Veneers or Composite Bonding for Closing Gaps in Teeth?

I am enclosing a photo of my smile. I am interested in closing gaps and lengthening the upper lateral teeth. Veneers seem like a large investment, would bonding provide comparable results? If not, how many veneers would you recommend? I am a 26y/o female with otherwise healthy teeth. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 4

Closing gaps with porcelain veneers is among options

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There are many advantages to restoring a smile with only porcelain veneers, but the investment can be quite large.  Normally, the number placed is determined by how many teeth show, which is usually 8-10 teeth.

In a minor case like this, orthodontics (Invisalign or 6 month braces) should be considered, and once complete, do whitening followed by minimal prep (or no prep) veneers on desired teeth (likely the laterals).

A consultation with an experienced cosmetic dentist can really help you decide what is best for you.

Here's the perfect treatment...

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First do Invisalign to straighten all your upper (close the gaps between your two front teeth) and lower teeth. They will leave room for two veneers on your lateral incisors. Then do zoom whitening to even up the color. Then do the two veneers. Have impressions taken after that for retainers to keep your teeth lined up for life. You can periodically do tray whitening to keep your natural teeth matching your veneer teeth.

Michael J. Thomas, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

3 Options for Closing Spaces

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I understand that your main concerns are closing spaces and improving the appearance of the two side teeth (laterals).  Here are the options I would consider if I were you.

Ideal Option:  Invisalign/whitening followed by 2 no-prep or minimal-prep veneers on the laterals.  Invisalign is fast and invisible.  Besides closing the spaces, you could also expand your arches (where your upper back teeth start to tip in and fade out of your smile).  Also your right upper canine (it's the one on the left looking at the photo) sticks out a little and that could also be fixed.  Finally, properly aligning your upper and lower arches would be ideal.  And you can whiten in your Invisalign trays!  All of this would take under 6 months, it would be minimally invasive, and would result in the most perfect smile for you.  If you were my sister this is the treatment I would insist for you.


Option 2:  Porcelain Veneers on the 4 front teeth (closes spaces and idealizes size and shape and color of laterals)

Option 3:  Chairside veneers (4 front teeth) to close spaces and improve appearance of laterals

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Composite Veneers or Porcelain Veneers?

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When having any dental procedure done you always need to way the advantages and disadvantages of both.  Both types of veneers correct length of teeth, close gaps between and correct all discolorations of the teeth so you have a beautiful white, pleasing smile.

The advantages of a composite veneers are :  They are completed in one office visit. It is involves the application of a bond and enamel directly to the tooth's surface and can be repaired if damaged. Also the cost varies from $200 to $300 a tooth.  The downside is they do not look as natural or appealing as porcelain veneers and their longevity is not even close to a procelain veneer.

Porcelain veneers advantages are they are almost translucent, which gives the teeth a lustrous appearance.  They are much stronger than composites, consequently, so is their durability. They also are pretty much stain resistant.  The downside is there are usually three office visits involved and onced chipped, can not be repaired. The cost runs from $800 to $2000 a tooth which is considerably more than a compostie.  You must look and weigh the pros and cons of each procedure and decide for yourself which you are more comfortable with and fits within your budget

Hope the answer was helpful to you!

Robert Fields, DDS
Van Nuys 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.