4 Options for Fixing a Chipped or Broken Tooth

Chipped and broken teeth can affect more than just your smile. If left untreated, they can not only affect your oral health, but also your overall health, even if the damage may seem minor.

In this article, Clinique MFML’s maxillofacial surgeons discuss chipped and broken teeth and explain when to consider having a tooth removed, and common methods for replacing a broken tooth.

How teeth get chipped or broken

A broken tooth is usually a fracture caused by physical trauma. A tooth can also break because it is rotten.

A tooth can even chip or break when you chew food too hard or if you grind your teeth repeatedly. A tooth that has had root canal treatment, no crown installed, is also more likely to break.

What to do if you chip or break a tooth

If you break a tooth, keep the part of the tooth that has broken off, if possible. Next, make an emergency appointment with a dentist or maxillo-facial surgeon. The sooner you get help, the better the chance of saving the broken tooth – depending on your individual situation, of course. A chipped tooth may not be as urgent, depending on the size of the chip.

What to do for a chipped or broken tooth while waiting for an appointment

After the fracture, the area may be sensitive to chewing or temperature changes. Pay special attention to what you eat to help alleviate symptoms.

How is a broken tooth diagnosed?

A broken tooth is diagnosed in a dental office using radiology (X-rays). With dental radiology, a dental surgeon can verify whether the tooth root has been fractured. They can also confirm whether there is any damage to the tooth pulp.

How to replace or treat a chipped or broken tooth

In the case of a broken tooth, it may be possible to reconstruct the tooth with an adhesive resin, a “white filling”, if the dental pulp is untouched.

Whether your tooth is cracked, chipped or broken, today’s dentists can offer a solution to your problem. Keep reading to find out which techniques can be used to repair a chipped or broken tooth. Please note that individual procedures will vary depending on your situation.

1. Dental implants

If your tooth has broken the extent that it cannot be repaired, even with root canal treatment, and your fracture extends below the level of the gums, generally the only solution will be to install a dental implant. If the root is affected and the tooth is dead, your dentist will have to devitalize your tooth and artificially replace your root with an implant.

The advantages of dental implants are numerous: in short, they look good and are comfortable and resistant to wear. Dental implants also last a very long time, provided that you adopt good oral hygiene after the implant has been installed.

2. Dental crowns

A dental crown can be used to cover a broken or chipped tooth. A custom-made, hollow, artificial tooth made of composite or porcelain is used to completely cover the broken tooth and protect it.

A crown may be the best solution if the pulp is affected. In this case, endodontic treatment, also known as root canal therapy, will be necessary.

4. Dental bridges

A dental bridge is used to replace one or more broken teeth. There are both removable and permanent solutions, including the traditional bridge and the implant-supported bridge.

With a traditional bridge, the adjacent teeth are used to hold the bridge in place. These teeth are trimmed to prepare them to receive the bridge, and crowns are installed.

Implant-supported bridges are used if the adjacent teeth are not healthy enough to support a traditional bridge, or if several teeth need to be replaced. In this case, tooth extraction may be necessary, to install two implants which will then support the dental bridge.

4. Bonding

If you manage to preserve your broken piece of tooth properly and get to your dentist quickly, they may be able to glue the ends of your tooth back together using resin. This depends on the situation and is a rarely used solution.

How much does it cost to fix a chipped or broken tooth?

It’s always tricky to estimate a price without knowing the details of your file and your situation. Please take this information as an estimate, as the complexity of your treatment and the solution you choose will influence the total price.

If we bond your tooth, you can expect to pay between $80 and $250.

For a dental crown, treatment could cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000.

If we need to install a dental implant, it could cost between $2500 and $4000, since we have to consider the cost of the screw (which replaces your root) and the crown (which replaces your tooth). However, a dental implant is a stronger, longer-lasting solution, and is eligible for a tax credit.

Finally, the cost of a dental bridge can range from $4,000 to over $8,000, depending on the number of teeth being replaced.

Clinique MFML can help

Now you know what it takes to replace a chipped or broken tooth. We hope you’ve found this article helpful.

Our Montreal maxillofacial clinic can help if you’ve just chipped or broken a tooth. You can contact us using our online form or by phone at 514 637-1606.

You can learn more about the world of maxillofacial surgery by visiting our blog. Or, take a look at the various oral and maxillofacial services we offer.

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