Chipped Teeth – Smoothing and Polishing
Minor rough edges and unevenness of teeth can usually be repaired with simply recontouring and polishing. This can be done in one visit with no anesthetics. Polishing microchips are much like polishing the edge of a rough fingernail. Because enamel is a crystal, microchips will continue to occur until the edge of the teeth is rounded and polished.
Restoring Tooth Chips with Direct Bonding
Chips and worn areas on the edges of front teeth can be restored in a single visit with the direct placement of adhesive composite materials (direct bonding). These repairs are routinely performed without the aid of local anesthetics. The procedure is minimally invasive, and the results defy detection and can last for years.
Bonding Saved Tooth Fragments
When a tooth fragment is large and intact, it can be adhered onto the tooth with advanced adhesion technologies. This can be accomplished without further invasion to the tooth or tooth fragment. When a tooth is fractured horizontally due to trauma, the enamel failure and subsequent fracture most likely prevented the entire tooth from being “knocked out”. Better a large enamel fracture that can be repaired than a completely avulsed tooth requiring a much more complicated solution.
Reinforcement of Broken and Fractured Teeth with Porcelain Veneers
Fractured or chipped teeth that are restored by bonding the tooth fragment back onto the tooth are best served long-term by placing a porcelain veneer over the entire front surface of the tooth and bonded tooth fragment. Because porcelain veneers are very thin, the amount of tooth reduction necessary for placement is equal to the thickness of the veneer or approximately the thickness of a fingernail.
These photos show porcelain veneers placed over the front surface of the repaired teeth. The strength of porcelain veneers is remarkable, and most analogous to the strength of laminated automotive glass. Laminated automotive glass (glass-plastic-glass) may chip or crack, but it is very strong and extremely resistant to complete failure.
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