What Is The Difference Between Bonding & Veneers?

Cosmetic Dentist Serving Austin, Bee Cave, Lakeway and Nearby Areas of Texas


Both bonding and veneers can enhance your smile by addressing chipped, stained, crowded, or abnormally-shaped teeth. If you have some teeth that don’t look as great as you’d like, you may be wondering what is better, bonding or veneers?

Austin cosmetic dentist Dr. John Schmid is skilled at both techniques. After examining your teeth and gums, Dr. Schmid will explain the difference between veneers and bonding and which technique is best for your unique situation.

Dental Bonding

Bonding is a quick and simple method of improving your smile through use of a resin that binds to your tooth and can be custom-shaped. The procedure takes about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth. Bonding material can be applied with minimal discomfort, and the procedure can transform a damaged or stained tooth.


The bonding process can be completed in one visit to Dr. Schmid, in most cases. He will explain each step of the procedure and will work diligently to achieve the smile you want. The treatment involves the following steps:

  • Shade selection – Dr. Schmid matches the color of the resin to your natural teeth.
  • Preparing the tooth – Dr. Schmid gently textures the affected tooth and applies a conditioning liquid. These steps enable a strong bond between the resin and the tooth.
  • Applying the bonding material – Resin is applied to the tooth.
  • Shaping the resin – The applied resin is shaped to create a natural-looking result.
  • Hardening the resin – Dr. Schmid uses a specialized light to harden the bonding material and then makes any necessary final adjustments to the shape.
  • Polishing the bonding material – Lastly, the tooth is polished to blend in with your other teeth.

Dental Bonding vs. Veneers

While bonding materials are not as stain resistant, natural-looking, or strong as veneers, many patients enjoy a pleasing aesthetic improvement for 5 to 7 years with dental bonding. Additionally, bonding:

  • Is more affordable.
  • Removes less tooth enamel.
  • Does not require anesthesia (with the exception of its use for filling a cavity).
  • Can be done in one office visit.


porcelain veneer illustrationDr. Schmid is highly skilled in using porcelain veneers to achieve longer-lasting solutions for patients who want to improve their smiles. Porcelain veneers are custom-made, thin shells designed to cover the front surface of your tooth and closely mimic the appearance and function of your natural teeth.


  • Consultation and exam – Dr. Schmid will examine your teeth before determining if a porcelain veneer is the best way to address your aesthetic concern. Significant decay or a tooth that takes a high degree of bite force may require a crown as opposed to veneers.
  • Shade matching – You and Dr. Schmid will choose a custom shade for your veneer by matching it to your natural teeth.
  • Preparing the tooth – A small amount of enamel must be removed to allow the veneer to fit snugly around your natural tooth. Anesthesia is often used for this stage.
  • Taking the impression – Dr. Schmid will make an impression of the tooth to send to the dental laboratory. It takes about 2 to 4 weeks for most labs to create and return completed veneers.
  • Placement – After ensuring that the veneer fits your tooth properly, Dr. Schmid will clean your tooth and etch it. Next, he applies a specific bonding material to the veneer and places it on your tooth.
  • Final touches – Dr. Schmid cures the cement with a special light and checks your bite.

Porcelain Veneers vs. Bonding

While the veneer process is a bit more involved than bonding, the results are typically more natural-looking and longer-lasting than bonding. Some patients prefer not to have enamel removed and will opt for bonding, while other patients choose veneers for the following reasons:

  • Stain resistant – With regular brushing and homecare, you can maintain the shade of your veneer.
  • Light reflection – Like your natural teeth, veneers reflect light, which results in a natural-looking smile.
  • Strength – Veneers are more durable and less prone to chipping than bonding.
  • Longer lifespan – If cared for, veneers can last up to a decade or longer.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation in Austin, Texas

Find out your best option for achieving an improved smile by scheduling a free consultation with Dr. Schmid. We serve patients in Austin, Lakeway, Bee Cave, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at 512-329-5967.