It’s never fun to experience tooth trauma, but it can happen. A startling 36 million Americans are missing all of their teeth, but even more alarming is that 120 million people have lost at least one tooth. Thankfully, several methods can be used to fix broken and chipped teeth. This article will explore the four most common methods for fixing broken and chipped teeth.
1. Dental Bonding
This method uses a composite resin material applied directly to the affected area, then hardened and polished to match the surrounding teeth. It’s affordable but may not last as long as other treatments.
Dental bonding can fix various dental problems, such as chips and cracks in teeth, gaps between teeth, misshapen teeth, discolored or stained teeth, and even decayed teeth. It requires minimal preparation time and is one of the least expensive options for restoring your smile.
The process begins with a dentist applying an etching solution to the affected area to roughen it. This helps the dental bonding material adhere better. The composite resin material is then applied and molded into shape before being hardened using a special light. After curing, the dentist will trim and polish the area until it blends in with your natural teeth.
Dental bonding is a great way to improve the appearance of your teeth in a single visit. However, it’s important to note that this procedure does not last as long as other treatments, such as veneers or crowns. The material used for dental bonding isn’t as strong and can easily be stained or chipped. Also, bacteria can accumulate around the bonded area and cause decay if not properly cared for.
2. Porcelain Veneers
Similar to dental bonding, veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are custom-made to fit over the damaged tooth. This process is more expensive than other methods but will last many years if properly cared for.
Porcelain veneers are an excellent option for people who have chipped, discolored, or misshapen teeth. Unlike dental bonding, which requires minimal preparation of the affected tooth, porcelain veneers require more extensive preparation. This includes trimming down the enamel on the front of your tooth so the veneer can be fitted properly. Veneers are also an excellent option for those with gaps between their teeth, as they will provide an even, uniform look to your smile.
Unlike other cosmetic dentistry forms requiring multiple visits and treatments, porcelain veneers require only two appointments. During the first appointment, dentists take an impression of your tooth, trim the enamel and fit a temporary veneer. They will replace the temporary at the second appointment with a permanent porcelain veneer. This helps keep your treatment time to a minimum.
3. Enamel Shaping
This procedure removes a small portion of enamel around the chipped or broken area and reshapes it to fix the problem. It’s a quick and easy way to restore your smile without additional materials or procedures.
Enamel shaping is an exact procedure requiring great skill from the dentist to achieve optimal results. An experienced dental professional will use a particular instrument, such as a diamond or carbide burr, to precisely remove only the necessary surface enamel, allowing for better teeth contouring. The result should be natural-looking teeth that blend with the rest of the smile.
This procedure is generally considered a safe and conservative way to improve the aesthetics of your smile. Unlike traditional dental treatments, it does not require invasive drilling or filing techniques. This makes enamel shaping ideal for people who want to avoid more extensive procedures but still need an aesthetic solution.
4. Dental Implants
Although more invasive and costly than other methods, dental implants are a permanent solution for missing or broken teeth as they replace the entire root of the tooth and the crown. This is an excellent option if you’re looking for something that will last a lifetime.
When it comes to tooth replacement, dental implants are a great choice as they mimic the look and feel of your natural teeth. They provide long-term stability, making them ideal for those seeking a permanent solution to their missing or broken teeth. The procedure starts with a titanium post inserted into the jawbone where the tooth is missing or broken. The post will integrate with the jawbone and provide a secure anchor for the new tooth. Once the implant is fully integrated, an abutment is placed on top of the post, and a custom-made crown is attached to complete the restoration process.
Dental implants may take longer to place than other tooth replacement methods, but proper care and maintenance can last a lifetime. They provide a secure foundation for the new tooth, allowing it to feel like a natural one. Dental implants look natural and function better than other methods, and protect the surrounding teeth from shifting or becoming damaged due to missing teeth.
To Wrap It Up
The best method to fix your broken or chipped tooth depends on its severity and oral health. Consulting with a dentist can help you determine which option best suits your specific needs and budget. No matter what method you choose, having a damaged tooth restored can be an empowering experience and give you back your beautiful smile.