Composite Bonding vs Composite Veneers
Many people find it difficult to bite properly with chipped or gapped teeth and can also be too self-conscious to smile and speak freely because of the way their teeth look. The same can be said for healthy but discoloured teeth.
This is where cosmetic dentistry comes in, helping to restore aesthetic smiles and self-confidence. There are many cosmetic dental treatments available that can address such issues, but one of the easiest and most affordable is composite bonding.
When researching cosmetic dentistry, many people may wonder what the difference is between composite bonding and composite veneers. After all, they sound the same – but are they? Which treatment is better for a white and even smile?
Here at Finsbury Dental Care, we provide both composite bonding London and composite veneers London, so we can tell you exactly what you need to know about composite bonding vs composite veneers to understand each approach and decide which is best for you.
What is composite bonding?
Also known as dental bonding or tooth bonding, this type of cosmetic treatment restores the appearance of damaged or uneven teeth by building them up with composite resin.
Composite bonding typically refers to the application of this composite material around the edges of a tooth to make them neat and straight, reshaping the tooth in a non-invasive way.
This is why the term is used interchangeably with ‘edge bonding’, as the composite is most often bonded to the edges of the teeth only and does not cover the entire surface.
This procedure can treat a range of cosmetic dental issues, from repairing jagged edges and chips to filling in gaps without orthodontic treatment. It can also be used to lengthen teeth that are too small or reshape uneven teeth to create a symmetrical smile.
How does Edge Bonding work?
The composite bonding process involves preparing the tooth surface with an etchant gel – drilling or shaving the tooth is usually not required – then hand-sculpting composite resin that’s been colour-matched to the tooth underneath.
When you’re happy with how it looks, the next step is curing the composite under a UV light so that it hardens and bonds securely to the tooth, then buffing the cured resin to achieve a natural-looking shine that matches your other teeth.
This is relatively quick and less intrusive than other cosmetic treatments like crowns or porcelain veneers. You can leave the dentist’s chair with a new smile in around 1 hour, depending on how many teeth are being treated.
As composite bonding retains most of the tooth structure, you must get your teeth whitened first if you want to change the colour of your teeth in addition to the shape. The composite material itself cannot be whitened once it has been applied.
What are composite veneers?
Composite veneers are the less expensive alternative to traditional porcelain veneers, which involve removing more of a tooth’s front surface and applying a custom-made porcelain shell over it to disguise the tooth’s cosmetic flaws.
As a form of composite bonding, less preparation is needed to secure composite veneers to the tooth, but a similar effect is achieved when applying composite resin over the entire surface rather than moulding it around the edges.
Covering the visible tooth with composite resin helps to disguise minor cracks or chips and permanently discoloured patches. This is often a more affordable choice than porcelain veneers when a patient wants veneers on multiple front teeth.
The process of applying composite veneers is almost exactly the same as edge bonding, except more of the tooth is prepared and then covered by the composite material. It can also be completed in one visit, without having to wait for veneers to be made in a lab.
How are composite veneers different?
While edge bonding requires more careful blending of the composite with the parts of the existing tooth that are still visible, as well as your other teeth, composite veneers cover the whole tooth and only need to match the shade of the surrounding teeth.
Edge bonding also removes very little of the tooth structure, while composite veneers require removing a more significant amount. Not as much as porcelain veneers, but they will still require upkeep, as the tooth underneath can’t be left exposed.
As more coverage is involved, composite veneers also typically take longer to apply than edge bonding. This means that while you can still have them done in one sitting, you’ll likely be in the dentist’s chair for a bit longer.
Both composite bonding options offer faster cosmetic fixes with lower upfront costs and less damage to the underlying tooth structure than traditional veneers or crowns, but both are also less permanent and may need replacing every 5 years or so.
Composite bonding vs Composite veneers
If you’re not confident about the way your smile looks, but the only problems with your teeth are cosmetic, you could be a good candidate for composite bonding.
Whether edge bonding or composite veneers would be most suitable for you depends on several factors, such as the number of teeth you want to treat, the condition they’re in, and the extent of treatment needed to achieve the look you want.
To find out more about which type of composite bonding would be best, you’ll need to attend a consultation at Finsbury Dental Care, where one of our dentists can assess your teeth and discuss appropriate treatment options for your needs and budget.
Our friendly team of highly qualified dental professionals will be happy to advise you.