Treatment Options for Chipped Teeth

A chipped tooth can affect more than just the appearance of a smile. It can be an indication of oral health problems on the horizon. Once a tooth is structurally compromised, it is vulnerable to further damage, which can lead to excruciating pain and costly treatment down the road. If you have a chipped tooth, it truly is best to have it taken care of now, even if it isn’t causing you any immediate problems.

Fortunately, modern restorative dentistry offers a number of highly effective treatments for chipped teeth. At one point, repairing a chipped tooth might have meant sacrificing the aesthetic appeal of your smile by filling your mouth with conspicuous metal. Those days, thankfully, are long gone. At University Dental Arts, Dr. David Redford and his team use only the finest materials to restore damaged teeth to their former glory. Dr. Redford offers a comprehensive range of treatment options for chipped teeth at his Denver, CO cosmetic dentistry practice, all of which leave patients with smiles that are as attractive as they are healthy.

If you have one or more chipped teeth, don’t wait another day to seek treatment. Schedule your initial appointment at University Dental Arts, and make your smile whole once again.

How Does Dr. Redford Treat Chipped Teeth?

Before he can treat a chipped tooth, Dr. Redford must first determine how the chip occurred. Was it the result of trauma or injury, or did it occur due to an underlying oral health issue? How severe is the chip? How badly damaged is the tooth enamel and the dentin that lies beneath the enamel? If there are issues that must be tended to before restoring the tooth, they must be identified first and foremost.

For small chips that affect the front teeth, it may be possible simply to conceal the tooth using one of two methods:

  • Porcelain veneers: Crafted from the highest-quality porcelain, veneers are layered onto the front surfaces of teeth to conceal chips and other aesthetic flaws. Like enamel, porcelain is translucent, meaning that it allows some light to pass through its surface, so it looks remarkably natural.
  • Dental bonding: A cost-efficient alternative to porcelain veneers, dental bonding involves the application of a composite resin material to the surface of a chipped tooth. When this material hardens, it is sculpted and polished to resemble a natural tooth.

For chips that affect the side and back teeth, the treatment used will depend on the size and severity of the chip:

  • For smaller chips, a tooth-colored, composite resin filling will be used.
  • For moderate chips that occur within the protruding cusps of a tooth, a ceramic inlay will be used.
  • For moderate chips that extend to one or more of the protruding cusps of a tooth, a ceramic onlay will be used.
  • For chips too large to support a filling, an inlay, or an onlay, the entire tooth will be covered by a dental crown.

Learn More about Treatments for Chipped Teeth

To learn more about treatments for chipped teeth, please contact University Dental Arts today.

Both Dental Bonding and Porcelain Veneers offer Cosmetic Enhancements for Your Smile

Ideally, the smile should be filled with healthy, strong teeth, and, if most patients had their choice, those teeth would also be bright, white, and attractive. While many patients may not be able to achieve that ideal smile naturally, there are many dental treatments available that can help patients correct those imperfections that are keeping them from having a beautiful smile. In fact, there are so many cosmetic treatments available that the question is not “Can I improve the appearance of my smile,” but “How should I improve the appearance of my smile?” Porcelain veneers, which are restorations that fit over the teeth to conceal flaws, are one popular option. Dental bonding, the application of dental composite material to hide imperfections, is another. For our Denver patients, examining dental bonding vs. porcelain veneers can help patients make the choice between these two cosmetic treatment options.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is known as a direct bonding procedure because it involves the application of tooth-colored composite material directly to the tooth. Placed over cosmetic flaws such as tooth stains, chips, cracks, or dental gaps, this material is then shaped to the tooth so that it appears to be a natural part of the tooth’s structure. After being shaped and molded, the bonding material is hardened with a dental light so that it becomes a strong part of the tooth. Dental bonding is beneficial to patients because it is an affordable and non-invasive procedure that can adequately conceal imperfections and create a more attractive smile for patients. However, the applications of dental bonding are limited as to how many teeth can reasonably be treated. If a great number of the teeth are flawed, or if those flaws are severe, dental bonding is not likely the ideal treatment.

Porcelain Veneers

Like dental bonding, porcelain veneers are a cosmetic treatment that improves the appearance of the smile by concealing cosmetic flaws. However, porcelain veneers are a form of indirect bonding because these restorations are fabricated based on dental molds and are then bonded to the tooth or teeth after they are complete. Porcelain veneers can treat up to an entire set of teeth in just a single treatment (which typically consists of two dental appointments) and can address a wide range of flaws including discoloration and stains, chips and cracks, gaps, misshapen teeth, and even minor misalignment problems. Porcelain veneers is a more expensive treatment than dental bonding and also requires permanent alteration to the teeth, so they are better suited for patients who are looking for a more permanent solution for their cosmetic flaws.

Both dental bonding and porcelain veneers can be very effective in improving the overall appearance of the smile by eliminating visible signs of cosmetic imperfections. Based on each patient’s unique needs and the aesthetic goals they have for their smile, Dr. David Redford can recommend which treatment option may be best.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have concerns about the appearance of your teeth, Dr. David Redford and his team at University Dental Arts can help you create a beautiful smile. Schedule an appointment to learn more about our cosmetic dentistry services and which may be right for you. We look forward to hearing from you!

Types of Tooth Discoloration

Everybody wants a white, radiant smile. However, certain lifestyle habits or genetic factors may be preventing you from achieving the tooth shade you desire. Fortunately, tooth discoloration is entirely treatable in most instances. A qualified dentist can suggest various teeth whitening options that are suitable for you. It is important to understand what causes tooth discoloration as well, to avoid developing discolored teeth all together.

What Causes Teeth to Discolor?

Tooth discoloration can be separated into two distinct categories: extrinsic and intrinsic.

Extrinsic discoloration occurs when stains are located on the surface of the teeth and is a direct result of the following lifestyle habits and stain-causing substances:

  • The nicotine contained in tobacco products like cigarettes causes teeth to turn yellow.
  • Consuming fruits like blueberries, blackberries, and cherries, which contain highly pigmented molecules that stick to the surface of the teeth, causes stains.
  • Beverages like tea, coffee, and wine can also stain teeth. Soda, fruit juice, and sports drinks, which are all high in acid and cause tooth erosion, also contribute to tooth discoloration.
  • Having poor oral hygiene such as not regularly flossing, brushing, and scheduling frequent dentist visits also leads to stained teeth, since unattended plaque and tartar buildup to leads to yellow teeth.

Intrinsic discoloration appears as deep stains embedded inside the tooth and occurs as a result of the following factors:

  • Some illnesses such as infections or high fever, especially at young age when teeth are still developing, cause discolored teeth.
  • Certain medications and treatments such as tetracycline or high blood pressure pills can discolor tooth enamel and the layer underneath, causing stains.
  • A trauma or injury to the mouth or teeth can cause teeth to yellow.
  • Certain dental materials used in restorative dentistry like the sulfide contained in amalgam fillings, can cause teeth to turn gray.
  • Genetics and aging may also contribute to yellowing teeth. Some people are simply born with thicker enamel. However, enamel tends to thin as we age, exposing the naturally yellow dentin layer underneath.

How to Prevent and Treat Tooth Discoloration

Fortunately, tooth discoloration can be both prevented and treated. Quitting smoking, cutting back on stain-causing foods, drinking tooth-discoloring beverages with a straw, and improving your dental hygiene will all help your teeth remain white.

If your teeth have become discolored, and you would like to restore them to their original shade, a range of cosmetic procedures are readily available as well. Teeth whitening is the most sought after option for treating tooth discoloration. Whether you opt for in-office, in-home, or over-the-counter whitening treatments, a solution exists to meet your specific needs.

Learn More about the Types of Tooth Discoloration

Your teeth may become discolored due to a variety of reasons. Fortunately, your smile can be restored to a beautiful white shade through teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, or dental bonding. To discover the underlying cause behind your discoloration and to explore your options to obtain a dazzling smile, schedule an appointment at University Dental Arts today.

Dental Bonding Uses

Dental BondingWe all know the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene habits. Unfortunately, with the busy lives we lead, sometimes our dental habits may be less than perfect. Even those who routinely brush and floss will most likely experience some oral health problems. At Dr. David Redford’s Denver cosmetic dentistry practice, dental bonding is offered as a solution to patients who are suffering from minor dental imperfections.

What Is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is a conservative treatment for a large array of cosmetic flaws. In addition, dental bonding offers patients the following benefits:

  • Dental bonding is one of the least expensive cosmetic dental procedures
  • Dental bonding requires very little preparation of the treated tooth
  • Dental bonding does not require the removal of significant amounts of tooth enamel
  • Dental bonding is a pain-free procedure
  • A dental bonding procedure is usually completed in less than an hour

Dental Bonding Candidates

Dental bonding is best suited for patients with cosmetic imperfections or minor dental problems. Dental bonding is a possible solution for many cosmetic dental problems, including the following:

  • Small chips or fractures
  • Teeth that have yellowed or lost luster
  • Teeth that will benefit from crown lengthening
  • Small areas of tooth decay
  • Teeth that appear uneven or crooked

After an examination, Dr. Redford can let you know if dental bonding will work for you.

The Procedure

Dental bonding is a simple treatment that generally takes just under an hour per treated tooth. There is no enamel removed in the dental bonding process, so there is little preparation required. We will clean the surface of the tooth and rough it up a bit to help the bonding material stick. The bonding material, which is a durable plastic, will cover any areas of the teeth that need to be corrected. Dr. Redford will file the material down to give it a smooth surface. When he has achieved his desired consistency and shape, he will be ready for the bonding process. The material will be exposed to a dental light that hardens the material and allows it to bond to the tooth. Once this is complete, Dr. Redford will make any final touch-ups. When Dr. Redford is happy with the results, the tooth will be polished to blend in with the natural look of the surrounding teeth in your mouth.

Alternatives to Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is an ideal treatment for minor dental problems. For dental problems that are more severe, alternate treatments will be necessary. Dr. Redford is experienced in cosmetic and restorative dentistry and is successful in treating an array of dental problems. For our patients in Denver, Invisalign®, dental crowns, dental implants, and more may be the solution for oral health issues such as misaligned teeth, severe tooth decay, or missing teeth.

Schedule an Appointment

To see if dental bonding is an option for you, or to seek treatment for more severe dental problems, schedule an appointment with Dr. David Redford today. We are ready to give you the smile you desire.