I have a chipped front tooth and I am trying to figure out what is better, dental bonding or a porcelain crown? I have done a lot of research about tooth bonding and my general dentist has told me that the bond won’t hold over time. She has recommended a porcelain crown to fix my chip. Can my chipped front tooth actually be corrected with dental bonding if I’m diligent in caring for it?

Thanks, Viv from Massachusetts

Dear Viv,

It turns out that many dentists are uncomfortable with direct bonding techniques. They will try to discourage you from this treatment. Although, it does hold up well and in most cases would be a good choice. There are likely several reasons for your dentist to recommend a crown. She may not have much experience with bonding. It requires artistic talent to do a good job. She may not carry all of the shades, textures, and varieties of bonding materials. Many general dentists only have a limited inventory of all-purpose bonding composites and do not have specialized bonding materials in stock. A cosmetic dentist will have the highly customized materials available that can make your tooth beautiful and will be long-lasting. Another reason she may recommend the crown is due to the higher cost of the bonding. Still another reason is that you may have an unusual bite that could potentially break off the bond, in which case the porcelain crown truly is best. It’s always good to get a second opinion. I would research an expert cosmetic dentist in your area. Good luck!

More information to fix a chip, read about porcelain veneers or CEREC crowns.