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Should I get dental veneers or dental bonding?

Should I get dental veneers or dental bonding? | Cosmetic Dental Associates of Houston

Dr. Spiker Davis:
I'm Dr. Spiker Davis and I'm a cosmetic dentist, I'm a dental lab technician, and I'm a digital smile designer right here in Houston, Texas in the Galleria area. And today we're going to talk about one of our most frequent questions. Should I get porcelain veneers or should I get bonding? Well, there's huge differences between those two and I've been doing both of those procedures for over 40 years. So I'm extremely familiar and experienced with that, so I want to tell you the differences.

Dr. Spiker Davis:
First of all, bonding was before porcelain veneers. That's one of the very first things we did to people's teeth to make them look quieter or to make them look longer or to fill in gaps or chips or whatever. And so bonding's been around a long time and it's a wonderful material, and it's gotten much better over the years. But basically the bonding material is an acrylic. It has porcelain chips in it and the acrylic is very thin. And essentially we paint it on your teeth.

Dr. Spiker Davis:
In fact, if you went to a beauty salon and saw somebody having the sculpted fingernails that they put on, the process looks similar. In fact, in the old days, I used to do my wife's fingernails when they broke because she liked my bonding material, because it lasted so much longer. So bonding is similar to a fingernail, fake fingernails. Maybe even a Lee press-on nail.

Dr. Spiker Davis:
So when you come to our office and we do bonding, it's a paint on process. There's no shots, there's no grinding, there's no pain. It's very simple. The question is how do we want your teeth to look? So we have to pick a style. We have to pick a color. We have to pick a shape. So there's a lot of stuff that we do before we do bonding. And so once the bonding is on, it's a pretty durable material. However, it will break. It's an acrylic. It will stain because it's somewhat porous compared to your teeth or compared to porcelain.

Dr. Spiker Davis:
It's also a lot cheaper in general. I'm going to say bonding is probably half the price of what a porcelain veneer is. So in today's world, bonding is somewhere around $800, maybe up to $1,200 per tooth. So it depends on how many teeth you want to do, but bonding is beautiful. You can't tell the difference initially between that and between porcelain veneers or even between crowns. They all look beautiful.

Dr. Spiker Davis:
The problem is that the bonding is not going to last near as long as the porcelain veneers. And so if your decision is based on money, in other words, you're looking for the least expensive item then you probably want to go with bonding. Especially might want to consider going with bonding if you're like getting married next week and you need a quick fix and you want all these teeth done by next week. Well, we can do it and we can do it with bonding and you'll look great for the wedding.

Dr. Spiker Davis:
But in our office, I'm going to say bonding will last anywhere from five to 15 years. And the reason there is such a variable in that is because some people grind their teeth. Some people chew ice. Some people eat really hard things like beef jerky and biscotti and things like that. And so if you're rough on teeth, then you probably want to go to the porcelain veneers.

Dr. Spiker Davis:
The second thing is because bonding is a porous material. If you looked down under a microscope, it looks like Swiss cheese. Over time if you're drinking coffee, tea, red wine, grape juice, anything that would stain in a T-shirt will eventually stain the bonding. And so the biggest complaint we get is people come back five years or 10 years after having bonding and they say, "Hey, my bonding has chipped or hey, my bonding is a little stained."

Dr. Spiker Davis:
So a lot of times we can repair the bonding simply or if you just get your teeth clean and it's important to get them cleaned from a cosmetic dentist that knows how to clean bonding without doing damage to it. But if you get them cleaned, a lot of times we can clean off any surface stains so they're back to looking beautiful again with just a little tune up.

Dr. Spiker Davis:
Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, that never happens. Porcelain veneers don't stain and seldom do porcelain veneers chip. So porcelain veneers will last a very long time and they will not stain or almost never. I had one lady from Louisiana that drank 40 cups of coffee a day. Well, her tongue was stained so everything stained. But in general, normal wear and tear, I've had my veneers for almost 30 years and there's no staining on them at all.

Dr. Spiker Davis:
And so the decision comes down, should I get bonding? Should I get porcelain veneers? I would base it on two factors. How much are you willing to spend in today's world and how long do you expect them to last?

Dr. Spiker Davis:
So if you're looking for the cheapest option and also the option that's not going to last the longest, then bonding's for you.

Dr. Spiker Davis:
If you're looking for something's going to last a long time and money's not an object, then porcelain veneers would probably be a better option because they're going to last longer.

Dr. Spiker Davis:
So if you have any questions about whether you'd want to do bonding or veneers, feel free to give us a call 713-781-2800 and we'll be glad to answer your questions. Thanks.