Bonding or Veneers: Which One Will Save Your Smile?


Whether you are going out on a blind date, or interviewing to get the job of your dreams, there are few things that make a better first impression than a gorgeous, glowing smile of pearly white teeth. In fact, a recent study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that 48% of adults believe a smile is the most memorable feature of meeting someone new.

Over time, environmental effects, accidents, and even the natural aging process can transform the smile we want to show the world into one we’d prefer to keep under closed lips.  Fortunately, cosmetic dental procedures can restore our teeth to their former glory – or maybe make them look better than they ever did in the first place.

Dental bonding and porcelain veneers are two common procedures used to dramatically improve the look of your smile – but what is the difference between them and which one is right for you?

A Bonding Experience

Dental bonding is a procedure during which your dentist molds a composite resin individually over one or multiple teeth to fix the shape or fill in cracks within your smile. The resin is colored to match the shade of your natural teeth and is permanently bonded with an ultraviolet light. The process is done freehand by your dentist – usually during a single visit.

Once the bonding material is cured, it becomes nearly indistinguishable from your own teeth. Bonding is perfect for fixing chips, making short teeth long longer and improving the overall shape of a tooth. Although it’s not cheap, it’s much less expensive than getting veneers. Bonding is a quick and relatively easy process to mask imperfections in your smile and lasts up to 5 years.

Get a Hollywood Smile with Veneers

Tune into an awards show with a red carpet full of celebrities and you’ll see a lot of blindingly white perfect smiles.  Many of those mouths can thank their dentists for creating them – with the help of porcelain veneers. Want to look like a movie star? Veneers might be the investment for you.

Veneers are thin, individually-shaped coverings that are created to match each of your own teeth. Before veneers can be applied, you must undergo a prep procedure, which involves filing down the actual enamel from each tooth and shaping it to better fit the veneer shell.

Once your teeth are prepped, molds are taken and sent to a dental lab to create veneers that will perfectly fit. There are several different methods of constructing veneers.  Once the veneers are constructed, the veneers are attached to the natural teeth using an adhesive material. Voila – you’re ready for your close-up!

Veneers last longer than bonding – up to 20 years or more.  They also don’t yellow with time or staining foods and drinks (think coffee and red wine) like natural teeth or the materials used in dental bonding. However, veneers can cost more than twice as much per tooth and require multiple trips to the dentist.  Sometimes called “instant orthodontia,” porcelain veneers are used to fix serious smile defects as opposed to minor imperfections.

Determining which dental procedure is the best for you may involve a conversation with your dentist. Consider the time involved, the cost of each affected tooth and the current state of your smile. No matter which treatment you choose, one thing is certain – your smile will be brighter, straighter and more fabulous than before!

Considering veneers or bonding? Let’s talk about the best option for you. With locations in Alexandria, VA and Washington DC, DC Smiles provides a holistic approach to dental care that incorporates total-body health and wellness. Learn more at





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