Considering medically necessary
Chipped teeth are one of many reasons that people can feel self-conscious about their mouths and smiles. Chipped teeth can be caused by any number of occurrences including falls, any type of impact with your mouth, or can even be present as the tooth forms. Treating chipped teeth is a very regular type of dental procedure. At times, it can be considered medically necessary to treat chipped teeth, which means that your dental insurance will cover a portion of the cost. Other chipped teeth and their repairs would be considered cosmetic dentistry, meaning that you would have to pay the expense out of pocket. This can be a very worthwhile expense, however, in improving the overall appearance of your mouth.
One of the most common ways to treat chipped teeth is through bonding. In order to apply bonding, the chipped tooth will be resurfaced by your dentist, to create an area where the bonding will best adhere. Bonding materials are made of resin that is designed to blend in with your natural tooth surface. Once bonding is used to fix the chip in your tooth, it can be contoured and polished so that it perfectly matches your other teeth.
Tooth contouring can also be used to minimize the impact of a chip on a tooth. If the chip is located on a corner or can easily be buffed out, your dentist may contour your entire tooth to simply hide the fact that a chip ever existed. If the chip is larger or is located in an area that cannot be easily fixed by simple reshaping, contouring can be used in conjunction with seating a ceramic shell over your tooth to smooth out the overall appearance.
You can also consider capping your teeth as a way to hide any chips that may exist. Most caps are actually porcelain veneers. In order to place the porcelain veneers, a portion of your existing natural tooth will be shaved down, allowing for the cap to be placed on top of it and to smooth out the appearance of that tooth to bring it into line with all of the surrounding teeth. This can be the most expensive solution to chipped teeth, but it can also leave the most natural appearance and be the longest lasting way to deal with imperfections.