Dentists are frequently asked questions about chipping a tooth—“Is it that big a deal? Doesn’t it depend on how big the chip is? I mean if it is just a little chip, it can’t be that bad…can it?”
The answers to these questions are variations of the same theme.
Yes, chipping a tooth means you have lost valuable tooth structure and potentially laid the foundation for additional chips and cracks. Or you may need a root canal if the chip is close to the pulp containing the nerve and it doesn’t heal properly from the trauma.
As for repairing a chipped tooth, your dentist can usually fix minor chips with modern bonding techniques using tooth-colored filling materials. For larger chips that involve more tooth structure, your dentist may suggest a crown (cap) or a veneer. The most important thing to remember is that if you chip a tooth, you need to see a dental professional for a proper evaluation and treatment remedy as soon as possible
Repairing Chipped Teeth
Composites can be made in a wide range of tooth colors allowing for near perfect color matching with existing teeth — in artistic hands they can be made to look very natural and lifelike.
Composite resins can be bonded to most healthy tooth structure. They are joined or bonded to the teeth mechanically through microscopic “undercuts” (or locks) in the natural tooth substance that allow the tooth enamel and composite resin to function and look like one piece. Direct composite materials have superior advantages to traditional materials like amalgam (silver filling): improved appearance, a more conservative preparation and greater use of the existing tooth to support the restoration.
|Example 1: The patient had a chipped front tooth that is repaired beautifully with the use of a composite restoration or most commonly referred to as a bonded restoration.|
|Example 2: This patient had two chipped front teeth which is a more difficult restorative problem providing an excellent example of how a beautiful cosmetic result can be obtained with bonded restorations.|
|Example 3: This example illustrates how composite restorations can close spaces between teeth as well as repair the exposed root of the tooth.|