If your teeth have always been in good condition, it is likely that you are unfamiliar with the characteristics of both dental bonding and dental crowns. Unfortunately, if you are now seeking information on the two, then it is also likely that you have chipped or broken a tooth. When it comes to dental restoration, crowns and bonding are the most common forms of tooth repair.
However, though bonding and crowns can be used to repair similar types of damage, there are several key differences. If you are currently trying to decide which is best for your damaged tooth, the following information should help you decide which is most appropriate for your case.
Bonding is Better for Minor Damage
Composite resin is the dental material that is used to fill cavities once the decay has been removed. It is also used cosmetically, to cover up stains and fill in gaps between teeth. Because bonding starts out as a mixture of workable tooth-coloured resin, it is more suitable for repairing small chips, scratches or cracks. Your dentist simply mixes a batch, ensures that the colour matches that of your teeth, and then places, sculpts and polishes it.
If you have only chipped a tooth and there is at least 75% of that tooth remaining, bonding is the best option. Take care of it, obviously bearing in mind that it isn't as strong as enamel, and it should last 10 years. If, however, you have lost more than 25% of your tooth, dental crowns are more suitable.
Dental Crowns for Major Restoration
When it comes to minor damage, placing a dental crown would be a waste of good tooth. That is because in order to fit over a tooth--like a crown--the tooth first needs to be prepared. Some of the tooth structure will be removed so that the crown can sit comfortably in position. Therefore, dental crowns are most suitable for teeth that are already severely damaged.
Although modern dentistry is advancing at a rapid pace, the dental industry is nowhere near creating dental restorations that are as strong as enamel. A porcelain crown for example, while strong, may only last for 10-15 years and even then, it must be well-taken care of to do so. The point is, if the damage to your tooth is minor, bonding is probably the best option as very little tooth structure needs to be removed in order to place it.
If you have chipped a tooth, get to your dentist as quickly as you can. Whatever the damage on the outside is, you still need to ascertain whether or not the nerve is in danger.