Chipped Teeth: Do They Have to be Fixed?

smiling man with no chipped teeth

A Quick Reference for Chipped and Broken Teeth

Chipped a tooth? Wondering if you can skip the dental visit? While not every chip will require dental work, they all require evaluation. Treatment type will depend on the type and size of the injury. Let your dentist help you make the best decision for your smile! In the meantime, here is a quick and easy guide to restoring your smile after chipping or breaking a tooth!


Types of Injuries

Your treatment recommendation will depend on how serious the injury is to your chipped teeth.


  • Craze Lines- contained within enamel, very common. Craze lines don’t require treatment but can become unsightly if stained.
  • Enamel Chip- when a portion of the hard outer shell of your tooth chips. Depending on size, some enamel chips can be smoothed and polished while others will require more.
  • Fracture- usually involves multiple layers of the tooth (enamel and dentin) Fractures that expose the inner layers of teeth must be restored to prevent decay. Not all fractures can be treated. Some may require extraction and replacement.


polishing teeth to fix chipped teeth


Types of Treatment for Chipped Teeth

Your dentist will discuss the options that are best for you! Every tooth is different!


Smoothing and Polishing

  • If the enamel has a very small chip, it can sometimes just be polished



Filling material is used to replace the missing portion of chipped teeth

  • Good for smaller fractures and young patients
  • Will need to be replaced
  • Less aesthetic than porcelain for larger fractures



The front of tooth is covered with a ceramic veneer to replace missing portion of tooth

  • Good for larger fractures on front teeth
  • Most aesthetic fix for chipped teeth
  • Long lasting


Pulp disease treatment. Root canal therapy. Young woman in dentist office curing painful tooth.



The tooth is completely covered with protective crown

  • Good for large fractures of front teeth and for back teeth
  • Necessary for teeth that require root canal due to fracture
  • Long lasting
  • Esthetic


Root Canal

Treatment of the tooth’s nerve and root canal system

  • Sometimes necessary when the tooth has broken into or near the nerve.


To prevent further damage, be sure to see your dentist as soon as possible for an evaluation after chipping or breaking a tooth to find the best possible treatment choice for you!