Tooth enamel is pretty strong but accidents happen. It can be as simple as using your teeth to loosen a bottle cap, rip open a bag of chips or bite down on a large piece of ice. Regardless of your motive, it can be a complete surprise when you realize a piece of your tooth is broken. If this happens to you, you may want to know, how much does it cost to fix a chipped tooth?
What Should I Do First?
A chipped tooth must be repaired by a dentist. The treatment that’s chosen will depend on how badly the tooth is damaged. If just a small chip of enamel broke off, the dentist may apply a filing or just polish and smooth the damaged area. More serious damage may call for a more involved and more expensive procedures, such as dental bonding, veneers, crowns or root canal treatment. If the chipped tooth has underlying decay or is infected, the damage may be more extensive.
First, call your dentist’s office and let them know what happened. If it’s not an emergency and you have to wait a day or two for an appointment, there are a few things you can do at home to relieve any discomfort:
6 Home Remedies for Broken Tooth Pain
- If the tooth is bleeding, take a piece of sterile gauze and apply pressure until it stops.
- To treat pain, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen.
- For swelling, put an ice pack on your face and hold it over the affected area.
- To prevent infection, rinse the mouth with warm salt water every few hours.
- If the chipped tooth is irritating the inside of your mouth, cover it with sugarless gum or wax paraffin.
- When eating, consume only soft food and keep it away from the damaged tooth.
When you have your dental examination, the dentist will recommend the best way to fix your tooth. Below we cover several different treatment options, and answer the question, how much does it cost to fix a chipped tooth?
1. Tooth Bonding Treatment – How Much Does Tooth Bonding Cost?
A tooth that’s not severely chipped or cracked can be repaired with dental bonding. The material used is made from a resin or plastic that’s colored to match your tooth. The dentist first applies the composite, shapes it to the tooth, then uses an ultraviolet light to adhere the bond to the damaged area. Dental bonding is typically chosen for a front tooth or one that’s visible. The entire process doesn’t take long and can be accomplished in one visit.
Dental bonding is also used to fill some cavities or to fix a gap between two teeth. It’s usually considered a cosmetic procedure, which explains the higher price range in some complex cases. Cosmetic dental bonding is usually not covered by insurance, unless it’s used to correct structural damage to the tooth.
Dental Bonding Cost: typical charges for dental bonding are going to depend on the extent of the repair, for example the number of surfaces being treated. Price is also influenced by your dentist’s training and reputation, and the rates in your area. For that reason, charges can range from as little as $100 to $200, on up to $1,000 per tooth.
2. Veneers Treatment – How Much Do Veneers Cost?
Your dentist may recommend a veneer to repair a chipped front tooth. Composed of a tooth-colored composite resin material or porcelain, it adheres to the front of the tooth and replaces the missing portion.
Veneers last longer than bonding, and may be used if the composite bonding material originally used de-bonds (which can happen with a moderately large chip repair). They also have the advantage of being non-porous and don’t discolor.
Veneers Cost: How much does it cost to fix a chipped tooth with a veneer? Dental veneers usually range in the area of $500 to $1,300 per tooth. A brand name of veneers, called Lumineers, is more costly and ranges from $700 to $1,300.
3. Crown Treatment – How Much Does a Crown Cost?
If you haven’t chipped a front tooth and instead cracked a molar, your dentist may want to repair it with a crown, or cap. This can be done if the root of the tooth isn’t damaged.
A crown or cap can also be recommended for a chipped tooth that has some decay. The procedure involves filing the tooth and covering it with a cap that fits your tooth. The purpose of a crown is to protect the nerves and let you chew your food normally.
Crowns can be made from metal, resin, porcelain fused to metal or ceramic. The least expensive option is the metal crown. Porcelain, as you may have already guessed, is the more expensive choice. If you lost the entire visible portion of your tooth, but didn’t damage the root, the dentist can place a post into the root to support the crown.
Dental Crown Cost: Prices for a crown range between $600 and $3,000. The cost is influenced by material the crown is made of, the individual complexity of your case and where you live. If you have dental insurance, the cost of a crown is often partially covered.
4. Root Canal Treatment – How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
Sometimes enough of a tooth breaks that it exposes the center of the tooth, or pulp. This is where the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels keep the tooth alive. Pulp can become infected from the bacteria in your mouth and put you in danger of losing the tooth.
To prevent this, the dentist can perform root canal therapy to remove the pulp, clean the cavity and apply treatment to prevent infection.
You may suspect there’s pulp damage from the amount of pain you are having. The dentist will want to see you right away and based on what he finds, may want to perform a root canal and then cover the weakened tooth with a crown.
Root Canal Cost: Charges for a root canal can total from $1,500 to $2,000. At least part of the cost is covered by dental insurance.
How much does it cost to fix a chipped tooth? As you have learned, charges can differ quite a bit. It may be best to estimate on the high side of the fees we’ve given, until you get an exact cost from your own dentist. Also check your dental insurance policy to see if you are covered for any of these procedures. If you have no insurance, your dentist’s office will have information on financing options.