I’ve had dental bonding on my upper four front teeth since 2002, and it was beginning to look worn. When I asked my dentist to replace the bonding with porcelain veneers, she preferred bonding rather than grinding my teeth down for porcelain veneers. Her reasoning made sense, so I agreed to the bonding and scheduled an appointment two weeks later. When my dentist finished, I could see that the bonding did not match my teeth, which she had whitened in June. Also, the bonding work created a gap between my front teeth that did not exist before.
My dentist assured me she would correct the bonding color and gap, so I returned in late November. I did not notice any improvement. I talked to my dentist about my disappointment, and again, she promised to correct it. But I have yet to reschedule the appointment because I do not trust her, and I am considering finding a dentist for porcelain veneers. Is switching dentists the right thing to do? Also, is there anything wrong with asking for veneers, or should I let another dentist try bonding again? Thanks in advance for your suggestions. Michelle from Cleveland, TN
Thank you for your question. Your experience shows that it is unlikely that your dentist can match your bonding to your tooth color. Dentists who use bonding must understand how to manipulate color to achieve a perfect match for your teeth. Bonding requires hand application, which makes it even more challenging. Still, a trained cosmetic dentist with an artistic eye can achieve beautiful results.
How Do Dental Bonding and Porcelain Veneers Compare?
Both dental bonding and porcelain veneers will conceal chipped teeth. How do they compare?
- Material – Composite can beautifully match tooth color, translucence, and gloss.
- Application – A cosmetic dentist applies bonding by hand directly on your teeth and layers and sculpts them to achieve natural-looking results.
- Longevity – If you take good care of it, bonding can last about five years. But it will stain over time.
- Material – Porcelain is more durable than tooth enamel and, like dental bonding, beautifully matches natural teeth. Cosmetic dentists work with artistic ceramists to produce natural-looking veneers.
- Application – After conservative tooth preparation, a dentist will bond a custom-made veneer to each affected tooth.
- Longevity – Veneers can last eight to twenty years, depending on their quality and how well you care for them.
Your dentist explained that she prefers bonding over grinding your teeth for porcelain veneers. But porcelain veneers require light tooth preparation—not grinding down your teeth. So, it seems that your dentist may not understand the porcelain veneers process. We recommend scheduling an appointment with a trained cosmetic dentist to discuss your options for concealing your chipped front teeth.
Dr. Jerome Cha, a Tulsa, Oklahoma, cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.