Can the dentist fill a chipped tooth versus crowning it?
Most times the Dentist can absolutely fill a chipped tooth instead of crowning it. The question is, should he or she? A tooth chips most times once it has had a filling that is more than 40-60 % of the tooth’s volume. When a tooth has a large filling, it may look as strong as a natural tooth but it is far from it. No filled tooth is as strong as an unfilled tooth. Here are some reasons teeth chip:
- A biting force was applied at a bad angle and the load was too much to prevent a shearing force fracture.
- The filling was past its maximum life cycle and could not support chewing forces as well.
- The opposing tooth was too strong compared to the filled tooth and it eventually caused the filled tooth to fail.
- It had an undiagnosed fracture
There are more reasons than this why a tooth fractures or chips. The life cycle of a tooth is a small filling, larger filling, crown, root canal, extraction and then an implant, bridge or a partial denture. Like the rest of our body parts the tooth is in a state of decline from the moment it erupts into our mouth. Our hope is that your Dentist can extend the life of the tooth/natural root or implant longer then you need it.
So I recommend fixing the chipped tooth with the strongest material and procedure so that it does not have to be retreated again for another decade or two. A tooth that chips and is filled beyond its capacity to withstand the future loads is like a tire that gets plugged instead of buying a new tire. It will work but it may fail at a very bad time!
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