There are great options for dental care available today. In fact, there are so many options that sometimes it can be difficult for patients to decide which treatment is best for their situation. Two common treatments for protecting, repairing or improving the appearance of teeth are dental bonding and crowns.
You and your dentist can work together to find the best solution to restore your smile and oral health. But, first, you need to know more. Read on for a comparison of bonding and crowns, including the advantages and disadvantages of both treatment options.
Dental Treatment Options: Bonding or Crown
Here are some examples of tooth repairs for which bonding and dental crowns are valid options:
- Protecting a weak or decayed tooth.
- Repairing a broken, damaged, chipped or cracked tooth.
- Improving the appearance of misshapen or discolored teeth.
- Making teeth look longer, close a gap between teeth or other cosmetic smile enhancements.
- Replacing a filling or supporting a tooth with a large filling.
If treatment for your tooth includes both, you will want to research and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both options in order to make the best decision.
Direct composite bonding is a resin that is applied directly to teeth. The dentist usually must prepare the tooth before application by etching the surface. Then, the color is selected to match the rest of your smile. Next, the resin material is applied in small amounts and cured using high-intensity light. Finally, the bonding is smoothed and polished to perfection.
Advantages of Bonding
There are some clear benefits to choosing bonding as a dental treatment option. Dental bonding is one of the least expensive and least invasive solution for many problems. Following the procedure, patients may feel some slight discomfort which subsides quickly. Bonding is also a relatively simple procedure which usually only requires one appointment.
Disadvantages of Bonding
Bonding can successfully restore broken teeth or chipped teeth to their original appearance. It can even be used for cosmetic reasons to improve the look of your smile. It’s important to consider, however, that the bonding resin tends to stain over time. It’s also not the most durable long-term solution, as the resin is more likely to chip or break. Bonding usually lasts about 10 years, at which point your dentist would have to remove the resin and redo the procedure for the best results.
Crowns, or caps, are a widely versatile solution to a lot of dental problems. They can easily restore the function and appearance of severely sensitive or decayed teeth. Often, crowns are positioned over teeth with large fillings or cracks in order to support and protect the tooth. They can be made out of stainless steel, gold, ceramic material or porcelain. The procedure requires one visit where your dentist will prepare the tooth and make a mold, and a second visit to position the crown.
Advantages of Crowns
Dental crowns can successfully fix a number of problems. They are a much more stain-resistant and durable solution when compared to bonding. They are usually the recommended long-term solution because a crown can last up to 15 years before needing replacement.
Disadvantages of Crowns
It’s important to consider that placing a crown over a tooth can be more invasive than it sounds. The procedure usually requires the dentist to file the tooth down in order to make room for the crown to fit in the right position between the other teeth. Though porcelain crowns are generally the more durable solution, it’s still possible to chip or break them. Patients are advised to wear a mouth guard when playing sports and to prevent teeth grinding at night, and also to avoid chewing ice and other very hard foods.
If a crown is not fitted properly, it may cause discomfort when chewing or biting down. This can be fixed by simply refitting the crown and adjusting the height. The crown may eventually become loose or fall off. This could also occur after years of use as the dental cement fixing it in place wears away. Your dentist should be able to remedy these problems easily and without needing to make a new crown. By refitting and reapplying the dental cement, the crown can usually be restored in just one visit.
Some patients feel some discomfort, often related to hot and cold sensitivity, after having a crown fitted. This usually dissipates over time and can be relieved with the help of toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
Another factor that many patients ask about is the price. Crowns tend to cost more than bonding, although the exact price depends on the extent of the damage and the material from which it is made. Dental insurance plans cover necessary dental care, which usually includes crowns. Also, don’t forget that dental discount plans can help cover the cost.
Talk to Your Dentist About the Best Treatment Option
Dr. Ron Briglia and his team are happy to consult with patients and discuss their treatment options. If you are wondering what is best for your oral care, bring your questions to us. We also offer convenient financial plans and payment options to help you make the best dental care affordable for you and your family. Call our office today at (610) 692-4440.