A chipped front tooth can be a very unsettling thing for a person of any age. Before the bonding era, the tooth would have to be whittled and a crown (cap) placed. Now, front teeth can be restored to the point where the repair is virtually imperceptible. The tooth is first cleaned up and any rough edges are smoothed. A long bevel is prepared on the enamel surface to increase the amount of enamel that is available for bonding. Then, an acid solution is applied to the surfaces. After rinsing, thousands of microscopic crevasses are present. Although they are very tiny, these areas allow for a liquid plastic to be flowed into these crevasses then hardened with an intense light source. This alone is adequate to retain the repair in place for a number of years.
A composite (tooth-colored filling material) is then color matched with the remaining tooth. It is built up in multi-colored increments in order to mimic nature. Each layer is light hardened, then it’s time to contour and polish the restoration. The resulting filling looks great when it is finished. With proper care, this repair can last five to ten-plus years. Since it is not as durable as porcelain, one must be careful not to bite on hard things with it. The tooth may eventually require a crown, but repairing a chipped front tooth with a bonded filling can be a conservative, less-expensive alternative.