Chipped Front Teeth -Bonding or Veneers
Hi in Pittsburg! You have really nice straight white teeth and a nice smile. I am surprised your dentist has not checked your bite to see if there is too much force on the front teeth. If there is, your bonding will continue to chip as well as your new veneers could fail as well. You seem happy with the way your teeth look. I would go back to your dentist or see another one and find out if your bite is causing the problem. I would then try bonding again since you can keep your natural teeth. Once you have veneers, you can not go back. You surely do not need six of them! I would attempt the bonding again and keep your natural teeth which look great! Do not chew on ice or open anything with your front teeth and be careful of hard candy!
My two front teeth continue to chip. My dentist has repaired the chips, but strongly suggests the veneers.
You certainly can have your teeth rebonded with direct composite. However, if they are continuing to chip then mostly likely your dentist recommended porcelain veneers because they are many times stronger and longer lasting than the plastic bonding you currently have. If you don't mind continually having your teeth rebonded every time they chip, then by all means it is still a viable alternative. However, in the long run you will probably end up having to have porcelain veneers eventually anyway (or, if you wait too long and too much have broken off, possibly crowns), and then you would have spent more money overall by the numerous replacements of the composite bonding.
Suggestion....if you do finally decide that you want the more permanent correction to your chipping teeth problems, I would highly recommend that your dentist use one of the stronger porcelain materials. At this time my favorite porcelain veneering material is EMax porcelain, which is not only much stronger than direct composite bonding, but over double the strength of the regular porcelain material (feldspathic porcelain) typically used by most dentists over the past few decades for porcelain veneers.
Veneers are generally stronger than bonding small areas of your teeth near the biting surface. Often bonding is tried first as it is somewhat less invasive than veneers. If the tooth continues to chip then a veneer is usually the next option. Before proceeding with anything I would have your dentist check your bite. It is possible that your teeth are knocking each other in a destructive way. By looking at your photos it appears that your teeth are a little crowded and your lower arch somewhat constricted. If the lower teeth continue to bang on the top teeth in a bad way then veneers will prove to be a problem down the road just like the bonding.
Based on your photos and explanation, it appears that you may have had dental bonding in the past, unknowingly. I would agree that your teeth do look nice and if you are happy with their current appearance (minus the chips) then you may not need all 6 veneers.
The fact that you've had dental bonding in the past, means that it will continue to break and chip over the years, which will require you to have to have the chips fixed again and again. This is because bonding is pretty temporary because it is not very strong when used on your biting surfaces and it tends to stain very, very easily. If you do not mind having your teeth chip occasionally and then having to pay to get them re-bonded from time to time, then bonding may be a cheaper option for you in the short term. However, if you are looking to fix the problem with something that should last you another 20-30 years, then porcelain veneers may be what you prefer for a cheaper long-term fix.
If 6 veneers is out of the question for you, I would suggest only placing veneers on the teeth that are chipped; a skillful cosmetic dentist should have no problem matching the shade of your veneers with the current shade of your teeth. Good luck and I hope this helps. Follow me if you have more questions.
Sarah Thompson, DMD