that minor to extensive tooth preparation is needed.  This will allow the dentist or technician to have the room to create a beautiful, harmonious smile.  If the teeth are not prepared correctly then your smile could include teeth that are too small for your face, or too bulky / bucky for your lips, or too unnatural in the final color / result to fit in with your remaining teeth.

Time:  Both procedures require an initial consult / new patient exam and necessary current radiographs. Some offices like to take initial models and photographs too. (We certainly do to get the maximum information we can on your smile.)  Then some offices have a treatment planning appointment to go over all the pro’s and con’s of the procedure you have chosen, sign informed consent forms, review what to expect and finalize payment arrangements. Thereafter cosmetic dental bonding can be performed in a half to full day depending on the number of teeth.  Presto you are done!  Porcelain veneers take minimally two appointments two weeks apart, one for the preparation / impression of your teeth and the other for the delivery of your new teeth.  Finally both types of treatment should include a return visit a week to two later to check margins, fit, ease of oral hygiene procedures, bite and your satisfaction.  Fact is we tell our patients to write down all their questions / concerns so we can address them at the next appointment. The fee for this often is included in the initial quoted fee.

Cost:  Cosmetic dental bonding is about one-half to two-thirds the cost of porcelain veneers.  Porcelain veneers due to the necessary longer appointment times and the involvement of an outside dental laboratory will always cost more than cosmetic bonding. Many offices have third party financing options available too to help you out.

In the long term, your smile is really priceless. That’s why we recommend cosmetic dentists glasgow southside which offer great treatments; the benefits of being able to smile naturally and laugh out loud with confidence and joy with bring you a happiness beyond your wildest expectations!

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