Front tooth chipped in half and is discoloring. What can I do to fix it? Are there other problems it could cause? (Photo)

I'm 18, and when I was 10, I tripped at the bowling alley, then fell into a chair, so I went to the dentist and they glued it back on. Months later, ice fell on the tooth and broke it. Back to dentist. Then I went to get braces when I was 15, and the orthodontist broke it again, then lost the broken piece, so I had to get half a fake tooth. They didn't put a cap on it or anything, and it's progressively getting worse. I'm getting pretty self conscious about it, any advice? Thank you in advance.

Doctor Answers 3


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I would recommend a crown, but also to see the dentist to evaluate if the internal structure of the tooth is discolored.

Your picture is a bit blurry and hard to tell, but you've had a lot of trauma on that tooth and the nerve may be dying. This can cause discoloration, and I'd it's the case you'ryour tooth needs a root canal, build up and crown.

Front tooth chipped and discoloring

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Bonding is the application of resin (plastic) fillings that are tooth-coloured. It is most useful in repairing chippedteeth but no always the best option. In these cains of situations we recommended resin veneers. Porcelain veeners last longer than resin veneers, they can be easily damaged by habits such as fingernail chewing.

Good luck!

Hector Zorrilla, DDS
Dominican Republic Dentist

Failing Bonded front tooth options

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You might consider either a crown or if possible, a porcelain veneer.  The difficulty with bonded restorations, such as what you have currently, is that they can discolor and pick up stain, they are not as strong as crowns or veneers and each time your tooth is bonded the dentist must have fresh (not previously bonded) tooth structure. Previously bonded tooth cannot be bonded to again- it will fail.  Therefore, with each re-treatment more tooth must be drilled away to enable the bonding process to succeed.  The more conservative option is a veneer - but as mentioned it may or may not be appropriate - and that would likely require an x-ray and clinical exam to determine.  None-the-less, crowns and porcelain veneers are very color stable, can look very natural and generally are servicable for many years.  

Gigi Meinecke, DMD
Potomac Dentist

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