Chipped teeth occur for a number of reasons. You could have bitten into a fruit pit, had an accident with your bike or chipped it playing hockey. Whatever the reason, your tongue keeps returning to that rough chipped spot. What's more, you know it's affecting your smile. The chip could even be causing you pain or otherwise affecting your eating habits. Have your chipped tooth repaired to return your confidence in your smile and comfort with your teeth.
One option for repairing a chipped tooth is having it bonded. With direct composite bonding, cosmetic dentists fuse dental porcelain to the tooth enamel. They do this by using composite resins as a bonding agent. Your dentist uses these materials to build up from the enamel, recreating the area of the tooth that chipped away. According to Your Smile Becomes You, direct composite bonding results in a fix that reliably matches your natural tooth color and is indiscernible from the rest of your teeth.
Another method for masking a chipped tooth is to put a mask on it – or, in this case, a porcelain veneer. With this process, dentists have to remove a thin layer of the tooth enamel to make space for the veneer. They then take a dental mold of the tooth and send it to a laboratory. Once the porcelain veneer has been manufactured, the dentist uses a dental cement to adhere the veneer to your tooth. The dentist may need to make small adjustments to the veneer itself or drill away excess cement afterward. This procedure is common if the chip is located in the smile zone.
Your dentist may recommend a porcelain crown to repair your chipped tooth. The process for putting in crowns and veneers is similar in that dentists have to make a mold of the tooth to have the crown custom-made in a dental laboratory. However, they usually use a light-sensitive resin to adhere the crown to the tooth, meaning they use a curing light to set the resin. A crown is thicker than a veneer and covers the whole tooth.
It's also possible for dentists to put in a partial crown, or onlay, that only covers part of the tooth. However, the onlay is still thicker than a veneer, giving the whole tooth increased strength.
If the chip is significant, the best bet may be to have a porcelain crown put in, whether full or partial. Crowns are the recommended treatment choice when the chipped tooth is a molar because of the force applied during chewing.
Talk to your cosmetic dentistry specialist about the best method for repairing your chipped tooth.