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Bonding vs. Veneers - Which Is Best for Closing Gaps and Fixing Chips?

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry solutions for closing gaps or repairing tooth surfaces, dental bonding, and porcelain veneers are two popular options. But which is the ideal choice depends on your case factors. Let’s examine the differences between bonding and veneers:

What is bonding?

  • Dental bonding involves applying a tooth-colored resin material to teeth to change their shape, size, or color. 
  • Bonds are bonded directly to the front of teeth, requiring minimal preparation.
  • They can close small gaps, repair minor chips and cracks, or whiten discolored teeth.

What is a veneer?

  • Veneers are thin shells made of tooth-colored materials like porcelain that are bonded onto the fronts of teeth.
  • Preparing teeth is required by lightly buffing the tooth surface, usually removing 0.5 mm of enamel.
  • Veneers can close larger spaces from 1-2 mm and extensively restore worn, crooked, or misshapen teeth.

Material Differences

  • Bonds are made of resin composite material while veneers use porcelain or composite laminate materials. 
  • Porcelain is more durable and stain-resistant but requires more tooth reduction. Composite laminates are very thin but can stain or crack more easily over time.

Application Process:

  • Bonds only require etching of the tooth surface before application in 1 appointment.
  • Veneers involve impressions, lab fabrication, and cementation requiring 2-3 appointments to complete.


  • With proper care, bonding lasts 5-7 years on average before potential staining or wear requires replacement.
  • Veneers can provide aesthetic results for 10-15 years. Porcelain is more durable than resin options long-term.

Ideal Candidates

  • Small chips, cracks, or gaps under 2mm are ideal for bonding application.
  • Broader spaces 1-2 mm across multiple teeth or severe staining are veneer cases.
  • Veneers preserve more tooth structure than multiple individual bonds over time.

Bonding works well for non-extensive cosmetic touch-ups while veneers deliver stronger long-lasting repairs ideal for more major cosmetic or structural makeovers. Consider factors like your bite force, desired longevity, and function needs when deciding. Either way, natural-looking results can transform your smile!

Cost is also a consideration – while bonding costs less initially per tooth, multi-surface treatments indicate veneers are ultimately more cost-effective. Consulting your dentist helps determine the approach best suited to your specific goals and dental anatomy. With proper home care, both options can dramatically boost aesthetics and self-confidence.

Let’s Recap. Bonding is great for minor fixes while porcelain veneers offer the ultimate durable cosmetic solution. Careful examination between you and your dentist ensures selecting the treatment targeting your requirements best. The result is a beautiful new smile to shine brightly for many years to come!

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