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Exploring Treatments for Chipped Teeth

April 4, 2018 — by John Meola
Tags: Dental Bonding Porcelain Veneers Dental Crowns

Up close photo of man with chipped front toothA chipped tooth, no matter how minor, can detract from an otherwise attractive smile. In addition to this, it can also weaken the overall structure of the tooth, making it more susceptible to decay and other forms of dental damage. There are several different treatment options for addressing a chipped tooth, including veneers and crowns. Today, our team at the Dental Associates of New England in Boston, MAwill explain the various treatments for chipped teethso you can be well informed about your options.

Why Do I Have a Chipped Tooth?

No one plans on having a chipped tooth, so when it occurs, it can be frustrating. Maybe you were in an automobile accident and chipped your tooth on the steering wheel. Perhaps you were playing basketball without a mouth guard. Maybe you were chewing on ice or hard candy. 

Sometimes the tooth structure simply wears thin over time and becomes more vulnerable to breakage. Whatever the reason, a chipped tooth should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid further damage and prevent the need for more invasive treatments.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a common, versatile, and cost-effective procedure that has been used in dentistry for decades. This process involves applying composite resin to the chipped tooth to restore its original shape and size. Composite resin is the same material used for tooth-colored fillings. Therefore, it blends in well with your surrounding teeth for a seamless appearance. In most cases, dental bonding must be replaced approximately every six years. 

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are custom-fabricated, wafer-thin shells that can be affixed to the front portions of the teeth. Veneers are excellent for addressing chips, cracks, or fractures, as they can mask a variety of cosmetic imperfections. 

To place veneers, miniscule amounts of enamel must be removed from the teeth to ensure a proper fit. Veneers last between 10 to 15 years on average, but some may last longer with proper care and maintenance. 

Dental Crowns

Custom-crafted by a ceramist, dental crowns - or caps - are similar to veneers. However, instead of covering only the front surface of a tooth, a dental cap conceals the entire natural tooth structure. 

This type of restoration is useful for larger chips or cracks, or when a damaged tooth requires reinforcement. A sufficient amount of tooth structure must be removed prior to crown placement for an appropriate fit. When proper care is given, dental crowns can last upwards of 10 years, and sometimes much longer. 

Other Considerations

We prefer to save a tooth through conservative methods whenever possible. However, if a tooth has sustained a larger fracture, it may require more extensive treatment. For example, if the crack has reached the internal pulp chamber of a tooth, root canal therapy may be necessary to protect the tooth from infection and bacteria. 

If a tooth has been damaged to the point that the long-term prognosis is questionable, a dental extraction may be recommended. If this occurs, a traditional dental bridge or dental implant can be used to restore your bite.

Contact Our Practice to Learn More

If you have recently chipped a tooth, we may be able to repair it with a simple procedure. To explore your options, schedule an appointment at our dental practice. You can call us in Boston at (857) 350-3400 or in Waltham at (781) 890-4900. You can also contact us online anytime.