Is There Anything I Can Do for This Chipped Tooth?

#25 is chipped from making contact with #8. The thickness was chipped & the front of the tooth bonded. I was told the corner (also thickness chipped) damage couldn't be fixed because it was a small area. Another dentist told me it likely could have been fixed at the time of bonding but for whatever reason the first dentist didn't do it. I know it's not a big chip but it drives me nuts, I drag my lips over the rough edges constantly. Is there anything I can do to fix this or am I out of luck?

Doctor Answers 10

Small chip on a front tooth

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I completely understand your concern.  I hear similar comments all the time, and I've tried all methods for restoring the damaged corner.  Composite bonding is very unreliable because it is too weak to last the long term.  Porcelain veneers damage the entire front of the teeth.  What I have found to be the most desireable is what I call 'partial porcelain veneers' in which only a small additional amount of tooth structure is removed and a tiny piece of porcelain is custom made to fit perfedtly on the corner.  Once bonded into place the partial veneer looks fantastic and is extremely durable.  I charge half the fee of a full veneer.  I've been placing partial veneers for several years and not one has come off.  There is a textbook called "Restortive and Esthetic Dentistry" written by two Swiss authors, Terry and Galler, which demonstrates this procedure very well for both the dentist and for the technician.  

Chicago Dentist

You're never out of luck!

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The chipped tooth could definitely be fixed, with options such as a composite filling or a porcelain veneer. The only problem is that if it is chipping now, a placed restoration could chip also. You could possibly be grinding or clenching your teeth (during the day or even at night) so the teeth are hitting each other abnormally. It might be a good idea that you have your bite evaluated when the tooth is restored, or maybe you can have a night guard made so it would protect your teeth at night.

James Powell, DDS
Lancaster Dentist

Bonding for Front Lower Tooth Chip

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It sounds as though this has really become a problem for you even though the chip is small.  The most conservative treatment would be to try dental bonding.  I would get fitted for a night guard  after the bonding to help protect it against any grinding.  If this comes off a time or two, then I would consider moving toward a laminate porcelain veneer.  These are extremely durable for those teeth that can't manage dental bonding. Hope this helps.  

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Fixing a Chipped Tooth so you don't go crazy

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Please insist your Dentist fix this.  He/she probably did not understand how much it is annoying you.  You have several options: 

  1. Did your Dentist try smoothing the rough area?  Many times patients are not bothered by the chip, but the sensation it causes to their lip and tongue.  This sounds like what you are experiencing- try it and see. 
  2. If that doesn't work, then ask your Dentist to bond that area, or at the worst replace the existing boding with a new one that incorporates the chipped, rough area.  Realize that this is more unpredictable and may fail, as your bite might be off and may even need adjusting if you really want the bonding to last. 
  3. Finally an aggressive option is a veneer or crown, but I would urge you to get a second opinion about the bonding first if you choose to pursue this option. 

Good Luck and Happy New Year.

Madeleinne Zapantis, DMD
Long Island Dentist

Restoring a tooth that is driving you nuts

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When your try to restore a corner of a tooth that is banging against a tooth above it can be somewhat of a challenge but if it is annoying you the way it feels there should be no problem getting it taken care of.  Sometimes a simple smoothing can alleviate the tongue from rubbing up against the edge.  You can try and bond it to see if that works as well.  A veneer or a crown would be a less conservative option for you.  Good luck in fixing your problem


Leonard Tau, DMD
Philadelphia Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Is There Anything I Can Do for This Chipped Tooth?

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If it's driving you nuts, you should absolutely have it fixed. If it's a very small area, sometimes some very fine polishing is enough to make your tongue happy.

For anything larger than that I would go ahead and bond it. Occasionally if there is not much room, a good cosmetic dentist will smooth off the top tooth where it hits this new bonding to make sure there is not too much pressure there.

For the most part, bonding here looks great and works really well. I tell my patients that you need to be careful not to put too much pressure there or you can pop the bonding off. Whatever chipped your tooth originally, can chip the bonding as well.

I think that a good cosmetic dentist will look over all of your front teeth, watch how they touch and slide, and in my office, we would make sure that ALL of your front teeth look smooth and even (and feel smooth!).

Fix The Bonding

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I am so sorry that you seem to have not been able to fix a small problem that is driving you nuts!  I do not understand why the corner can not be fixed. It seems to me that with the the right dentist, your bonding in the front should be smooth and the tooth can be built up and made smooth in the back. You can not help but continue to feel rough edges when they are there.  These can easily be made smooth.  If you can not find a solutiion to correct the bonding,  a crown or a  veneer might be your answer, but they are  far more expensive.

George Koutsoukos, DDS
Valencia Dentist

Repairing a bonded tooth

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Without seeing the exact situation, it is hard to give and exact answer, but I have been able to patch many unusual situations with bonding in my office.  As the other dentists indicated, if the bite interfers, then this will not hold.  Also bonding new composite (bonding material) to old sometimes will not hold unless undercuts are available.  Again the need to see your situation.  If you are not comforable with your dentist's answer get a second opinion, but let the second dentist know on the phone what you are looking for.  Good luck!

Bonding or veneers can work for a lower fixed tooth but...

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This type of chip is usually from wear and tear of the edges agains the oposite teeth as well as bitting into things. The most coservative fix is to use bonded resin (composite), however this tends to be hit or miss-depends whether the chip was from trauma or wearing.  It is a very thin area which is prone to continued chipping. If you have habits of grinding the front teeth against each other (you can usually see the wear patterns that match) then it will be even more difficult to get something that stays. It is possible that the bite prevents the bonding from being placed. You may have to adjust the opposing teeth or get braces or invisaling to fix this. If the bite does not interfere with the bonding then it should work fine.

I would try the bonding along with some polishing of any rough edges to aleeviate the lip issue.

A veneer is an option but realize that this is irreversible and the tooth will have to be shaved by 0.7mm in the front and possibly by 1.0-1.5mm in the edge. It is more durable than bonding but can still chip and the same applies to the bite relationship with the bonding.  

Hope this helps.

Dr. T

Mauricio C. Tijerino, DMD
Miami Beach Dentist

Fixing #25

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When a tooth is chipped as a result of constantly banging into the opposing tooth, restoration can be a challenge.  Bonding material can be carried up to the esthetic edge, but must be reduced to keep it out of the occlusion.  If the restoration hyperoccludes, it will fracture. 

In your case and based on your description, either the bonding can be removed and replaced or the tooth prepared for and a veneer placed.

Marc Zive, DMD
Springfield Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.