A chipped tooth may be obvious, or you might not notice that a piece has chipped off. Nevertheless, the damage to your tooth’s structure shouldn’t be ignored, even if you can’t see it, or the tooth may wind up with increasingly more severe problems. Fortunately, you have several options for fixing a chipped tooth, from a conservative touch-up with tooth bonding to a complete tooth overhaul with a dental crown.
Tooth bonding is a minor cosmetic process that involves applying tooth-colored composite resin to the chipped area of the tooth to rebuild the tooth’s structure. The resin is designed to closely mimic the color, tint, and texture of your tooth, and is artistically sculpted to create an ideal contour for your tooth. Once the resin is placed and shaped, your dentist will harden it with a special light to ensure a strong, durable, and attractive finish.
Because everyone’s teeth are different, cosmetic tooth bonding may not always work to fix a chipped tooth. In some cases, you may need a porcelain veneer placed over the tooth to alter the tooth’s visible structure. A veneer is a wafer-thin shell of dental porcelain that is sculpted to the size, shape, and dimensions of a tooth’s front surface. The veneer can be permanently bonded to the tooth, creating a new face for the tooth and your smile in an instant.
When a tooth is significantly chipped, or if it becomes cracked or fractured, then bonding and veneers might not provide enough support to fix it. In such cases, your dentist may prefer to place a dental crown completely over the tooth to prevent further damage as well as improve the tooth’s appearance. A dental crown can also be made from lifelike dental porcelain, which is not only highly esthetic but also strong enough to protect your tooth by absorbing your bite’s pressure.