Chipped Tooth Repair Options

A chipped tooth can be either an inconvenience or a major disadvantage, depending on the severity and where it is located. Front teeth can affect your self confidence, especially when you smile, but even back teeth should be repaired so they aren't more prone to cracking or decay. The following are some options for fixing a chipped tooth.

Option #1: Bonding

Bonding is the most common option for smaller chips. It works equally well on both front teeth and molars. The dentist will mix a composite resin, tinting it to match your existing tooth color. It is then applied to the tooth and shaped so that it looks natural. Finally, a special light is used to cure the resin, making it nearly as hard and durable as your existing tooth. Bonding can last for many years, but it may eventually require replacement.

Option #2: Veneers

Veneers are a good option for front teeth that have a major chip, broken edge, or cracking. Veneers are basically thin porcelain caps that are made to look just like your natural teeth. Your dentist will file down the surface of your tooth and then glue the veneer in place. It will then perform just like your natural tooth. Veneers require no special care and can last a lifetime. They are especially well suited if you need to fix several cracked front teeth.

Option #3: Crown

A crown is a must if you have a major chip or broken tooth. This is basically a porcelain cap that goes over the top of the tooth and resembles your natural tooth. Same day crowns are made in office, but they do not have the same nuance of shape and color as lab-made crowns. For this reason, most people choose same day crowns for back molars, but will get the more attractive traditional ones for front teeth. A crown can last a lifetime, and it doesn't require any special care.

Option #4: Tooth replacement

When a tooth is badly chipped or if the root is damaged, replacement may be the best option. There are two options for permanent replacement – implants or bridges. An implant is a multi-visit procedure where a metal post is implanted into your jaw, and then a crown is affixed. It is permanent and looks natural. A bridge anchors a crown to the two teeth on either side of the removed tooth. This can also last a life time, but some people don't like the feel or added maintenance of the bridgework behind the teeth.

For more help, contact a dentist, such as Paul Dona DDS, to find out the best option for your chipped tooth.