How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Chipped Tooth?
The enamel on your teeth is one of the hardest materials in the body, but it is still fairly common to chip a tooth. Most people take immediate action and call their dentist if they chip a front tooth because it’s visible, but all too often, a chipped tooth in the back of the mouth will go untreated. Many people leave a chipped tooth untreated because they are afraid of how much it will cost.
Fortunately, there are a variety of affordable ways to correct a chipped tooth, so repairing a tooth doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. Moreover, not fixing that chipped tooth can lead to bigger problems down the road that will be more expensive.
How do you chip a tooth?
Here are some of the most common ways people chip a tooth:
- Biting down on something hard (ice, peanut brittle, hard candy)
- Using teeth for purposes besides chewing (opening packages, bottles, etc.)
- Getting hit in the mouth or face with something hard
- Not using a mouthguard when playing contact sports
- Car accidents
- Decay or cavities that weaken the tooth
- Old amalgam fillings that aren’t supporting the remaining enamel of the tooth
- Grinding your teeth
If the chip is large, it will be obvious; you’ll see a broken piece off of the tooth, or even a large crack. Many chips, though, are smaller and nearly invisible, especially if they are in the back teeth. You may feel pain when biting down or eating, or a more constant, dull ache in a tooth. If you think you’ve cracked or chipped a tooth, it’s important to visit your dentist.
Using special lights, tools, and x-rays, your dentist can identify the damage to a tooth that you can’t see, as well as any damage to the internal structure of the tooth. Once a crack or chip has been determined, the dentist can start discussing with you your options for repair.
How much does it cost to fix a chipped tooth?
There are several factors your dentist will consider before recommending your best treatment options. These include:
- The severity of the damage, including any infection or deterioration
- What type of tooth is affected
- The location of the damage
- If there are any other coinciding issues that need to be addressed
- Your budget and insurance
- Your ultimate smile restoration goals
The most common methods of fixing a chipped or cracked tooth are:
Dental fillings are best for small cracks or chips that are not very deep or visible. The dentist will file down any rough or sharp edges, then fill in the damaged area with a tooth-colored resin to restore the appearance, function, and strength of the tooth.
Dental fillings typically cost between $100 and $300, but your dentist will be able to give you exact pricing.
Dental bonding is best for visible cracks or chips. The dentist applies a tooth-colored resin to the surface of the tooth, then smooths and reshapes it over the damaged surface to protect the tooth from further damage and help it blend in seamlessly with the rest of the tooth and adjacent teeth.
The price for dental bonding is comparable to fillings, but, again, exactly what you’ll pay will depend on your unique situation.
Dental crowns are ideal for teeth that have sustained substantial damage that can’t be fixed with a filling or bonding, or have damage that is affecting the inner layers of the tooth. A crown is a thin cap that fits over the broken tooth to restore the aesthetics and function of the tooth and protect it from further damage.
Dental crowns vary widely in cost, ranging from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand. The location and type of material are usually the determining factors for how much your crown will cost. Dental crowns are available in metal or gold alloys, ceramic, all-resin, or porcelain-fused-to-metal.
Dental veneers and onlays
Other options for correcting a chipped tooth include veneers and onlays or inlays. These procedures are often identified by insurance companies as cosmetic or elective rather than medically necessary. This means the insurance company won’t cover the cost of the treatment. Veneers and onlays can cost well over a thousand dollars per tooth.
You may consider veneers or onlays if you want a solution that:
- Treats multiple issues at once
- May last longer than bonding
- Is more resistant to staining
Both veneers and onlays are custom-made. Veneers are best for small chips that are primarily cosmetic, while onlays are better for cavities or chips that are too big for a standard filling.
Your dentist can help you decide if a cosmetic procedure is right for your chipped tooth.
The Cost of Future Problems
Even if you can’t see or feel a chipped tooth or if it isn’t affecting your smile or your eating, you still need to fix it. A broken tooth is more susceptible to everything from decay and cavities to an infection deep inside the tooth. That’s because once the enamel on the outside of the tooth is damaged, bacteria can enter the tooth.
Decayed or infected teeth then pose their own problem. As the condition worsens, the strength and integrity of the tooth become compromised, and now the tooth is at risk for further damage, deterioration, and infection that spreads to the gum and jawbone. The tooth may also end up falling out completely.
Fast, affordable treatments won’t fix these problems–more costly and involved procedures like root canals and tooth extractions and replacements are necessary for situations like these. Root canals can cost around $1,000 or more, depending on the tooth and your insurance coverage, while dental crowns may cost more. Tooth extractions typically cost a few hundred dollars, but the replacements–such as artificial teeth or implants–can cost several thousand.
Affordable Ways to Fix Your Chipped Tooth at Bright Now! Dental
Fixing your chipped tooth is the fastest way to get you smiling brighter, and at Bright Now! Dental, we have affordable options to fit any budget. We understand that things like chipped teeth and other dental injuries are not only unexpected, but they’re also hard to plan for financially. That’s why, in addition to affordable prices, we also offer flexible payment plans and multiple financing options to help you pay for the care you need. We accept most major dental insurance plans, and if you don’t have insurance, you can take advantage of our OneSmile Dental Plan, which offers members discounts on many dental care services for one low annual fee.
With Bright Now! Dental, you and your family can receive the chipped tooth care you need when and where you need it, with multiple locations, flexible scheduling, and Saturday appointments at several offices. Find the location nearest you!