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How is a chipped tooth fixed?

A:

Quick Answer

How a broken or chipped tooth is fixed depends on the severity of the damage. When it's only a small piece of enamel that has broken off, one visit to the dentist may be all that's needed. However, a badly damaged tooth is likely to require a more complicated and costly procedure.

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Full Answer

A filling is the most common repair for a small chip, unless the front teeth are involved, in which case the dentist may recommend bonding. To bond a tooth, the dentist roughens the surface to ensure the tooth-colored bonding material adheres to it. Then, the dentist applies an adhesive material, followed by the bonding material. After the material is shaped to look natural, an ultraviolet light is used to harden it.

A crown is often recommended in the case of a more serious break or when the tooth has a lot of decay. This requires a grinding or filing of the tooth before it is covered with a crown to protect the tooth and improve its appearance. Permanent crowns are fashioned from a number of different materials, including metal, porcelain fused to metal, resin or ceramic, with metal crowns being the strongest. Porcelain and resin, on the other hand, are the most natural-looking.

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