Veneers and composite bonding can serve the same purpose. That is to say, both treatments can hide flaws such as stains and cracks. However, to say that they are the same, with one being much more expensive, would be incorrect. While porcelain veneers are made of a superior material (porcelain, zirconia, e.g.), they are not quite as versatile as composite bonding.
Therefore, to say that porcelain veneers are always the superior option would not be entirely true. While they do look more like natural teeth and will last a lot longer, porcelain veneers are more limited than composite bonding. To demonstrate, here are several examples:
Composite Bonding is Quicker
Porcelain veneers take time to create. Impressions of your bite need to be taken first. These are then sent to a ceramist in a lab who will need around two weeks to create the finished product. However, if, for example, you didn't have two weeks and were getting married next week, you could opt to go with composite bonding instead to cover up an obvious flaw.
Composite bonding takes about 30-40 minutes and is thus a good option for those who don't have the time to wait for porcelain veneers.
Composite Bonding Can Treat All Teeth
Porcelain veneers are designed to sit on the frontal surfaces of the teeth in your smile zone, i.e., the teeth people see when you smile. While they do look amazing (many Hollywood actors have them), they cannot be utilized for back teeth. Composite bonding, on the other hand, can repair broken teeth wherever they are in the mouth.
If you were to have multiple damaged or stained teeth throughout your mouth, composite bonding would be ideal, especially for the repair of molars and premolars. Then again, the two treatments could also be combined, with veneers on the front teeth and bonding on the back teeth.
Each Treatment Has its Strengths and Weaknesses
Composite bonding, despite its advantages over veneers, stains and breaks much more easily than porcelain veneers. Though composite veneers could theoretically last for five years, they could also easily need replacing within 1-3 years, depending on your dietary habits. Porcelain veneers, however, can easily last 5-10 years and are stain resistant.
So, are porcelain veneers superior to composite bonding? In the smile zone, yes, but regarding versatility, no. If your wedding day is one week from now and you have just chipped your front teeth, composite bonding could save the day. However, it might be a good idea to later swap your composite veneer for a porcelain one, for the sake of longevity and appearance.
Contact a local dentist for more information and assistance.