Chipped Tooth? You Have Repair Options!
A chipped tooth may not come with any physical pain, but it can damage your confidence and self-esteem. This is especially true if the chip is on a highly visible front tooth. Fortunately, there are several options to help reverse the damage. Continue reading to learn which one may be right for you.
Option #1: Bonding
Bonding uses a similar polymer substance as that used for fillings. Your dentist mixes up the medium so it matches the color of your teeth. They then apply it to the chip, shaping is roughly. Most bonding materials are quickly set with UV light, so within a few minutes the repair is nearly as hard as your enamel. The dentist then uses special files and dental bits to shape the tooth further so it looks completely natural, before using the light to finish the hardening process.
Dental bonding works well for small chips, particularly those that didn't remove more than the enamel. It is typically the least expensive option, making it a good choice if you are on a tight budget. Much like a filling, bonded repairs may need to be replaced eventually, but they can last decades before this is a necessity.
Option #2: Veneer
Veneers are simply thin layers of porcelain that are glued on over your teeth. They are shaped to looked natural, making them impossible to tell apart from a natural tooth. Since veneers completely cover the damaged tooth, some preparation is necessary. Your dentist will file down the enamel on the unchipped portion of the tooth. This allows room for the veneer and the rough surface ensures the glue holds well. Because of this filing, you will always need to have veneers in place. Fortunately, they can last decades.
Veneers do typically cost a bit more than bonded repairs. They are a great option if you want a relatively quick repair that will last a very long time. They are also a good choice if you have multiple teeth with chips, or other issues to repair, like permanent tooth discoloration.
Option #3: Crown
Crowns are a cap that fits over the top of the tooth, as opposed to the thin porcelain "flakes" used for veneers. They are applied much like veneers, with the dentist filing to create a rough surface where the glue is applied.
Crowns can last a lifetime. They vary in costs, depending on the tooth and whether your dentist makes them in-house or contracts the work out. A repair can take a bit longer, since each crown is manufactured to fit your unique needs. Crowns are especially a good option if a molar suffers damage, since they provide a sturdy biting surface once installed.
The option that is best for your chipped tooth will depend on the extent of the damage as well as on your own budget and preferences. Reach out to cosmetic dentistry services near you to learn more.