Chip Off The Ol' Tooth? Restorative Options For A Chipped Tooth
Whether your tooth is damaged through an automobile accident, horsing around with family and friends, biting into a hard piece of food, or playing a sport, chipping a tooth is one of the most common dental injuries. In some instances, you may think repairing the tooth is not necessary. However, a chipped tooth can reduce your ability to chew and speak properly. In addition, this minor damage can affect your appearance and self-esteem in big ways. This guide will give you a few options for restoring your smile back to a complete, appealing state.
Dental bonding is one of the easiest and most efficient options for restoring a chipped tooth. It can be completed in your dentist's office without waiting for a lab to fabricate this restoration. Since no anesthetic is necessary, planning or a long recovery is not required after the dentist bonds the damaged tooth.
To begin this restoration, a small amount of resin is colored to match the color of your natural teeth. This ensures the chipped tooth is bonding in a realistic manner. The resin is then applied and molded to the tooth before it is hardened with a special light that bonds the resin material in place.
After bonding the resin, your dentist may make a few adjustments. Smoothing and trimming some of the resin material from the tooth may be necessary to create a realistic-looking finished product.
Bonding is one of the easiest restoration options in cosmetic dentistry, but it is not permanent. On average, the resin material will last between three to 10 years.
If you prefer an option that is more permanent, consider a veneer for your chipped tooth. This thin piece of porcelain is affixed to the surface of your teeth.
A few visits to the dentist will be required if you want veneers. During the first appointment, your dentist will take a mold of your tooth, or teeth if you choose to place veneers on multiple teeth, that will be sent to a lab to create the porcelain veneers.
Once the veneers are ready, your dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel from the tooth or teeth. The veneer is then placed on the tooth surface and secured in place with dental grade cement. A UV light is then directed onto the tooth, affixing the porcelain veneer into place.
Because this restoration option is a bit more involved and expensive, most people will install them on more than just the chipped tooth. Veneers can be affixed to all of your teeth, if preferred, restoring the chipped tooth while covering any other imperfections that affect your smile.