• writerjohnrayne@gmail.com
  • Tyagal, Patan, Lalitpur

Common Chipped Tooth Treatment Options

When it comes to dental injuries, a chipped tooth is a common occurrence. While it may not always cause significant pain, it can be uncomfortable and affect the appearance of your smile. Fortunately, there are various treatment options available to address a chipped tooth and restore both its functionality and aesthetics. In this article, we will explore different chipped tooth treatment options, their benefits, and what you can expect during the process.

Understanding Chipped Teeth

Before diving into the treatment options, let’s first understand what a chipped tooth is and what causes it. Enamel, the hard, outer layer of your teeth, is incredibly strong but not indestructible. A forceful blow or excessive wear and tear can cause the enamel to chip, resulting in a jagged tooth surface that can be sharp, tender, and disfiguring. Chipped teeth can occur due to various reasons, including:

  • Biting down on hard substances, such as ice or hard candy.
  • Falls or car accidents.
  • Playing contact sports without a mouthguard.
  • Teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism) during sleep.
  • Weakening of teeth due to tooth decay, cavities, or large fillings.
  • Consumption of acid-producing foods and beverages, like fruit juices, coffee, and spicy foods.
  • Acid reflux or heartburn, which brings stomach acid into the mouth, damaging tooth enamel.
  • Eating disorders or excessive alcohol use, leading to frequent vomiting and enamel erosion.
  • Bacterial growth caused by high sugar intake.

It’s important to note that weakened teeth are more prone to chipping than strong teeth. Factors such as tooth decay, grinding, and age can contribute to weakened enamel, increasing the risk of chipped teeth. According to a study published in the Journal of Endodontics, individuals over the age of 50 are more likely to experience cracked teeth.

Symptoms of a Chipped Tooth

In some cases, a chipped tooth may be minor and go unnoticed, especially if it’s not in a visible area of your mouth. However, when symptoms do arise, they may include:

  • Feeling a jagged surface when running your tongue over the teeth.
  • Irritation of the gum surrounding the chipped tooth.
  • Tongue irritation from catching it on the tooth’s uneven edge.
  • Pain when biting down, especially if the chip is near or exposes the tooth’s nerves.

If you suspect you have a chipped tooth, it’s important to seek professional dental care for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Diagnosis and Chipped Tooth Treatment Options

When you visit your dentist with a suspected chipped tooth, they will begin by conducting a thorough examination of your mouth. This includes visually inspecting the tooth, considering your symptoms, and discussing any events that may have caused the chipping. Based on their evaluation, they will recommend the most suitable treatment option.

1. Smoothing and Polishing

For minor chips that do not cause significant discomfort or affect the tooth’s functionality, your dentist may opt for a simple treatment approach – smoothing and polishing. This involves gently reshaping the chipped area, making it smoother and less noticeable. While this treatment is relatively quick and painless, it may not be suitable for more extensive chips.

2. Tooth Reattachment

If you still have the broken tooth fragment, your dentist may be able to reattach it using a procedure called tooth reattachment. This treatment option is only applicable if the fragment is intact and in good condition. To preserve the fragment, it is recommended to place it in a glass of milk to keep it moist. Calcium in the milk can help keep the fragment alive. If milk is not available, you can gently tuck it into your gum without swallowing it and seek immediate dental assistance. Your dentist will assess the viability of reattachment and use dental cement to secure the fragment back onto your tooth.

3. Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a common treatment for chipped teeth that involves the application of a composite resin material or porcelain to the surface of the tooth. The material is shaped to match the form of the tooth and hardened using ultraviolet lights. After drying and shaping, the bonded material blends seamlessly with the natural tooth, restoring its appearance and function. Dental bonding is a relatively quick and cost-effective procedure, with the bonding lasting up to 10 years.

4. Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth to improve their appearance. Before attaching a veneer, your dentist will remove a small amount of enamel to create space for the veneer. An impression of your tooth will be taken and sent to a dental lab to create the veneer. A temporary veneer may be placed until the permanent one is ready. Once ready, the veneer is bonded to the tooth, providing a durable and natural-looking solution. Porcelain veneers can last up to 30 years with proper care.

5. Dental Onlays

Dental onlays is often recommended for chipped teeth that only affect a portion of the tooth, especially molars. Onlays are custom-made restorations that are typically applied to the chewing surface of the tooth. If the damage is significant, a full dental crown might be recommended instead. The process involves taking a tooth mold and sending it to a dental lab to create the onlay. Once ready, the onlay is fitted onto the tooth and cemented in place. In some cases, dentists with advanced technology can mill porcelain onlays in their office, providing same-day solutions. Dental onlays can last for decades, but their longevity depends on factors such as the tooth’s location and the individual’s chewing habits.

6. Root Canal Treatment

In cases where the chip extends to the tooth’s root, it can lead to infection and damage to the tooth’s nerves. If an infection occurs, a root canal treatment may be necessary. This involves removing the infected pulp from the tooth, cleaning the root canal, and sealing it to prevent further infection. After the root canal, a dental crown may be placed on the tooth to provide additional strength and protection.

Factors Affecting Chipped Tooth Treatment Costs

The cost of chipped tooth treatment can vary based on several factors, including the complexity of the procedure, the tooth involved, and the dentist’s location. Here is a general overview of the potential costs:

  • Tooth planing or smoothing: Approximately $100.
  • Tooth reattachment: Cost depends on the dental exam fee, which ranges from $50 to $350. The actual reattachment procedure is relatively inexpensive.
  • Porcelain veneers or onlays: Cost ranges from $500 to $2,000, depending on the material used and the extent of tooth preparation required.

It’s important to consult with your dentist to get an accurate estimate of the treatment costs based on your specific situation.

Home Remedies and Precautions

While professional dental care is essential for treating a chipped tooth, there are steps you can take at home to reduce further damage and discomfort. These include:

  • Placing temporary dental filling material, a teabag, sugar-free gum, or dental wax over the jagged edge of the tooth to protect your tongue and gums.
  • Taking an anti-inflammatory painkiller, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), to alleviate pain and inflammation.
  • Applying ice on the outside of your cheek to reduce irritation caused by the chipped tooth.
  • Flossing to remove any food particles caught between your teeth, which can increase pressure on the chipped tooth during chewing.
  • Avoiding chewing using the chipped tooth to prevent further damage.
  • Using clove oil to numb any painful gums associated with the chipped tooth.
  • Wearing a protective mouthguard when playing sports or at night if you grind your teeth.


A chipped tooth is a common dental injury that can affect both your oral health and self-confidence. Fortunately, there are various treatment options available to address chipped teeth and restore their functionality and appearance. From simple smoothing and polishing to more extensive procedures like dental bonding, porcelain veneers, and dental onlays, here at Dentakay, we provide you the most suitable treatment based on the extent of the damage. Remember to seek professional dental care as soon as possible to prevent further complications and ensure a speedy recovery.