Tooth Trauma (Part IV of IV)

When a front tooth has been chipped, there are a few options on restoring the tooth. If the chip is small enough, the area can be repaired by bonding tooth colored filling material to the enamel. I have many cases where that repair has lasted over ten plus years.

Porcelain Crown

Large defects are better repaired by covering with a porcelain crown. The porcelain is extremely durable and color-stable and can last decades. With children, when a majority of these injuries occur, it is better to do a tooth colored filling, even with large fractures. The main reason is that at least a millimeter and a half of tooth enamel needs to be removed from the tooth in order to get a good cosmetic result and in a child, the nerve in the center of the tooth is extremely large. Taking 1.5 mm of enamel in a patient of that age group can be enough to either expose the nerve or injure it enough that root canal treatment would be needed later on. Also, in a child, the tooth continues to erupt out of the gums, so as the child matures, the edge of the crown can become exposed which can be very unsightly. When a tooth colored filling is done to repair a fracture, it is expected that it will have to be repaired or redone many times during the patient’s lifetime.