Bonding Vs Veneers/crown?

My front tooth is chipped in half. My dentist provided me with the option of bonding or a 3/4 crown on my tooth. Considering I am only 23, which option would be the best for the long term? How many years should I get out of dental bonding vs a 3/4 crown? How strong is dental bonding on a fron tooth?

Doctor Answers 15

Dental bonding is for small fixes

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Dental bonding will not last as long as a porcelain veneer or 3/4 crown, and when the bonding fails it may lead to further destruction or tooth loss.  Often, the intent to do bonding first and a veneer or crown later if needed gets negated when the failure of the bonding leads to loss of the tooth, or the need for a root canal as well.  The dental bonding option should be considered as a temporary fix and the 3/4 crown a much longer lasting option.  

Often, the personal demands or expectations exceed what bonding can offer, and while bonding can be done initially with the intent to do it over if needed, patients lose faith in the ability of the doctor (assuming that if the bonding didn't work, it was due to the poor skills of the doctor).

Sometimes it is best to do it right the first time.

Bonding vs veneer

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Bonding is a more temporary restoration but can be a cost effective method of quick restoration.  It is very conservative but can look terrific.  Over time it will discolor but the materials have gotten better over the years.  Getting a perfect color match on a single veneer can be challenging while direct bonding is easier to match.

Veneers, 3/4 crowns and 360 degree veneer crowns all restore the tooth in a more permanent fashion.

Ideally you would like to bond to enamel not dentin.  Preserving enamel is the key to a long lasting restoration.  When there is a great deal of discoloration it is sometimes necessary to remove more tooth structure.  This sacrifices some strength for esthetics.

Bonding vs. Veneer/crown on a 23 year old

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What everyone will agree on is that there is nothing better than natural tooth structure.  Considering that you are only 23 and that any restoration will need to be replaced at least once in your lifetime.  I suggest that you find a dentist that will give you the result that you are happy with while treating the least number of teeth possible.  Ask the dentist for before and after photos of his/her work and discuss all options.  Hope that helps.    

James D. Salazar, DDS
Encinitas Dentist

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Porcelain Veneer for Chipped Front Tooth

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I believe that you would be better off with a porcelain veneer or crown as opposed to dental bonding due to the amount of tooth structure that you are missing.  Dental bonding is a good treatment option  for small chips, but not for teeth missing considerable tooth structure.  Porcelain is much stronger and will have a much longer life span than the bonding.  In addition, the color match will be much better with porcelain.   

Bonding vs. crowns

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Both options can look great, but the longevity of them may differ by quite a bit. Dental bonding (or "plastic filling") to restore this broken tooth may last 5-7 years before the edges begin to wear down and chip.  This will depend partly upon the way your teeth bite together. A ceramic/porcelain veneer or 3/4 crown will be a much longer-lasting option, which will maintain its color and shape over a longer period of time. The challenge with either of these options can be matching a single front tooth to natural teeth, and for this reason it is often recommended to at least veneer the other side front tooth for a better match. Regardless of your treatment choice, after it is completed I would also recommend a sports guard be made to protect your teeth during impact sports, if that's how this tooth was broken,

Andrea Stevens, DMD
Ottawa Dentist

Bonding- A Great Choice to Restore a Broken Lower Front Tooth

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I feel that it never hurts to try to fix a lower front tooth with bonding.  You can always do a 3/4 crown or veneer if it doesn't hold.  Have the tooth sand blasted and prepared and do bonding.  Understand that the bonding may not last forever,  but you can always do more complicated care down the road.

Wendy S. Spektor, DDS
Bellevue Dentist

Bonding vs Porcelain Veeners

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Porcelain Veneers have a very high long term success rate. Bonding is less expensive but in the long run it will have to be repaired a number of times to keep it looking good. The porcelain Veneer is the way to go.

Zola A Makrauer, DMD
Philadelphia Dentist

In your case I'm a fan of dental bonding

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Dental materials have advanced so much that it is possible to create beautiful, long-lasting and natural looking restorations.  Every situation is very different and so this would not be my recommendation for everyone with a chipped front tooth.

It is important to know how the tooth chipped, if the nerve was exposed, if the tooth has had a root canal treatment, the condition of your other teeth, and the list of considerations goes on.  

It is generally accepted that crowns and veneers are the most esthetic and most lasting restorations.  In most cases I would agree, however, it can be very difficult to build a beautiful single front crown or veneer that is a perfect match with the adjacent teeth.  At 23 years old it is likely that you will have to replace that crown a few times during your lifetime.  Preparing the tooth for the crown or the veneer involves removing more tooth structure and so can compromise the long term viability of your tooth.

A skillful dentist can build a beautiful tooth with a great match to the adjacent teeth using "bonding".  These can last for years.  Although I tell people that esthetically they last about 8 years, I have seen many last many years longer.  Restoring your tooth with a bonding procedure saves tooth structure so that your tooth is likely to last longer and hopefully serve you well for your whole life.  When you are a bit older it may then be more appropriate to change up to a veneer or a crown.

Martin Frankel, DDS
Toronto Dentist

Bonding vs. Veneer

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I would tell you to expect 5-7 years maximum from bonding.  A veneer can fail but in most cases its longevity will be 2-3x that of bonding, depending on your bite, if you grind your teeth, etc.  Either should look great initially, the main difference is longevity desired vs your budget.

Bonding vs Veneers/crowns

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Some excellent suggestions have been given.  Another consideration is the nerve in the tooth-was it damaged?  That might also be a reason to try bonding first to allow time to make sure it does not become a problem as extra shaving on the tooth for a veneer or crown may cause the nerve to fail.  Blending color with a single anterior crown or veneer is always challenging so make sure color issues will not be problems.  Also are the teeth in good position or is the color on the other teeth too dark: orthodontics or bleaching may be wise to consider before correcting the tooth with a more expensive crown or veneer.  Bonding can be a great termporary.  Good Luck!

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.