Breaking one of your front teeth is something that nobody wants to go through, but unfortunately it is a common occurrence. Luckily, modern dentistry is able to make these teeth look normal after a tooth fracture has occurred. Chipped teeth can be repaired with crowns, veneers, and ordinary white composite fillings.
Today in my pre-clinical lab, we fractured a tooth on purpose and then repaired it. I took some pictures of the finished result so you can see how it looks. My professor had us mount some natural teeth in a yellow plaster. When we got to the lab, he had us cut a few millimeters of tooth structure off of an incisor to simulate a front tooth that had been chipped. Front teeth can be chipped when someone trips and hits their mouth on a hard object, during fights, or for many other reasons.
I worked on the middle tooth in the photos below.
In the bottom photo, you can see a red line. Everything below that red line is the composite filling, and everything above it is natural tooth structure.
In both of these photos, the tooth is dry, so it is easier to differentiate between the white filling and the natural tooth structure. The composite filling is also easier to differentiate in this example because we only have a couple of shades of composite available to us in the pre-clinic lab.
I took a second photo of the filling after getting the teeth wet. This better simulates the real world since our teeth live in a very wet environment in the mouth.
You will notice that it is a lot harder to see the difference between the natural tooth structure and the composite filling when the tooth is wet.
When you compare it to the tooth on the right, you can see that the colors match pretty well; it is more yellow at the top, and gets whiter as you go down the tooth.
If I’d have used the right shade of composite (and if I had a few more years of experience!), it would be nearly impossible for the untrained eye to detect the difference between the composite filling and the natural tooth structure.
Have you ever chipped a tooth? Did you get it repaired? If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below in the comments section below.