How Does Bonding Differ from Porcelain Veneers?

Which is better, bonding or veneers, for correcting a slight overlap in the lower front teeth?

Doctor Answers 6

Porcelain veneers are ideal

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A porcelain veneer or a composite veneer are placed by a process called bonding;  they are both bonded.

Depending on the situation, the size of the restoration will be the key.  Porcelain is stronger, so if large forces are generated or the restorations will be in a high traffic area (lots of wear and tear), then strength will be important.

Sometimes when a patient points out a slight overlap, they are pointing out something that is normal and ideal.  It is possible that there is nothing to correct.

Correcting overlapping teeth?

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Your question is really what method is best to correct slightly overlapping teeth.  Although both bonded (glued) porcelain veneers and cosmetic dental composite resin bonding can solve the problem, both these treatment techniques have one thing in common, they both add a dental material to your existing tooth.  Whether composite or porcelain is added, it will need periodic maintenance and eventual replacement.

A more lasting solution may be simple orthodontics or invisalign which may simply correct the position of your slightly overlapping lower front teeth.  This solution is most conservative and if you are happy with the shape and colour of your teeth may give you what you want with the least long term consequences. 

Dan Hagi, DDS
Toronto Dentist

Porcelain Veneers vs. Bonding

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Porcelain veneers are much stronger than bonded resin fillings.  In your case to correct a slight overlap of your lower teeth you might be able to get away with bondings which are cheaper and more conservative.  Porcelain veneers have a better aesthetics result but may not be necessary if you do not show much of your lower front teeth.

Dan Haas, DDS
Toronto Dentist

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"bonding" vs. porcelain

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Although I agree that porcelain is stronger and most of the time more esthetic, if the cosmetic problem is slight as you say the overlap is, bonding is sometimes a better option because it can be a much more conservative treatment.  When I say conservative, I mean that the treatment conserves or saves tooth structure.  This is very desirable, especially in lower front teeth which are very thin to begin with.  In the 21st century, the name of the game is save body tissue all the while creating beauty and excellent function.

Martin Frankel, DDS
Toronto Dentist

Different materials

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Both porcelain and composite (bonding) are restorative materials that mimick natural teeth.  Of the two, porcelain is both stronger and in most cases, has a more lifelike appearence - which is porcelain's superior qualities.

On the other hand, composite (bonding) is a fantastic material for esthetic restorations.  Bonding is typically more often used on partial coverage fillings.  Composite is contoured free-hand and using this material requires your dentist to have advanced training.  With this advanced training, your dentist can use composite to even create a full veneer that will look great.  Composite is one of the very best restorative materials in dentistry.

To make everything make sense - porcelain is used by a dentist and a lab technician to create the very best veneers possible - both in cosmetics and strength.  Porcelain veneers require an impression, temporary veneers, and a 2nd appointment.  During the 2nd appointment you will get your real porcelain veneers.

Greg Lutke, DDS
Plano Dentist

Bonding vs. Veneers

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In most cases Veneers are the superior alternative.  Bonding uses a resin material that is similar to plastic in it's wear rate and compression strength.  Over time bonding may need to be replaced.  Also the resin used in bonding is much more porous and may stain over time.  The esthetics of bonding is also less translucent and therefore does not look as real as natural tooth structure.  Bonding will provide an economical way of enhancing your smile, closing gaps, or fixing worn or broken teeth, but don't expect the results to be as good Veneers.  Veneers are 2 to 3 times more expensive, but are well worth it.  Veneers can be made of a porcelain material that is just as strong if not stronger than your own enamel.  Veneers also look better and won't wear away over time like bonding will.  Veneers have a much better color stability and are much more resistant to staining.  So if your goal is to correct something small and temporary then bonding might be the better choice.  But if you want stronger and better looking results, Veneers are the clear choice.

Jimmy C. Wu, DDS
San Diego Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.