Cosmetic Bonding and Veneers
Cosmetic bonding is the process in which tooth colored material (composite resin) is adhered, or bonded, to the tooth. This procedure can be used to repair or improve the appearance of a tooth that has been discolored, decayed, broken or chipped. Bonding can also be used to close spaces between teeth and change the shape and color of teeth. Unlike veneers, which are made in a laboratory and require multiple visits to the dental office, bonding can be done in a single visit. Bonding typically lasts several years before it needs to be repaired; however, your oral habits and how much bonding was done will determine how long it actually lasts.
Veneers are thin custom-made shells, made from tooth colored materials, designed to improve the appearance of teeth that are discolored, worn down, chipped, crooked, oddly shaped or unevenly spaced. To prepare for a veneer, your dentist will remove a very thin layer of enamel from the surface of your tooth (in the case of a no-prep veneer, no enamel is removed). An impression, or model, of your tooth is taken and is sent to a laboratory where the veneers are made. The veneers are then bonded to the front of your teeth. Veneers have longer life expectancy and color durability than bonding and are highly resistant to staining from tobacco, food, and beverages such as coffee, tea and red wine.