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Chipped, fractured, and broken teeth are very common.
The cost to fix these issues varies depending on:
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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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:
There are 5 types of tooth fractures:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vertical root fractures begin at the root and travel upwards, completely splitting a tooth.
Teeth with vertical root fractures need to be extracted.
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Depending on the type and severity of the chipped tooth, your dentist will recommend one of the following treatment options:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
A chip is considered a dental emergency if the tooth is:
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.
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