If you crack or chip one of your teeth, you need to have that tooth repaired. For most people, this will involve either composite bonding or a crown.
Some people confuse these treatment options, so it's worth going over the difference between them. Bonding uses the same composite material used to make fillings – it is applied to your teeth and then shaped to cover chips and gaps. Crowns are tooth-shaped caps that fit over the entire tooth in question – the same composite bonding material may be used, but only to secure the crown in place.
There's no right answer, but you'll generally find that one option is more suitable. Here are just three reasons why you might want to consider opting for a crown over composite bonding.
1. Crowns Are More Reliable
The composite resin used for bonding is quite strong, which is why it can be used for fillings. However, it isn't as strong as your natural tooth enamel, so it works best when dealing with very small cracks and chips. If a lot of tooth surface needs to be replaced, you'll need to be careful when you eat anything tough or hard. A crown completely encloses the tooth, providing the exact functionality you'd enjoy with a natural tooth. As such, you won't need to worry as much about further cracking, chipping, or breaking.
2. Longer Life
Crowns aren't just more reliable in the short-term – they'll almost always last a lot longer than composite bonding. How seriously you take your oral health will have a big impact on how long either treatment lasts, but dental bonding is predicted to last around five to ten years. Properly cared for, a crown can last around five to fifteen years, and possible much longer. Crowns also provide a barrier to protect the underlying tooth structure from bacteria and plaque, meaning you'll be less likely to experience decay, infection, or further chips and cracks.
3. Superior Appearance
It's common for patients to worry that their chipped or cracked teeth won't look as good once they have been repaired. Such fears are usually groundless, at least at first. One of the problems with the composite resin used for bonding is that it doesn't replicate the appearance of natural tooth enamel as effectively as a porcelain crown. It's also more porous, meaning stains are taken more readily, and the material can even start to yellow as the years go by. Staining won't be an issue when you opt for a crown.
For more information, contact a local cosmetic dentist.
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