I am 17 years old. 11 months ago my lower front tooth broke. It’s not a big chip, but it is very irritating to my lip, and I am hesitant to smile now. Is there any treatment to regrow it naturally?
I also went many times to a dentist. They bonded a filling on my broken tooth but it was not very effective as it fell off after every 3-4 days.
Can you suggest a solution to this problem?
– Raja from India
(See Dr. Hall’s answer below.)
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The problem with restoring a chipped lower incisor is that the incisal edges hit the insides of the upper incisors every time you close your mouth. And often, the reason the tooth is chipped is because of that—there was an impact against the upper teeth. When composite is bonded to fix the chip, it can be subject to extreme stresses. The dentist fixing it has to know enough about occlusion to keep it away from any occlusal stresses.
Apparently the dentist fixing your tooth didn’t know that.
Here’s an example of a photo of lower anterior teeth with one of them chipped. I’m guessing that this patient had chipped both lower central incisors and they were both repaired with composite. (You can see the composite on the incisal edge of that tooth.) The bonding on the tooth on our right (#24) has stayed on, but on the tooth on our left (#25) it has come off. Look closely and you can see the composite on the incisal edge of #24.
Notice that tooth #25 is further forward than #24. If it were the same length as all the other incisors, it would hit first when the patient closes his mouth.
Dr. Bell treated this with two porcelain veneers on these incisors, and it is working just fine. Notice that tooth #25 has been shaved back to where it is now no further forward than #24. With all the lower incisors hitting the upper teeth at the same time, it reduces the stress on any one of the teeth and thus we have a successful repair. A similar result could be obtained with dental bonding in the hands of an expert cosmetic dentist.
But you’re in India where there are very few expert cosmetic dentists. The best that could be done where you are is probably to round off the jagged edges where the tooth is chipped, which should prevent it from irritating your lip.
– Dr. Hall
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