Have you been avoiding smiling for a while now because you just don't want anyone to see your chipped front tooth? That's no way to live! You deserve to feel comfortable taking photos, and more than that, to feel proud of the image you see in the mirror. Whether your tooth has been chipped for a few days or a few years, you need to see a dentist to find out more about your options for fixing it. Chances are, the process will be simpler than you'd assume. Here's a look at the common ways a dentist can fix a chipped front tooth.
For chips that are small and don't extend through the enamel, your dentist may recommend a procedure called dental bonding. This process is very similar to that of applying a filling. Your dentist will drill away any damaged material and place a few metal pieces in your mouth to serve as a mold. Then, he or she will inject tooth-colored composite resin into the chipped area. After letting this harden for a few minutes, the dentist will then file down the material to give it a natural shape. Since this whole process is performed under local anesthetic, you won't feel a thing other than the vibrations from the drill!
If the chip is larger or your dentist fears that the tooth is in danger of subsequent cracks or chips, he or she may recommend having your tooth covered in a crown to add stability. Porcelain or composite resin may be used—they're both tooth-colored and will blend right in with your smile.
A crown is typically applied over two appointments. In the first appointment, the dentist will take a mold of your tooth. Then, the mold is sent off to a lab so a crown can be made. When the crown arrives, your dentist will cement it to your tooth during a second appointment.
If the chip is not overly large but its location makes it hard to fill—or if you also have some staining to hide—your dentist may opt to cover your tooth with a veneer. A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain that sits over the front of your tooth, rather than fully encasing it like a crown. When someone looks at you, they'll see the perfect veneer rather than the chipped tooth behind it.
You can have the veneers colored and sized to look just like your natural teeth. Or, if you want to really improve your smile, you can opt for an entire set of flashy, white veneers to transform your look.