Both veneers and bonding are used in circumstances where there are minor cosmetic problems that need to be addressed, like whitening, slightly crooked teeth and gaps between teeth.
Veneers are wafer-thin pieces of porcelain or composite resin that act like a jacket to your tooth. To place the veneers, the doctor removes a small amount of the surface of the tooth to allow space for the veneer to be placed. The thickness of the veneer is about that of an average fingernail - this is about the amount of surface of the original tooth that will be subtracted. Due to the fact that the underlying tooth is altered in order to fit the veneer, veneers are an irreversible treatment.
Veneers are very durable and slightly transparent, so they look and last just like your real teeth, but unlike your real teeth, they will never become discolored! Some precautions should be taken to ensure their lasting beauty, but veneers usually need don’t need any special maintenance to remain beautiful and white.
Bonding is used to easily correct color, gaps or chips in your teeth. Using a malleable “paste,” the doctor will color match, sculpt, harden and polish the bonding material to look just like your other teeth! Done without the need for anesthetic, bonding application can usually be completed in a very short amount of time. While less expensive, quicker, and in most cases more reversible than veneers, bonding is usually less durable than veneers or other types of cosmetic treatment. Bonding has a wide range of applications, although it sometimes cannot be used for some of the more radical restorative measures that veneers can. Consult with the doctor to determine which of these amazingly realistic techniques is best for your smile!