The enamel on your teeth is the strongest substance in your body, but it’s not indestructible. Teeth sometimes chip or crack — especially if the enamel is already eroded. Don’t worry. Depending on the cause and severity of your chipped tooth, there are many options to return your smile to its natural beauty.
As always, the first step is to consult your dentist. They’ll be able to evaluate the issue and determine which of the following chipped tooth repair options makes the most sense for you.
Repairing a Damaged or Chipped Tooth
Smaller chips can be repaired with a filling, using a process called dental bonding. In this case, your dentist will select a composite material matching the color of your tooth, mold and smooth it to fill the chip, and harden it with an ultraviolet light. This process is relatively straightforward and may or may not require anesthesia.
If the chip or crack is larger and shows when you smile, your dentist may determine that veneers are an option. A veneer is a covering made of tooth-colored ceramic or composite resin material. Your dentist can place a veneer over the chipped, cracked, or broken tooth which leaves the tooth looking good as new! With proper care, ceramic (porcelain) veneers can last as long as 30 years.
Some chips — or those that cause pain when eating or drinking — may be best repaired with a crown. A crown is basically a covering for your tooth, custom-designed to match your tooth’s color, shape, and size. Because each crown is made to match your tooth perfectly, a crown restoration typically requires two office appointments. You’ll be fitted with a natural-looking temporary restoration while the permanent crown is created.
Does a crown require a root canal? If the chip or crack reaches the inside of your tooth (known as the pulp), a root canal may need to be performed before a crown can be placed. Without a root canal, this kind of damage can lead to infection and other serious problems. While root canals have a reputation for being painful, done properly, you’ll experience no pain or minimal discomfort.
Severe cracks that extend below the gumline cannot be repaired. In this case, the tooth will need to be extracted, and a dental implant made to replace it. Unlike traditional dentures, which do not extend below the gumline, dental implants are surgically placed in the jawbone and are a permanent, more comfortable alternative.
MyOrthodontist is Here to Help Get Your Smile Back
Chipped, cracked, or broken tooth? Schedule an appointment with MyOrthodontist at one of our convenient North Carolina locations today, and download our coupon for savings: