Pros and Cons of Cosmetic Bonding vs Porcelain Veneers

By Mina Levi DDS, 01/09/2014

Cosmetic dentistry is an option for those who are unhappy with the aesthetic aspects of their smile such as undersized teeth due to development issues (Peg Lateral Teeth), chipping, discoloration, and misalignment, amongst other issues. 

Cosmetic bonding and porcelain veneers have been available for a long time, giving people the beautiful smile they have always dreamed of. There are differences between bonding and veneers, though, and one option may be more suitable for you than the other. Below, we discuss the pros and cons of both cosmetic bonding and porcelain veneers.

Cosmetic Bonding

What is it?

Cosmetic bonding is the application of a composite material that is matched to tooth color (usually, Zoom whitening or at-home whitening kits are recommended before this procedure) to the surfaces of the teeth. This composite material is then sculpted into the shape that is so desired by the patient to achieve the highest aesthetic value.


1. Speedy Treatment Time.

Cosmetic bonding does not involve any laboratory work, and can be performed usually with one dental office visit after the initial consultation unless the patient wants to whiten their teeth via the in-office Zoom procedure before the bonding takes place.


Relatively Low Cost per Tooth.

The cost for cosmetic bonding is relatively low in comparison to porcelain veneers, about the same as a composite filling.




Unlike porcelain veneers, the composite material that is used in bonding is susceptible to staining by coffee, tea, and smoking.



Cosmetic bonding only can last between five to ten years, and then they will need to be replaced.

Porcelain Veneers

What are they?

Porcelain veneers are thin “shells” of porcelain fabricated in a laboratory that cover the front surfaces of the teeth. The teeth are prepared for the veneers, molded impressions of the teeth are then sent out to a laboratory so that the veneers can be made to fit the exact tooth structure. Then the veneers are applied to the teeth with an adhesive.



Realistic Look

Porcelain veneers are custom to each individual’s teeth and are made from a material that gives them a transparency, making them look almost identical to the natural tooth structure.


Stain Resistant. 

Porcelain veneers, unlike natural tooth structures and cosmetic bonding, are resistant to staining from coffee, tea and smoking. This makes it so that the patient can have more freedom in their diet and they will not have to worry about teeth whitening procedures.


Long Lasting.

Depending on oral hygiene, porcelain veneers can last a lot longer than cosmetic bonding, decades if maintained properly.



More Procedural Work.

The process to prepare the teeth, have the veneers made and then apply them to the natural teeth is a longer process than the cosmetic bonding, taking about three visits to the dental office in total with waiting periods in between in order for materials to be made and shipped.


Higher costs.

Porcelain veneers are much pricier than the cosmetic bonding option, and are almost always considered a cosmetic procedure and thus are not covered by dental insurances.

If you wish to transform your smile cosmetically or have any questions or concerns regarding cosmetic bonding and porcelain veneers, visit the Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi DDS on the web at

 or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.


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