My son is 8 years old. his front tooth is severely chipped almost in half. he has had it filled in but it broke off in a week. he is not in pain and he did not damage his roots, just the tooth. i want to know if snap-on-smile would work for him until he is old enough to have his tooth capped off.
– Kristina from Ohio
I generally have spoken very well of the Snap-On Smile in all my answers to patient questions. This is one instance where I’m going to pour cold water on this idea.
Doing a Snap-On Smile instead of fixing this tooth that is half broken off means that you’re leaving this tooth broken. Yes, he could wear a Snap-On Smile, but I wouldn’t recommend that. There is a way to fix this tooth so it stays fixed, either with porcelain or composite. It has to be done in such a way that it doesn’t get in the way of his bite.
Here are the problems he could have with a Snap-On Smile:
1. It will be a little bulky.
2. He will lose it – since he’s an 8-year-old boy. Then you will pay for a new one, and he will lose that.
3. At age 8, he’s in what we call a mixed dentition stage. That means he has a mixture of baby teeth and permanent teeth, and the permanent teeth are erupting. So the fit of an appliance like a Snap-On Smile is going to change maybe as often as every couple of months. Plus, the appliance may get in the way of erupting teeth.
The repair didn’t break off because of his age, but because it got in the way of his bite. So the situation isn’t going to be any better when he is ten or twelve or fifteen – it could still break off. I’d recommend finding an excellent cosmetic dentist and getting this front tooth repaired correctly.
I preach throughout the website the importance of having procedures like this done by an expert cosmetic dentist, and not the dentist on the corner. What you have experienced is an illustration of the importance of that – your own dentist couldn’t get this to stay on. I would raise your sights and get a really good cosmetic dentist. We have some excellent cosmetic dentists on our list in Ohio. Going with one of them will likely cost a little more than your average family dentist for the procedure, but it will probably be less than going the snap-on-smile route.