There are varying degrees of severity when it comes to chipped teeth. The level of pain you’ll experience, as well as the risk of further damage to the tooth, will depend on the extent of the chip. Chipping your tooth can lead to exposure of the inner layers of the tooth, such as the enamel, dentine, and even the pulp – the soft tissue where nerve endings are found.
No matter how chipped your tooth is, you should get it fixed quickly. While in many cases the urgency to have a tooth fixed might be for aesthetic reasons, leaving a chipped tooth without visiting the dentist can leave that tooth prone to further breakage.
Here’s our guide on what to do if you have chipped your tooth, and some of the treatment options available.
Acting quickly as soon as you have chipped your tooth will lead to the best results in having it repaired. Here’s what to do as soon as you chip your tooth.
If you can find it, try to save the chipped fragment of the tooth so you can take it to the dentist with you.
Since chipped teeth are more vulnerable, you should avoid eating any hard foods that could lead to further damage. Avoid chewing on that side of the mouth if possible.
Book in to see a dentist as soon as you can. Many dentists offer emergency or last-minute appointments so they can treat chipped or broken teeth quickly. Your dentist will then examine the extent of the damage caused by the chip, and get to work finding the best solution to fix it.
Composite bonding is an effective and relatively simple way to have your chipped tooth fixed. During this procedure, your dentist will apply a bonding primer to the chipped tooth, followed by the composite resin. The resin is added in stages, as the dentist works gradually and precisely to re-sculpt the chipped area.
Composite bonding is a cost-effective, minimally invasive way to restore a chipped tooth quickly. The procedure can be completed in under an hour, and most cases don’t require any follow-up appointments. While composite bonding can last around five years with meticulous dental care, it’s not the most durable option for fixing a chipped tooth. You should be aware that composite bonding can still chip – so take care when eating extremely hard foods, chewing ice, or even biting nails. The resin also isn’t stain-resistant, so avoiding food and drink that can stain the affected tooth and prioritising dental hygiene is key to maintaining a natural looking fix. The cost of composite bonding depends on the severity of the chip, with treatments starting at £250.00 per tooth.
Composite veneers offer another option for repairing chipped teeth. Instead of restoring only the chipped area, composite veneers cover the entire surface of the affected tooth. If you have misaligned teeth, or a chip that means your entire tooth needs lengthening, a composite veneer can fix this.
Like with composite bonding, composite veneers are a minimally invasive procedure. This means your chipped tooth can be fixed within one sitting – and with minimal pain. With exceptional dental hygiene and care, composite veneers can last around seven years. Keep in mind that they can still stain, and be wary of extremely hard foods or bad habits that can chip or wear down the veneers over time. The cost of composite veneers begin at £380.00 per tooth.
Another way to have your chipped tooth repaired is with a porcelain veneer. When opting for porcelain veneers, many choose to also have a few teeth done at a time for more impressive results. They can still be applied to just one tooth – it all depends on how you’d like your final results to look.
Porcelain can deliver a very natural result, due to its slightly translucent qualities that mimic tooth enamel. Since porcelain veneers are sculpted by technicians in the lab, you might be asked to wear temporary veneers while your own are being made. The positive here is that you can test out your new smile before having the final veneers fitted. Having porcelain veneers fitted will usually require 3 or 4 appointments with your dentist.
At a higher price-point, porcelain veneers are not the cheapest way to have your chipped tooth fixed. However, they can last longer than composite veneers – between 10 and 20 years with diligent dental care and upkeep. Porcelain veneers are stronger than composite veneers, so their durability and natural impact offer a long-lasting investment. The cost of porcelain veneers start at around £750.00 per tooth.
Dental crowns are used to repair and restore damaged teeth. Chipping a tooth can often lead to exposure of the inner layers of the tooth, causing significant dental pain and heightening the risk of further damage. Dental crowns often work alongside other restorative treatments to minimise this pain while also building back full functionality of the tooth. A dental crown fits snugly over the original tooth, which will have been carefully reshaped for the perfect fit. They can be made from a variety of materials, each with different properties – including porcelain or precious metals.
This procedure takes place over two sessions. During the first session, the dentist will treat your tooth and any decay or damage in preparation for the fitting of the crown. Dental crowns are tailor-made to suit each individual patient, so you may have to wait up to two weeks before your crown is ready. In the meantime, you’ll be fitted with a temporary crown before your own bespoke-made crown is cemented onto the tooth during your final appointment. The cost of a dental crown begins at £650.00 per tooth.
The best option to repair your tooth will depend on how severely it has been chipped – as well as taking into consideration factors including your budget and the appearance of the surrounding teeth.
We’d recommend getting in touch with a dentist who can help you decide the best step forward with a consultation. At Ringway Dental, we offer free online dental consultations – so you don’t have to worry about coming in to visit us or any of the extra costs involved in doing so. If cost is a concern, we offer interest-free payment plans for eligible patients.