How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Chipped Tooth?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

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Fixing a chipped tooth is a common process that many dentists perform.  Known as “tooth reshaping,” a dentist will form a compound composite that is applied to the tooth to make it look natural again.  Even though your teeth are extremely strong and made from some of the hardest tissue in the body, it doesn’t mean they are prone to chipping.

chipped tooth by bagaball, on Flickr
chipped tooth” (CC BY 2.0) by bagaball

How much does it cost to repair a chipped tooth?

On average, repairing a chipped tooth can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,500 without insurance depending on the type of material used as well as how complex the chip is.  Some chips can be a simple cosmetic fix, while others can require extensive structural repair.

If the crack doesn’t make its way to the pulpy center and the chip is considered to be minor, then a simple bonding agent and composite can be applied, and the tooth will be shaped with a drill to retain its natural state.  A simple procedure such as this one could cost $150 to $300 to fix.

If you cracked a molar or the tooth has a lot of decay, but no nerve damage is suspected, then the dentist could use a similar technique with a metal or porcelain crown.  This crown will allow you to chew as usual but will prevent you from damaging the nerves.  Depending on the area of your mouth and the complexity of the restoration, this could cost $800 to $1,350.

For front teeth, a dentist may recommend veneers, which will last longer than bonding and will be made of either a resin material or porcelain.  This veneer will adhere to the tooth and replace the missing part.  Veneers, on average, can cost $500 to $1,500 per tooth.  For example, Lumineers, a popular brand name, can cost $700+

Pulp damage, if present, will be extremely painful and most people will know right away if this kind of damage has been done since it’s exposing the center of the tooth.  This type of repair will need immediate attention, and according to WebDental.com, it will require a root canal, followed by a crown, which can average about $1,500 to $2,000.

Extracting a tooth and replacing it with an implant can cost $1,000 to $2,000+

Chipped tooth repair options

Composite

The most common cosmetic repair, as mentioned in our second bullet point above, will involve shaping the tooth with a drill, followed by applying a specially-tinted dental composite.  Once this composite is applied, the tooth will be shaped to its natural form and will be hardened with an infrared light.

Dental crown

If a dental crown is recommended, the damaged portion of your tooth will be removed and a cap, known as a crown or cap, will be installed to protect the tooth and create a natural look again.  This dental crown can be made from either ceramic, metal or even a combination of both.  A crown will be commonly used on molars, out of sight, and will be one of the most expensive choices on the list.  A crown can require two visits.

Veneer

A veneer, commonly made of ceramic materials, will be a thin covering that is placed over the tooth to replace the crack.  Veneers will have a natural look and will be often used on the front teeth.  This thin shell, made of either porcelain or a resin, will be like that of fake nails.  During this process, the dentist will remove about 0.3 to 12 millimeters of the enamel from the surface and make an impression of your teeth to send off to a laboratory.  When this veneer is ready, which is usually two to three weeks later, the dentist will etch your tooth’s surface and use a special cement to anchor the veneer into place using a special light to activate special chemicals within the cement to harden it.

Root canal

If the crack is severe and the pulp is exposed, a root canal will be recommended, a process which will require cleaning out the diseased pulp and resealing the canal.  This procedure can be performed by either your dentist or an endodontist.

Replacement

Lastly, if your tooth can’t be saved, then it will be extracted and a dental implant will be inserted as a replacement.

Once you find out about your chip, it’s important to see your dentist right away to explore your options.  If it’s only a small piece that’s missing, then the repair can wait and will usually take one office visit; however, if the broken tooth requires a root canal, then the process can be lengthier, requiring more than one office visit.

What are the extra costs?

If you have your chipped tooth bonded with a composite, it won’t last for life.  In fact, it can chip easy and will wear over time, making it look almost just as bad as it did when it was chipped.  To budget, plan on having your tooth re-done every seven to 10 years to retain its natural look.

How can I save money?

If you don’t have insurance, consider signing up for a discounted dental plan.  These plans can help you save more than 50% on your typical visits.  To find one, DentalPlans.com offers a selection to choose from.

If you have a dental insurance policy, check with your carrier to see if they will cover the procedure.

While this guide is about fixing a chipped tooth, an unattractive option can be via a simple extraction.  This route can cost less than $250 and can be the cheapest option of all.

Another option, while not recommended or highly rated, can be a chipped tooth repair kit designed for at home use.  These kits often come with caps and cement to repair the crack.


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