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:

  1. A biting force was applied at a bad angle and the load was too much to prevent a shearing force fracture.
  2. The filling was past its maximum life cycle and could not support chewing forces as well.
  3. The opposing tooth was too strong compared to the filled tooth and it eventually caused the filled tooth to fail.
  4. It had an undiagnosed fracture

There are more reasons why a tooth might fracture or chip. The life cycle of a tooth is a small filling, larger filling, crown, root canal, extraction, and then an implant, bridge or 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 than 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 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!

Call our office for a free consultation, at Smile Solutions by Emmi Dental Phone Number 302-999-8113