Angela

Obviously you're going to have to consult with your regular dentist.

In theory, any tooth that has been ground down and is "too short" will renew its eruption process (in the case of your lower molar, rise up further) until it has come into biting contact with an opposing tooth (your upper molar). So depending on the amount of space that exists (and other factors they may observe), your dentist may or may not feel any treatment is needed (or needed at this point in time, thus allowing for this change to take place).

In the case that a restoration is needed, the goal would be to place one that is very strong (since molars have to withstand great biting force) yet thin (so when the restoration is placed the tooth only has to be altered minimally).

The type of restoration involved would likely be an "onlay." These just cover over the chewing portion of teeth, as opposed to crowns that cover their tooth entirely.

Gold restorations can be thin and strong. They just aren't white like teeth.

As a tooth-colored alternative, some modern ceramics have exceptional strength and restorations made using them can be comparatively thin. The strongest of these is zirconia, one brand name is BruxZir® (as in "brux," the word dentists use for people who grind their teeth, suggesting that this material can withstand heavy forces).

With either type of restoration, you're probably going to find that your tooth must be ground down at least a little more before one can be placed. But clearly that's for your dentist to decide and explain.

In regard to your upper tooth that has chipped:
Small chips can often just be polished out. If what you have is more of a little divot, possibly your dentist can just fill it in with some dental bonding (white filling material).

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