If there is one thing that is done terribly – its repairing chips on front teeth!
I have been exclusively doing cosmetic dentistry for over 10 years, and chipping front teeth, thinning front teeth and broken front teeth are extremely common!
Now, if you fall, and hit your face, or if someones fist hits your face, and your teeth break, it should be pretty easy to rebuild that.
The cause is obvious, and as long as it doesn’t happen again and again, once the tooth is built up (properly), your teeth should look beautiful and last you many many years.
What is the best option for repairing these teeth?
If you have chipped about 1/4 of the tooth, then the best option to rebuild it is with a cosmetic white filling material. You may have seen other people with ugly white fillings on front teeth. The reason they look this way is that the dentist who did them is unskilled in the artistry required to make teeth look natural with white fillings.
To repair a small chip in a tooth often requires about an hour, several different colours of filling material (your teeth are made up of many different shades), and a fantastic polishing system that lets you get a glass like finish to the filling.
If your dentist is using magnification (like loupes, or even better, a microscope), then the quality of the end filling will be better. There is no exception to this – if you can see what you are doing more clearly, you will do a better job!
If you have been unfortunate, and more than half your tooth is broken from your recent battle, then you may well need more treatment to clean the injured nerve and then its better to rebuild the tooth using porcelain, so a crown is often the best option.
What if all your teeth are chipping, and you didn’t fight anyone or anything?
This is when things get a lot more interesting, and complicated. If your teeth are chipping away, then this is a sign that there is an underlying problem.
No matter how amazing a filling or crown that someone puts on your chipping teeth, unless the cause of the chipping has been addressed, the crowns and fillings will chip away again.
To keep things simple, most of these chipping and thinning of teeth problems are caused by an uneveness in the bite.
This uneveness is not usually something you feel, however you might be more likely to have tenderness in certain muscles that control your jaw, and you may suffer from headaches a lot – BUT for some people, there are absolutely no other symptoms.
Correcting the problem of chipped teeth is a little more involved, but if done properly, you can enjoy many years of healthy strong teeth.
The first thing to do is to ‘re-set’ the bite. This means you need to wear something that sits on your front teeth every night for a few nights, so your jaw can find a more relaxed position.
The dentist can now take a recording in this new position, and find your uneveness in the bite.
There are several ways to correct this, and you can either stop the damage right there, or rebuild the teeth to their former glory, without worrying that they are going to chip away soon.
Building your teeth up has to be done carefully as well, and your relaxed bite position needs to be respected. The way to do this is to build your teeth up using a temporary material initially, then convert this to a permanent material. At least this way, if the bite issue is not 100% corrected, then you only chip away the temporary material, and its easy to make bite adjustments in temporary materials.
Once the temporaries look good and feel good – we can convert them to permanent fillings or veneers or crowns (whatever the best option is)