Bonding & Veneers

Porcelain veneers or “Bonding” (bonded resin veneers): what is the difference?

Both of these procedures are used to cover the fronts of teeth to enhance their appearance and function.  Often multiple teeth are treated to ensure the result blends into the rest of the mouth. Teeth that are healthy and free from large cavities or fillings are often good candidates for these procedures which are used to improve colour, alignment, shape and also “the bite”. Both porcelain veneers and bonded resin veneers (“bonding”) can provide beautiful, natural results and change a smile that is less than perfect into one that is truly stunning.  So, what are they exactly and how do they differ?

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers as the name says, are made from porcelain (there are several different types of porcelain that can be used).  After the smile is designed in detail (using models of the patient’s teeth , photographs, and a wax mock-up), the teeth are carefully prepared by the dentist and an impression is taken and sent to the laboratory. There, a skilled ceramist creates the ultra-thin porcelain shells according to the prescription provided by the dentist. The in-lab procedure may take 1-2 weeks and during this time the teeth are covered and protected by “provisional veneers” made from a temporary resin material. These provisionals are very important as they function as a “trial smile” as well as keeping the teeth comfortable and protected. By assessing the function and esthetics of the provisionals, any necessary changes can be made before the final porcelain is completed. Once the porcelain veneers are returned from the lab, the dentist must remove the provisionals, clean and disinfect the teeth and then try in the porcelain.  If both patient and dentist are happy with the fit and appearance, the veneers are carefully bonded into place. The new porcelain veneers are strong and long lasting as long as the patient does not “use their teeth for tools” and does not have a grinding problem (an acrylic nightguard may be needed to protect the restored teeth).

Bonded Resin Veneers

Bonded resin veneers are constructed differently. The planning process and wax-up procedure are much the same, but the treatment is completed entirely in the dental office. The dentist conservatively prepares the teeth and then sculpts and shapes tooth coloured resin filling material onto the teeth, curing it with a bright light. The procedure is labour intensive and may require several appointments. This procedure can be very conservative and is especially useful for young teeth.  Although it will likely not last as long as porcelain veneers, it is possible to repair the bonding if necessary. Also, as there is no lab bill involved, the fee is less than for porcelain.

Both procedures can produce beautiful results.

Call us at 604-943-3343  to learn more.