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Should You Treat a Chipped Tooth With Dental Bonding or Recontouring?

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A sudden broken tooth can ruin your day. And broken teeth can leave you in agony, especially if you already had sensitive teeth to begin with. That's why a broken tooth is something that you might wish to repair as soon as possible.

Two of the most common ways to repair a tooth are dental bonding and recontouring or enameloplasty. If you aren't very familiar with these two treatments, you might be unsure which one to choose to fix your chipped or broken tooth.

The following information will help you to decide between these two restorative treatments.

Recontouring Is Better for Chipped Teeth

If you have only chipped your tooth, then recontouring is probably the most suitable treatment for you. To recontour the surface of a tooth, a dentist uses a tool that resembles a drill to buff away the damaged section of tooth. If need be, the dentist will also remove some tooth structure on the opposite side to ensure the tooth looks even in shape.

Once they have removed enough tooth structure, the dentist then polishes the tooth. The entire procedure should only take around 30 minutes.

Bonding Is Better for Broken Teeth

If you have clearly lost a large chunk of a tooth, then composite bonding is likely the best approach for your case. This is because if you lose too much enamel, your tooth will be susceptible to decay. And if you only rely on recontouring, you'll end up with a tooth that looks much smaller than the rest of your teeth.

To repair a tooth with composite bonding, a dentist first creates a paste or resin that contains ceramic and plastic compounds. They carefully ensure that the colour of the paste is the same as your natural teeth and then apply it to your broken tooth. After the dentist has sculpted the resin into shape, they then harden the resin with a special light and polish it.

After about 30 minutes, you should have a tooth that looks undamaged. The repair work should also be invisible.

Bonding and Recontouring Can Work Together

In severe cases when a tooth is broken into jagged pieces, a dentist can combine these two treatments. Dentists might also combine these treatments if they need to reduce the size of an adjacent tooth to match that of the newly repaired tooth.

Whatever treatment you decide upon, your dental appointment should be over relatively quickly. And neither of these treatments will cause you any discomfort or pain. Contact a dentist to learn more about your options.