How Does a Dentist Fix a Chipped Tooth? Remedies For Chipped or Broken Teeth

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Ouch! Bit into that juicy burger and heard a suspicious crack, only to spit out a tiny piece of tooth. Don’t panic! 

How Does a Dentist Fix a Chipped Tooth?

This step-by-step guide explores how dentists fix chipped or broken teeth. The below article provides immediate answers to anyone facing a chipped tooth, from treatment options like bonding, veneers, and crowns to the actual procedure and aftercare tips.

Understanding a Chipped Tooth

When your tooth is chipped, it means that a piece of enamel has broken off. The hard outer coating of your teeth, called tooth enamel, protects the delicate inside tissue. Although tooth enamel is strong, it is not unbreakable. 

What causes a chipped tooth?

You may get a chip in your tooth if you have an injury to it, such as a tumble or accidentally biting down on your fork.

Common symptoms of a chipped tooth

  1. Feeling a rough, uneven surface on running your tongue over your teeth
  2. Irritated gums surrounding the damaged tooth.
  3. Pain on biting from the tooth, which can be severe if the chip is close to or exposes the tooth’s nerves.  

Importance of seeking treatment for a chipped tooth

Although slightly chipped teeth rarely result in serious problems, they can make you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth. Dental repair is necessary to save your teeth if there are severe chips that reveal the sensitive tissue beneath the enamel.

Treatment Options for a Chipped Tooth

Dental Filling or Bonding

Dental bonding is often the best option for minor chips that haven’t seriously damaged the tooth’s structure.

A tooth-colored filling material is applied to the chipped area and molded to resemble the tooth’s natural shape. A special curing light is then used to harden the resin, effectively restoring the tooth’s appearance and functionality. 

Dental Cap or Crown

Dental crowns are used to replace damaged natural crowns of teeth. They are fixed over prepared teeth with luting cements, to provide a strong bond to the tooth structure giving reliable durability and minimizing microleakage.

If a large piece of tooth breaks off or the tooth has significant decay, a crown is used to protect and enhance the appearance and function  The dentist may grind or file away some of the remaining tooth in these situations.

Metal, porcelain bonded to metal, resin, or ceramic can all be used to create permanent crowns. All-metal crowns are the strongest. Ceramic crowns can be built almost identically to the original tooth.

You might need 1-2 visits for your dental crown. With the advanced technology of CAD-CAM, now your same-day crown can be designed, milled, and placed within two hours, compared to traditional porcelain crowns that require two or three visits spread over several weeks to complete. 

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers, which are thin, custom-made shells made of ceramic or composite material, may be beneficial for slightly larger chips. Veneers are made to fit over the chipped tooth’s front surface perfectly, masking the damage and improving the tooth’s appearance. 


To prepare your tooth, a minimal amount of  0.3 -1.2 mm of enamel is removed from the surface of your tooth. After that,  an impression of the tooth is taken which is sent to a dental lab for the veneer to be fabricated.

Your dentist will call you in a week or two to have the veneer placed. A liquid is used to roughen the tooth’s surface, followed by a special cement after which the veneer is then positioned into placed on the prepared tooth, and the cement is set using a special curing light.

Root Canal Therapy

If a tooth chip or break is large enough to expose the pulp, Bacteria from the mouth can enter and infect the pulp (the centre of the tooth containing blood vessels and nerves).

If you are experiencing a toothache, sensitivity to hot/cold, and tooth discoloration, the pulp is probably diseased or damaged.

If the dying pulp tissue is not removed, the broken tooth may get infected and require extraction. In root canal therapy, the dead pulp is removed, the root canal is cleaned, and the opening is sealed. A crown is then placed over the now-weakened tooth.

The Procedure for Fixing a Chipped Tooth

Initial examination and assessment: A thorough assessment and examination is the first step in fixing a chipped tooth. Your dentist will carefully examine the location of the chip, its size, and whether any additional damage has occurred.

Based on this assessment, the best course of treatment is determined Dental X-rays are often needed to have a more complete understanding of the problem.

X-rays let your dentist evaluate any possible damage to the tooth’s root and adjacent structures and additional concerns that could affect the overall treatment plan. 

 Discussing the treatment options: Your dentist will discuss the treatments that are best suited to your specific situation based on the assessment:

Since every chip is unique, the best course of action differs based on the size, location, and severity of the chip. To make an informed choice regarding your dental treatment at this stage, you must have open communication with your dentist.  

Aftercare Tips for a Fixed Chipped Tooth

A dedicated oral hygiene routine is key to maintaining the fixed tooth.

Even with a veneer, composite bonding, or a crown, your tooth can still get caries or gum issues if not taken care of properly. Protect your oral health by brushing twice daily every day, flossing and using mouthwash at least once a day, and visiting your dentist every 6 months.

Dietary considerations

Avoid chewing on hard things: Even though dental bonding is long-lasting, you should avoid habits that could put your bonded teeth under unnecessary stress.

Chewing on hard materials, such as ice, pencils, or fingernails, can cause the bonding material to break or chip. If you frequently clench or grind your teeth while you sleep, you might want to think about getting a nightguard to safeguard your teeth.

Eat less sugary and acidic foods: Sugary and acidic damage tooth enamel and the bonding substance.

sugary and acidic foods

These foods don’t have to be avoided, but it’s best to eat them in moderation. After eating such items, rinse your mouth with water to help neutralize acids and lessen their effect on your teeth.

Regular dental checkups and maintenance: Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings so they can monitor the condition of your bonded teeth and address any concerns right away.

Professional cleanings can help maintain bonding looking nice by the appearance of your bonding by removing any surface stains or plaque buildup.

If you’re a smoker, try to quit or reduce your smoking habit as it can significantly improve the longevity of your dental bonding


Chipped teeth can be a cause for concern but it’s manageable with timely dental care. If a chipped tooth occurs, don’t wait to call your dentist as immediate treatment can restore the smile’s appearance and functionality.

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