Accidents happen and chipping a tooth is not an uncommon occurrence. We use our teeth multiple times each day, so cracking results as a normal part of the wear process.

The treatment needed to fix the tooth will be determined by how much of the tooth is chipped. There are seven ways to help with cracked teeth depending on the severity of the break.

Average cost of tooth repair in 2022

Comprehensive dental exam

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The cost to fix a chipped tooth depends on various factors including:

  • if it's an anterior (front) or posterior (back) tooth,

  • the severity of the break,

  • the type of tooth fracture,

  • whether blood vessels or connective tissue (the hardest tissue) were damaged, which may lead to emergency dental attention,

  • what type of dental treatment must be done to restore the appearance of tooth and the tooth enamel,

  • the dental office's standard fees and your insurance coverage.

Since dental insurance plans can be very different, let's look at some average prices if you do not have one.

ProcedureAverage Cost
Dental bonding$300-$600
Cavity filling$100-$500
Root canal therapy$700-$2,100
Dental crown$200-$2,500
Dental veneers$500-$2,500
Dental implant$3,500-$28,000
Tooth extraction$50 - $1,100

Depending on what kind of damage you have, the dentist will advise the best treatment option.

Dental bonding

Dental bonding procedures are used to restore minor cracks and chips. Your dentist will place an acid etch to roughen the tooth enamel. Then, they will place a bonding agent, like resin, which acts as the adhesive material. Finally, they'll place a tooth-colored composite material and shape it until it looks exactly like your natural tooth. Most of the time, local anesthetic is not needed for this procedure.

Dental bonding price ranges depending on which tooth needs to be fixed and how many surfaces the bond is placed on. For example, a two-surface anterior tooth will cost less than a two-surface posterior tooth since the back teeth are much larger than the front ones.

Cavity filling

A cavity filling is very similar to dental bonding, but is used when there is a larger chip. Unlike the dental bonding, you'll typically need to have local anesthetic before the procedure. The reason is that most cavity filling goes into the dentin of the tooth, which is a layer that will cause much more sensitivity. Your dentist may need to use a bur to shape the cavity and remove any decay if there is some present. Then, they'll place the filling using acid etch, a bonding material, and composite resin.

Like dental bonding, the cost for cavity filling depends on which tooth is being treated and how large the cavity is. Posterior teeth cost more than anterior teeth and more surfaces add to the price.

Root canal therapy

Root canal therapy, or RCT for short, is required if the tooth breaks into the pulp of the tooth. If this happens, you'll probably feel pain and sensitivity, unless the tooth has had an RCT in the past. Your dentist will remove the nerve of the tooth, place a filler called gutta percha, and then restore the rest of the tooth using a buildup or filling material. In most cases, root canal therapy is followed by a crown to keep the tooth from breaking. You may need to take an over-the-counter medicine for pain relief after having a root canal procedure.

Root canal therapy cost is determined by the tooth. There are different prices for anterior teeth, premolars, and molars. The reason is that the teeth have different numbers of canals. You will also usually pay more to see an endodontist (root canal specialist) than if you have an RCT done by your general dentist.

Dental crown

You might hear dental crowns referred to as "caps" since they cover the entire crown portion of the tooth. Crowns are required when a good portion of the tooth is broken. Your dentist will perform a crown preparation, which means they will remove tooth structure from all surfaces of the tooth until a "stump" is left. A crown will then be fabricated to fit over the stump. Some offices have equipment that allow them to make the crown the same day, while others will give you a temporary crown and have you come back a couple of weeks later to place the permanent crown.

The cost of a crown depends on what kind of material it is made from. There are many options these days and most people prefer a tooth-colored or porcelain material crown. Base metal crowns are often less expensive and gold crowns are usually more expensive.

Dental veneers

Dental veneers are a common method used to fix cracked or chipped anterior teeth. As their name implies, a dental veneer covers the facial (front) side of the tooth - the side you can see. They are less invasive than a crown because only tooth structure from one side of the tooth needs to be removed. In some instances, tooth structure may not need to be removed at all.

Usually, the cost of a veneer is the same for each tooth. However, your dentist may offer a few different options based on the aesthetic result of the veneer. Some dental labs who specialize in aesthetic cases will charge more than others. Also, if your dentist does composite veneers, those are less expensive than ones made in a lab.

Dental implants

Dental implants are the most expensive way to fix a broken tooth, but if the tooth has broken so much that it is not restorable, this might be your only option. Dental implants consist of at least three parts: the implant, the abutment, and the crown. From start to finish, a dental implant will take several months to complete.

There are many factors that will impact dental implants cost. There can be a handful of additional procedures you may need based on your bone level.

Tooth extraction

If the tooth has broken below the gumline, most of the time there is no way to repair it and an extraction of the entire tooth is required. This is also the case if there are vertical root fractures, which cannot be fixed. Many general dentists perform extractions, but you may need to see an oral surgeon if your case is more complicated. You'll be given a local anesthetic and the dental professional will use a series of instruments to loosen the tooth prior to extraction.

Extractions are classified as either "simple" or "surgical." Simple extractions cost less than surgical ones, and you will also pay less if you see a general dentist instead of an oral surgeon.

Authority dental offers a 24/7 phone hotline for dental emergencies. Call us anytime. We're here for all your dental needs and issues.

Associated costs

Bitewing dental x-ray

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There are often extra costs associated with most dental procedures. Let's look at a few other costs you should plan for.

ProcedureAverage Cost
Dental X-rays$10-$350
Oral Evaluation$40-$120

Here is more detailed information on what you can expect.

Oral evaluation

During your dentist appointment, an oral evaluation will take place during a routine dental check-up and if you make an office visit to address a specific issue, like a chipped tooth. Exams that only pertain to one focused area are called limited examinations.

Dental X-rays

Your dentist will need to take at least one X-ray in nearly every situation. That could include periapicals (PAs), bitewings (BWX), panoramic images (panos), or even a more extensive CBCT scan that gives them a 3D image to review. CBCT scans are much more expensive than the other three types.

Does dental insurance cover broken tooth treatment costs?

If you have dental insurance, there is a good chance it will help pay for your broken tooth. However, as we've mentioned a few times now, it really all depends on what treatment is needed. If you have dental insurance that does not cover any "major" services, that means it will not pay for crowns, veneers, implants, and maybe even root canal treatment.

Taking advantage of so-called dental plans is a better method to get a decent cost on chipped tooth repair. They work in the same way as memberships in that you pay a yearly fee and receive a discount on all dental operations. The reductions can range anywhere from 10% to 60%.

There is no paperwork or yearly maximums with dental plans. You also don't need to gather evidence such as dental statements or X-rays. The only stipulation is that you visit an in-network dentist.

FAQ

What is the cheapest way to fix a broken tooth?

The cheapest way to fix a broken tooth is by placing a resin composite filling. However, if the chip is large, there is a good chance the filling will break and need to be replaced again. You'll need to think about the longevity of any treatment that is done.

What is the most cost-effective option to repair a chipped tooth?

The most cost-effective way to fix a broken tooth really depends on how much of the tooth is missing. Choosing a treatment other than what your dentist recommends may have negative consequences down the road and may even end up costing you more money in the long run.

Can I eat after having a chipped tooth fixed?

You can and drink once you had the procedure. However, before having your tooth fixed, avoid eating and drinking as much as possible. If you feel hungry, try to eat soft foods instead.

References

  1. When teeth get damaged - Harvard Health Publishing
  2. Cracked tooth diagnosis and treatment: An alternative paradigm - Thieme
  3. Dental Fees - ADA
  4. Recommended treatment of cracked teeth: Results from the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network - The JPD