A cracked, broken, or chipped tooth is a pretty common dental accident that can occur to anyone regardless of how well you take care of your teeth. Chewing ice or hard candy, biting hard on something hard, or trauma from a bad fall can all cause your tooth to chip. Even repeated wear in a specific spot, like due to clenching and grinding, can weaken the tooth structure until it breaks off.
Fortunately, a chipped tooth is repairable. The typical treatment options for a chipped or broken tooth include:
1. Dental bonding
Also referred to as filling, dental bonding is mostly used to treat minor cases, like when a small amount of enamel has come out and there’s no sensitivity. The dentist fills the gap with tooth-colored composite resin and cements it in place with an adhesive material. Because the filling material is unnoticeable, the restoration can be used to repair front teeth to improve your smile. The restoration can last up to 10 years before needing any repair.
If the chip is too large, using a filling may cause the tooth to weaken further and break. In such cases, your dentist may recommend a crown. Crowns, or caps, refer to tooth-shaped covers that enclose the entire portion of the tooth above the gum line, which prevents further damage and strengthens the structure of the tooth.
Crowns are made from ceramic, metal, or a combination of both. Metal crowns are ideal for the back teeth as they can withstand the chewing forces well, while tooth-colored porcelain can be used to repair front teeth that are visible when your smile.
Unlike bonding, this treatment option requires at least two visits because the crown has to be fabricated in a lab.
Porcelain veneers are thin layers of porcelain material that are bonded to the front surface of your teeth with varying thickness to cover and fill the chipped portion. This option is ideal for correcting multiple dental problems, as it can conceal chips, gaps, stained teeth, or crooked teeth, improving your smile.
Discuss Your Options With a Dentist
Lastly, note that the most suitable treatment option for you depends on the severity of the tooth damage, location of the tooth with regard to visibility when smilin, and the amount of pressure exerted when chewing. Discuss your options with your dentist in Austin.