Repairing a chipped, cracked or broken tooth by Dr Leigh-Ann Elias

One of the questions I get asked frequently in the practice is “will it be very invasive to have a chipped, cracked or broken tooth repaired”.

And in most instances, it won’t.

Many people have walked around for years with a damaged tooth which prevents them from smiling properly or which can dent their confidence. Perhaps you saw the press coverage sometime back when Keith Duffy (from Boyzone and Coronation Street) had his trademark chipped front tooth repaired. He said that the constant questions about it during the years when the band were at their height had left him too paranoid to smile properly and had prevented him going to acting auditions in the U.S.

Whilst the rest of us may not have that level of public scrutiny, a chipped tooth can hold us back at work or in social settings.

So what can we do? Well unless the damage is severe and compromises the tooth, leading to an extraction (in which case we still have options to fill the gap) then we have a variety of treatment options.

If a piece of the tooth has chipped off we would normally carry out bonding, which is where we use composite to build up the tooth. Composite is the same material we use in natural coloured fillings. If a large piece of the tooth is broken off then we may file away part of the remaining tooth and place a dental crown over it. This crown will look and feel like the tooth it is partially replacing. Dental crowns are also great at replacing a tooth which has been cracked.

Depending on where in the mouth your damage tooth is, we may also be able to place an onlay, which fits over the top of the biting surface of a tooth and is often referred to as a ‘partial crown’.

Suffice to say that I could wax lyrical about this topic for many more paragraphs; however, there’s no point getting too technical in a newsletter. The simple answer to “can we repair a chipped, broken or cracked tooth?” in most instances is yes. Make an appointment with me, Jonathan or Farrell who will assess the damage to your tooth and outline the best treatment option.

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