Cosmetic Dentistry: How to Choose Between Composite Bonding and Veneers

cosmetic dentistry Tucson, AZ

People who are not happy with the way their teeth look often turn to cosmetic dentistry to improve their smile. Two popular methods to enhance the appearance of the teeth are composite bonding and veneers. Both techniques change the shape, size and color of the teeth, but there are significant differences between the two.

Benefits of cosmetic dentistry

This field of dentistry has increased in popularity over the years. Unlike regular dentistry, which focuses more on oral disease treatment and prevention, cosmetic work changes the outward characteristics of the teeth for aesthetic purposes.

One major benefit of cosmetic dentistry is the improvement of an individual's self-esteem and confidence. Missing, stained or crooked teeth can become embarrassing, and people with these problems often resist smiling. When the teeth are fixed, people feel better about themselves and tend to socialize and smile more.

Some types of cosmetic dentistry can also make the function of the mouth and jaw work better. Not only can it improve chewing and speaking, but it also may help prevent bone loss in the jaw. Broken teeth often become decayed, and crooked teeth are harder to clean. Since cosmetic dentistry fixes these issues, it may help avert dental health problems.

Composite bonding vs. veneers

When clients want to change the size or shape of the teeth, composite bonding and veneers are two good options. However, there are pros and cons to each procedure.

Composite bonding

Composite bonding is designed for those who need small cosmetic changes. It works well for fixing chipped teeth, covering discolored teeth and protecting the root if the gums are receding.

With this method, the dentist uses an adhesive to apply a soft resin, which is shaped to match the tooth. A high-intensity light hardens the resin. The simple process of composite bonding does not require any outside lab work, and the procedure takes less than an hour and makes little to no change to the original tooth. Bonding is usually more affordable than many other cosmetic procedures.

Some disadvantages of composite bonding include vulnerability to chipping and lack of resistance to staining. Since the resin is not as strong as porcelain, it will need replacement over time.


Veneers are designed to fix broken teeth, repair gaps or change the shape of teeth. The dentist evaluates the teeth and orders customized veneers. A small amount of the tooth's enamel is removed, an adhesive is applied and the veneer, made of thin porcelain, is placed on the tooth.

One advantage of veneers is that they look natural because of the custom design. Because porcelain is durable and stain-resistant, the veneers can last many years.

Some negatives of veneers include the extended time to complete the process and the fact that the procedure is not reversible because of the changes made to the natural tooth. Veneers can also be damaged by teeth clenching or grinding, and they may be less affordable than composite bonding.


Cosmetic dentistry can effectively improve the look of a patient's smile. Composite bonding and veneers are two options that are minimally invasive, but it is a good idea to have an experienced dentist evaluate the teeth and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

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