Chipped or Worn Teeth: Cosmetic or Restorative?

woman embarrassed by chipped or worn teethThe problem with chipped or worn teeth is that their affects aren’t always confined to appearance, and if not treated, the damage could grow worse. Not to mention, the jagged edges of a chipped tooth could scrape or damage the soft tissues of your cheeks, lips, and tongue, if you’re not careful.  The truth is, like many dental issues, treating chipped or worn teeth can be simultaneously cosmetic and restorative in nature, meaning there are twice as many reasons not to ignore the problem.

Chipped Teeth vs. Tooth Wear

Tooth wear describes the gradual wearing down of your teeth’s surfaces from years and decades of use. For many patients, teeth might never wear down enough to need restoration. However, if you grind your teeth, or have an uneven bite, then pressure and friction might change the shapes of your teeth enough to affect how well they fit together when you bite down.

A chipped tooth typically describes damage that occurs suddenly, usually from an accidental impact or from biting down on something too hard. In their weakened state, chipped teeth, which can’t repair themselves, could eventually grow worse due to normal tooth wear, and could become a significant problem if you’re prone to excessive tooth wear.

Treatment Without Labels

Since the nature of tooth damage can be cosmetic and restorative, the appropriate treatment may also defy labels. Treating chipped or worn teeth requires two things: restoring your teeth’s full, healthy appearance, and reestablishing your bite’s balance and function. Fortunately, many of our custom dental treatments accomplish these goals with minimal or no alterations to your healthy tooth structure.

For instance, minor chips can often be restored with tooth-colored composite resin (dental bonding), which is applied to the tooth, then sculpted and polished for a natural finish. For more extensive damage and wear, we might recommend a one or more dental crowns or porcelain veneers, depending on the extent of your issues. Both crowns and veneers are crafted from lifelike dental ceramic that’s durable enough to withstand bite pressure, and virtually indistinguishable from your natural tooth structure.


Dr. Brent Engelberg and his highly-skilled team proudly serve patients and their families from Arlington Heights, IL, and all surrounding communities, including; Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Libertyville, Skokie, Evanston, Palatine, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows, and the Northern and Northwest Chicago Suburbs. To learn more, schedule a consultation online, or call our office today at 847-259-8030.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *