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How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Chipped Tooth?

Michael Bayba Headshot
Written by
Michael Bayba
Medically Reviewed by 
Dr. Erica Anand
6 Sources Cited

Chipped Tooth Repair Costs

Chipped, fractured, and broken teeth are very common.

The cost to fix these issues varies depending on:

  1. The severity of the break
  2. Whether it's a front tooth or molar
  3. What type of dental procedure is needed to repair it
  4. Other factors like insurance coverage, location, and the dental office’s pricing

Here’s what you should expect to pay to repair a chipped tooth (without insurance):

Procedure Cost Per Tooth
Filling $90 to $500
Dental bond $200 to $1,000
Dental crown $300 to $3,000
Root canal $500 to $1,800
Dental onlay $650 to $1,200
Dental veneer $600 to $2,500
Dental implant $3,000 to $5,000

Dental insurance may cover some or all of the procedure costs.

The most significant factor is whether your insurance plan considers the procedure necessary or cosmetic.

Veneers and implants are often deemed cosmetic or elective procedures, while most other chipped tooth treatments are considered medically necessary.

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Chipped Tooth Causes

Even though your tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in your body, tooth fractures are common injuries.

The most common causes of cracked teeth are:

  • Teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism)
  • Tooth decay that weakens the tooth
  • Chewing hard substances such as hard candy and popcorn kernels
  • Injuries or trauma such as a sports injury, car accident, or fall
  • Large fillings that weaken teeth over time
  • Age and naturally weakened teeth
  • Thermal stresses (eating something hot and rinsing with ice water)

5 Types of Tooth Fractures

There are 5 types of tooth fractures:

1. Craze Lines

Craze lines are tiny vertical cracks that appear on the tooth enamel. These cracks are very common and develop with age.

They don't cause pain, are harmless, and don't require treatment. 

cracked tooth craze line

2. Fractured Cusp

Fractured cusps often develop in teeth that have deep cavities or large dental fillings. They are small chips that only affect the pointed chewing surface of a tooth.

These cracks don't reach the pulp, which is the part of the tooth that holds the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. 

Fractured cusps may not require treatment. They might also not cause symptoms or only slight discomfort.

However, if they change the way you chew or alter the appearance of your smile, a dentist will likely recommend restoring the tooth.

fractured cusp

3. Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth typically cracks vertically.

If the crack doesn't extend below the gum line, the damaged tooth can usually be saved with a crown before the crack causes further damage.

These fractures usually cause tooth sensitivity and acute pain when biting down.

cracked molar

4. Split Tooth

A split tooth is a much more serious type of tooth fracture.

It occurs when a cracked tooth goes untreated and develops into a complete fracture. A severe injury can also split a tooth.

A split cracks the tooth from the sharp top edge all the way to the root(s).

In most cases, your dentist will need to perform a tooth extraction. They'll recommend replacing the tooth with an implant.

A root canal and dental crown can rarely save the remaining tooth structure.

AdobeStock 322293857

5. Vertical Root Fractures

Vertical root fractures begin at the root and travel upwards, completely splitting a tooth.

Teeth with vertical root fractures need to be extracted.

AdobeStock 330750693

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Chipped Tooth Treatment Options

Depending on the type and severity of the chipped tooth, your dentist will recommend one of the following treatment options:

Fillings

Fillings can treat very minor chipping by closing the hole and restoring tooth functionality.

They are made of white composite resin or silver amalgam. Fillings are typically used for small chips in molars or less visible areas.

amalgam filling NewMouth

Dental Bonding

If the chip is on a front tooth or highly visible area, dental bonding may be recommended.

The tooth-colored bonding material (composite resin) is applied to the tooth and hardened using an LED light.

dental bonding NewMouth

Dental Crown

If the fracture is large or affects multiple cusps on the tooth, a dental crown will be applied.

A crown is a custom-fitted cap that fits over the remaining natural tooth to protect and restore normal function.

It can be made of porcelain-fused-to-metal, metal or gold alloys, stainless steel, ceramic, or all-resin.

stainless steel crown

Root Canal Therapy

If the crack exposes the dentin or pulp of your tooth, it could become permanently damaged.

In this case, a root canal will be needed to remove the dead pulp and replace it with a filling called gutta-percha.

Crowns are often placed on top of teeth after root canal procedures.

root canal procedure NewMouth

Dental Onlay

An onlay may be used when a cavity or chip is too big for a normal filling. They are custom-made in a lab to fit your tooth.

ceramic inlay and onlay

Dental Veneer

If the chip is small and only causes cosmetic problems, a dental veneer may be recommended.

Veneers are commonly used in cosmetic dentistry to fix the appearance of teeth. They are custom shells of porcelain or zirconia that change the shape, size, and color of teeth.  

veneer NewMouth

Dental Implant

If your tooth is extracted, you'll need to see an oral and maxillofacial surgeon or periodontist for a dental implant.

An implant is an artificial tooth root that is inserted and bonded to your jawbone. It serves as the base for a crown, bridge, or denture. 

dental implant NewMouth

What to Do if You Chip a Tooth

If you chip a tooth, call your dentist immediately and schedule an office visit.

Once you set up an appointment, there are a few things you can do to help relieve pain and prevent it from worsening:

  • Take pain medication such as acetaminophen or your preferred over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Rinse with saltwater to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria around the wound.
  • Cover any sharp edges in paraffin wax or sugarless chewing gum to prevent cuts on your tongue, lip, and cheek.
  • Only eat soft foods and avoid biting down on the tooth. If you can schedule an emergency dental visit, avoid eating altogether until your appointment.  

Is a Chipped Tooth a Dental Emergency?

A chip is considered a dental emergency if the tooth is:

  • Causing pain
  • Fully fractured (extending beyond the tooth enamel)
  • Completely knocked out

What Happens if I Don’t Fix a Chipped Tooth?

Neglecting a chipped tooth can lead to more damage and dental care costs.

If the chip exposes the dentin or pulp of the tooth, an infection can occur. This may indicate the need for a root canal or tooth extraction.

If the fracture gets worse and extends into the roots, you'll need to remove the tooth and get an implant. 

These procedures are much more complicated and costly than fillings, bonding, and onlays. It’s best to seek treatment right away to minimize damage.

What’s Next?

Discover how you and your family can save money on common dental procedures with a dental discount plan.

Or call DentalPlans to speak with a representative about which plan is right for you.

Last updated on April 8, 2022
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on April 8, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Abulhamael, Ayman M et al. “Treatment Decision-making of Cracked Teeth: Survey of American Endodontists.” The journal of contemporary dental practice vol. 20,5 543-547. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31316014/  1 May. 2019
  2. “Cracked Teeth.” American Association of Endodontists, 2 Sept. 2020, www.aae.org/patients/dental-symptoms/cracked-teeth/ 
  3. Douglass, Alan B, and Joanna M Douglass. “Common Dental Emergencies.” American Family Physician, 1 Feb. 2003, www.aafp.org/afp/2003/0201/p511.html 
  4. Lubisich, Erinne B, et al. “Cracked Teeth: a Review of the Literature.” Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry : Official Publication of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry ... [Et Al.], U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3870147/ 
  5. Mamoun, John S, and Donato Napoletano. Cracked Tooth Diagnosis and Treatment: An Alternative Paradigm. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439863/ 
  6. “When Teeth Get Damaged.” Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, Mar. 2014, www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/when-teeth-get-damaged
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