Tooth Bonding Versus Crowns: Which Is Best For Your Damaged Tooth?

When you are concerned about a chipped, broken or otherwise damaged tooth, it's often difficult to determine in advance whether you will be able to have the tooth bonded or if you will need a crown. Since there is usually a considerable price difference between the two and crowns are more time-consuming to provide than dental bonding, that differentiation can be significant. Therefore, if you're waiting impatiently for your visit to the dentist and trying to establish what might happen there, it's a good idea to be aware of the information shared below.  

Determining If You're A Good Candidate For Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a good option for patients who have small cracks or chips in one or more teeth that do not impact the ability of the tooth to function. If you have a tough time chewing or biting on a tooth due to the damage or if doing so causes pain, bonding may not be the right choice. In addition, it can be used to artificially lengthen a tooth if the nearby teeth are longer than it is and you feel that the discrepancy is unattractive.   

It's frequently considered to be a cosmetic procedure since it is so often provided to mask primarily external issues that are not yet causing oral health concerns. One exception to that has been seen when it's provided in conjunction with filling a cavity, particularly if the decay is manifesting in a front tooth. However, it does not last as long as the amalgam fillings that are similarly useful, so you might find that your insurance company is reluctant to cover it.  

It is important to note that the resin used to create the bonding presents in a number of shades. Therefore, your dentist will be able to closely match it to your other teeth, which is one reason that many patients prefer it to the aforementioned amalgam filings that might otherwise serve a similar purpose.  

Understanding The Need For And Use Of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are typically reserved for badly damaged, chipped or broken teeth. Specifically, when the damage to the tooth in question impairs its ability to chew, you can expect a crown to be necessary. They are also frequently necessary after root canals, as the structure of the tooth is more likely to fracture without added support at that time. While in some instances a crown might be considered to be cosmetic work, in general, it's necessary in order to preserve the function of the tooth. 

If you need a crown and don't get one, you are at increased risk of pain, additional decay, and infection, because bacteria will be able to better infiltrate the area. Also known as a cap, your new crown will be fitted to cover the entire remaining tooth structure, after it has been thoroughly cleaned and all debris or decay has been removed. You will often receive a temporary device the day of your first visit, while a mold made to the specifications of the tooth is made in a lab.

When it is ready, you'll need to go back to your dentist and have the permanent crown exchanged for the temporary unit. As you can see, crowns are time-consuming for both the patient and dentist. As a result, they can be expensive and are recommended when less invasive options, like dental bonding, are not appropriate.    

In conclusion, a damaged tooth is a common cause for an emergency dental visit. However, if that visit still has to wait a day or two, you probably want to know what to expect from the repair. As a result, you're sure to find the above details about dental bonding and crowns to be quite useful. Contact a dentist like David D. Childress, DDS for more help.