Veneers, bonds, and porcelain crowns explained!

What would it take to have a beautiful sparkling smile? You have questions? We have answers. 

At Peninsula Family Dentistry in Gig Harbor, Washington, Dr. Thomas Duffy offers several ways to achieve your dream and enjoy enhanced dental health.

In addition to simply whitening your existing teeth, there are three techniques dentists often use to achieve our goals while preserving our patients’ existing teeth: veneers, bonds, and full coverage porcelain crowns.

“I can restore a great smile for you with any or a combination of these methods,” Dr. Duffy says. “And best results occur when people have good hygiene habits at home as part of their ‘after care.’ We also take into account those who grind their teeth or have other issues, some techniques and materials simply wont last as long as you might expect them to. 

“Some treatments, including veneers, are popular, but we often see them presented in ideal conditions. They can be presented as an ‘easy fix.’ Our goal is to help you find the right treatment to improve both your cosmetic desires and dental health needs.”

Let’s get started! Take this self quiz

Think about the overall condition of your teeth and oral health:

  • Are your teeth and gums generally healthy except for a few minor issues like cracks, chips or simply a tooth color you don’t like?
  • Do you want to change the look of a few of your teeth—or many—or most of them? 
  • Is your situation a little more serious involving large spaces, loose or missing teeth, or what some call “black triangles”? 

Think about any dental work you might need:

  • Have you been told you need a filling or a crown?
  • Do you have tooth pain?
  • Do you have gum disease or symptoms like bleeding or painful gums?

Understanding your situation as well as your dreams will help you and our team discover what we can do to restore your beautiful, confident smile while addressing any underlying problems.  

Veneers, bonds, and porcelain crowns—checking potential options

  • Thin custom-fit porcelain shells are applied to the front of your teeth 
  • Will cover chips, cracks, discolored teeth 
  • Offers even tooth color for your smile
  • Tooth-colored composite resin repair reshapes an existing chipped, mildly discolored, or cracked tooth and can fill gaps or black triangles
  • Natural in color, matching your surrounding teeth
  • Bonds use filling material to re-sculpt your tooth
Full-Coverage Porcelain Crowns
  • Protects and preserves your tooth in a strong, aesthetic shell (cap) 
  • Leaves less room for decay or injury 
  • Matches your desired or original tooth color and will cover deeper stains
  • Also placed upon dental implants and as a support for bridges 

Comparing your options

VeneersBondsFull-Coverage Porcelain Crowns
  • Aesthetically pleasing—no grey metal at the gum line
  • Covers gaps 
  • Can help change the shape or alignment of your teeth
  • Easily whitens your smile
  • May not require much trimming, leaving more natural tooth 
  • Same-day procedure
  • Good for minor dental blemishes, stains, chips, or cracks
  • Can help change shape of your tooth
  • Less invasive than crowns or veneers
  • Cost often partially covered by dental insurance
  • Look beautiful, feel, and perform naturally
  • Entire tooth is covered, strengthening, and reducing risk for more injury or decay
  • Made in a lab, allowing more flexibility to correct tooth shape, function 
  • Strongest, most predictable with decades-long wear 
  • Cost often partially covered by dental insurance
  • Irreversible. Requires invasive removal of some tooth enamel to apply the porcelain shell
  • Leaves existing back and sides of tooth exposed to potential decay
  • A reduced bonding surface area increases chance of veneer coming loose
  • Subject to staining from food
  • May only last 5-7 years, sometimes 10 years 
  • Not usually covered by insurance and can be comparatively expensive
  • Bonds are not recommended for major tooth repairs, especially root cavities below the gumline
  • Not quite as durable as a crown or your own tooth
  • Lasts 5-10 years on average
  • Though more resilient to staining from food, may need buffing periodically to restore lifelike luster 
  • Installation is somewhat invasive
  • To place, the size of the existing tooth must be reduced to make room for the porcelain
  • Can be worn down in 5-10 years by teeth grinding, cavity-causing dietary habits 

If you’re a little unsure which might be best for you, no worries! Chances are you still have questions. Dr. Duffy will help you figure out which is the best plan for you at a free consultation. Call 253-525-4050 or request a consultation here.

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