If you have a damaged tooth, such as a tooth that is chipped or cracked, it is important that you get it fixed for not only aesthetic reasons but because the problem can become much worse. The dentist can choose different ways to restore the tooth, three of which are listed below.
Composite bonding can be used if you have a small amount of damage, such as a small crack or chip. Many dentists choose to use this if it is one of the front teeth that is damaged. The dentist uses a composite plastic resin that is the same color as your teeth to fill in the chip or crack. The dentist will etch the surface of your tooth and will then coat your tooth lightly with a conditioning liquid. Your dentist will apply the tooth-colored resin onto your tooth, and then mold and smooth it until it is the proper shape. They will use a special laser to harden the resin.
Dental crowns can be used on back teeth that are chipped or cracked to restore them. Dental crowns are also often used when someone has a very large filling to hold it in place.
The dentist applies a local anesthetic near the damaged tooth before they get started. They will then fabricate the crown so that it fits your tooth perfectly. The dentist will make impressions of both your upper and lower teeth into a mold and use this mold to create your crown. They have to send this off to a lab, so a temporary crown is placed over your tooth until they receive the new crown that was made from the mold.
The crown can be made to match the color of your other teeth, or you can choose to get a gold crown, if you prefer.
A dental veneer is another option you can choose from. The veneer is made out of porcelain and covers your whole tooth. The veneer will be a little thicker where it covers the crack. In most cases, the porcelain shade will match the color of your teeth.
The porcelain consists of very thin ceramic layers and an adhesive layer. The dentist removes a small amount of the tooth enamel before they apply the veneer. This is so there is room for the veneer to fit in your mouth. Resin is first applied to the tooth and then the veneer is placed on top of the resin to form a bond. The dentist will use a curing light to harden the veneer.
Your dentist can give you much more information about these three options so you can decide what would be best for you.