Porcelain Veneers vs. Bonding: Which Is Right For You?

Do you have certain imperfections in your smile that make you feel self-conscious about yourself? Are you interested in learning how to improve the appearance of your teeth? Have you been looking into cosmetic dentistry options in Mesa, Arizona? If so, you’ve likely heard of porcelain veneers and dental bonding. Both of these are excellent treatments that can easily help you achieve a better-looking smile. You may be wondering what exactly the differences between these two options are, and which is best for you.

What is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is a procedure similar to getting a tooth-colored filling.  In fact, the material used for both of these treatments is the same.  Dental bonding can improve minor imperfections in teeth such as enlarging small teeth, repairing chips, straightening crooked teeth, filling in gaps, and covering up stains.

To bond a tooth, our Mesa cosmetic dentist roughens the surface of the area to be worked on.  Then a series of solutions are applied to the tooth to prepare it for the composite resin material.  Once it’s placed, the bonding is shaped to the desired appearance and a special hardening light settles it into place.  Bonding comes in a variety of different shades and our dentist will either choose one that blends well with your natural teeth or if you’re doing a full makeover, you may decide to select a whiter shade, which is fine too.

Dental Bonding Pros and Cons

As far as cosmetic procedures go, dental bonding is one of the most affordable, coming in at about one-third of the cost of a porcelain veneer. Bonding is also a great way to give you instant results, so if you’re on a tight schedule, this may be the best option for you.

Dental bonding can stain, however, so smoking and drinking a lot of dark-colored beverages aren’t recommended.  Bonding material can also chip or completely pop off if you bite into something hard. The only way to fix these issues when they occur is to have the bonding replaced. Also, this material is available in several different shades but if we’re needing to match something unique it can raise a challenge for us.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are the ultimate way to get a flawless smile. These thin shells of porcelain are cemented over the front of your teeth and mask imperfections just like bonding does, but with a better looking, more stable solution. Unlike dental bonding, veneers are available in any shade you can imagine because they are custom painted.

Getting porcelain veneers is a big deal because the preparation process is permanent, meaning it’s something that you’ll have to keep up with for the rest of your life, repairing and replacing veneers as needed.


To begin the process of getting your porcelain veneers, our cosmetic dentist in Mesa will reduce the thickness of your teeth. This will allow room for the veneers to fit over your enamel without looking bulky and unnatural. Once the desired shape is achieved, we will use a 3-D intraoral scanner to collect a replica of your smile.  This digital model is used to custom design and fabricate your veneers. This process can take up to several weeks, so in the meantime we’ll make you temporary veneers to wear.

Porcelain Veneers Pros and Cons

In addition to being stronger and more custom-looking than bonding, veneers last a lot longer, hence the steeper price tag.  Unfortunately, their high costs won’t allow everyone that would benefit from a smile makeover the luxury of having one via porcelain veneers.

Veneers aren’t at risk of staining and though they are stronger than bonding, they can still chip and pop off if you’re hard on them, so you should take the same precautions as you would with dental bonding.

The length of time it takes to get veneers is usually about four weeks or so.  As we mentioned earlier, this process will be broken up into two separate appointments. For people who live very busy lives, it’s hard for them to take several hours out of their schedule on two different occasions, so those that fall into this category may not be inclined to get porcelain veneers.

Cosmetic Dentist in Mesa, Arizona 

Dr. Vinh Huynh, DMD, and his friendly staff love transforming people’s smiles and seeing what a difference it makes in their lives.  If you’ve been considering cosmetic dentistry and aren’t sure which procedure is right for you then come to see us for a consultation. We look forward to meeting you.

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