Speed or Durability: Tips for Choosing the Best Chipped-Tooth Correction

19 October 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

A chipped tooth can cause cosmetic concerns, weaken the natural tooth, and even expose the sensitive interior of the tooth, causing pain and potential infection. Your cosmetic dentistry specialist has several tools for correcting the chipped tooth. Each tool has its own pros and cons, so you need to decide on the most important factor for your particular needs.

Speed of application and durability are both potential considerations when choosing a chipped-tooth treatment. How do the different options match up to these qualities?

Speediest: Resin Bonding

Resin bonds are one of the fastest treatments because the dentist doesn't need to take any molds of your teeth and then lab-craft the dental treatment. The resin is a highly malleable material that the dentist can shape directly onto the surface of the tooth that has been prepped with some light sanding and a bonding agent. Once the resin is in place, the dentist will harden the material with a special light.

The downside of this speed is that resin bonds are slightly less precise than dental crowns or veneers, which are both created in a lab based on molding. But the high precision isn't always necessary if the chip is relatively minor and your tooth doesn't need any general reshaping.

Most Durable: Metal Dental Crowns

Dental crowns have a higher durability than resin bonding because the crown covers the entire exterior of the tooth while the resin bonds, and porcelain veneers only cover the front of the tooth. Crowns come in a variety of materials, but all are not created equal when it comes to strength and durability.

Metal-based dental crowns offer the best durability much the same way that metal amalgam fillings are strong. If the chipped tooth is a rear molar, you should stick with an all-metal crown that can withstand the repeated bite force on this grinding tooth. And the fact that the crown won't look natural doesn't matter because the tooth is so far back in your mouth.

If your chipped tooth is near the front of your mouth, you might not want an all-metal crown on display. You can opt instead for a metal-backed porcelain crown that has the strong metal backing covered up with the more natural-looking porcelain, though a small strip of metal can show through in the area where the crown meets the gums. All porcelain crowns exist and will look the most natural, but you will sacrifice some of the strength without the metal backing.

Make an appointment with a company such as Bae & Bae Family Dentistry to start on your dental care.