I have a front tooth that is broken off about halfway. I’ve been to two dentists asking how best to fix it. I got two completely different answers, so I’m hoping you’ll be the tie-breaker, without me having to pay a THIRD dentist for an opinion. The first dentist said to use dental bonding to fix the front tooth, the second said bonding isn’t a good idea and I should get a crown placed.
Frank L.- Tennessee
Truthfully, you can do either one, though with that much of your tooth missing, I would personally lean toward the crown. Why don’t I just give you the pros and cons of each and you can decide which best fits your desires and situation.
- Bonding can be done in one appointment, a crown usually takes two appointments.
- While both procedures require a high amount of artistic talent, bonding is one of the most demanding of a dentist’s skills set. Many dentists shy away from bonding because they are not skilled enough in this procedure. You will want to ask to see before and after photographs of previous cases to make sure their work is of the caliber you would want for a front tooth. If they don’t have photos, that may be an indication they are not serious cosmetic dentists and you need to find someone else.
- The porcelain on crowns is more durable and stain resistant than the composite material used for bonding.
- If the bonding is extensive, covering a large area of the tooth, there is a risk of it breaking, because it isn’t as strong as a porcelain crown.
- Bonding is slightly safer than crowns. There is a risk with crowns that the pulp of the tooth will be irritated and you will end up needing a root canal.
- Bonding requires very little removal of tooth structure, whereas your tooth will have to be shaved down considerably for a crown.
- It is fairly easy to have dental bonding upgraded to porcelain veneers or a crown if you’re not happy with it, but once you get a crown, you are pretty much forever committed to having a crown on that tooth.
Whichever procedure you choose, be careful about the qualifications of your cosmetic dentist. Because there is no recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry, any dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist. This is your front tooth and will be a very visible and important part of your smile, so be careful who you choose.
This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Woods cosmetic dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.