Chipped teeth don’t just affect the appearance of your smile. A chip in a tooth can actually increase the risk of more serious dental problems, like tooth decay and root canal infections, by exposing the inner structures of the tooth to bacteria. Seeking restorative dentistry treatments for chipped teeth can help prevent further damage and preserve oral health. Dr. Jon Marc Van Slate offers a variety of treatments for chipped teeth at his Houston, TX practice. The following are some of the most popular treatments for chipped teeth offered by Dr. Van Slate. Contact our offices today to find out which treatment is right for you.
Porcelain veneers are custom-made, tooth-shaped shells that may be used to repair chips in the front facing teeth. Porcelain veneers generally require at least two dental visits to complete. During the first visit, the teeth are prepared by removing a small amount of enamel. Impression are then taken of the teeth and sent to a dental lab where the customized veneers will be made. Temporary veneers will be placed while waiting for the veneers to be completed. Once ready, a second dental appointment will be made so the temporary veneers can be removed and the finished veneers bonded in place, effectively addressing chips and restoring the smile's appearance.
Dental bonding treatment may be used to repair minor chips or other dental flaws. Dental bonding treatment typically requires one dental appointment to complete. During treatment, the teeth are cleaned and a special solution is brushed onto the teeth being treated. This solution helps make the surface of the teeth porous to allow for better adhesion of the bonding material. Next, the dental bonding material, a soft, tooth-colored resin, is applied and shaped directly onto the teeth. Once the desired appearance is achieved, the resin is hardened and polished to provide a natural looking finish.
Onlays, also called partial crowns, are a type of tooth-colored restoration that may be used to repair moderate chips and other dental damage in the molars. Onlays are made of porcelain. The treatment process is similar to porcelain veneers treatment. Onlays often make a good treatment option for chips too severe for dental bonding, but not severe enough to require a full dental crown.
Dental crowns are a type of dental restoration that may be used to treat moderate to severe chips. Dental crowns entirely cover a damaged tooth and are typically made of porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal, but may also be made of gold. Dental crown treatment generally requires two appointments. Like porcelain veneers, the first appointment is used to prepare the tooth and take impressions. Impressions are then sent to a dental lab where the custom-crafted dental crown is made. A temporary crown will be placed in the interim. After about a week or two, the crown will be finished and a second appointment will be made to cement the crown in place and restore the smile.
Find Out More about Your Treatment Options
Leaving chipped teeth untreated can have serious consequences including tooth decay, painful root canal infections, or even tooth loss. Fortunately, chipped teeth are easily repaired. To find out which treatments are right for you, you're encouraged to schedule a consultation with Dr. Van Slate.