Cosmetic Dentistry Options for a Broken Tooth

cosmetic dentistry Scottsdale, AZ

Breaking a tooth affects a person’s appearance while potentially causing pain and speech problems, but cosmetic dentistry can restore a healthy, natural appearance. Molars of the lower jaw are the most likely to be broken, according to a 2015 article in the European Journal of Dentistry, but trauma to any tooth can cause a break. All but the most minor chips should be evaluated by a dentist to preserve dental health and ensure excellent cosmetic results. 

Options to restore a broken tooth

Several cosmetic dentistry options are available for fixing broken teeth. Dentists choose the repair method based on the severity of the damage as well as other factors such as patient preference.


Sometimes dentists can cement a tooth fragment that has been broken off back onto the remaining tooth. This option is noninvasive and the results are usually long-lasting. Reattachment depends on having the broken fragment available and is not always possible with large breaks. When the broken fragment is available, however, the dentist can evaluate reattachment as a treatment option.


Composite bonding uses a resin that matches the natural tooth color to restore a natural appearance. The dentist etches the broken tooth to help the resin adhere, shapes the composite material to the shape of the natural tooth and uses ultraviolet light to harden the resin. Bonding that is properly cared for can last for up to 10 years.


Veneers are made of a thin layer of porcelain that is secured to the broken tooth to restore the natural tooth size and shape. With appropriate care, veneers can last for 20 years or more. Though veneers are more complex than bonding, they look more natural and last longer. Some people get veneers purely for cosmetic reasons rather than to repair broken teeth because of their appealing aesthetic results.


When a large portion of a tooth is broken off or when the break reaches the pulp or root of the tooth, a crown is the preferred repair method. A crown is a natural-looking artificial tooth made of porcelain that is attached to what is left of the broken tooth. If the root of the tooth is damaged, the dentist will typically perform a root canal before attaching the crown.


Breaks that extend down into the gum line usually require tooth extraction before the dentist can complete the repair. The dentist implants an artificial “root” into the gum before creating a permanent crown. An implant is the most invasive and extensive type of broken tooth repair, but the result is permanent because the artificial root bonds with the jawbone. The result generally looks, feels and functions just like a natural tooth.


Cosmetic dentistry restores both function and appearance to a tooth that has been broken. No single type of repair is right for every type of broken tooth. Dentists consider the severity of damage, appearance and longevity of the restoration, and they work with patients to select the right method of tooth repair for optimum dental health and cosmetic results. 

Request an appointment here: or call Sonoran Desert Dentistry at (480) 439-0117 for an appointment in our Scottsdale office.

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