How to fix a chipped tooth is a pretty common concern of dental patients. Sometimes, they come into our office at Southview Cosmetic Dentistry with an existing chip. Other times, they want to know what to do in the future.
Chipped teeth may not cause pain when they only affect the tooth’s exterior. Occasionally, larger chips may cause discomfort or pain because they expose the pulp. Regardless, no one wants the unsightly appearance of a chip, especially on the front teeth. Knowing how these dental issues happen and what you should do about them can go a long way toward keeping your smile looking great, even if you chip a tooth.
Chipped and cracked teeth have several differences that are important to you and your dentist. First, chipped teeth cause part of the tooth to separate from the base. Large chips expose the pulp and cause serious pain, while small chips only affect your appearance.
A cracked tooth has a line along the crack. The tooth appears to stay intact, but without care, the tooth could break along the fracture line. Cracks that extend below the root of the tooth may be difficult for your dentist to save.
Both problems require care from a dentist to see if you need treatment to prevent infection deep inside your tooth or repair cosmetic damage.
While tough, your teeth can still chip and break. Poor dental care can cause decay and weaken the teeth, making them even more likely to chip. The following are some reasons you may chip a tooth:
Whatever the cause of the chipped tooth, you still should see your dentist to fix the problem.
Chips can happen suddenly, and you will likely notice a problem if you chipped your tooth from trauma to your mouth or face. However, many people may not notice a small chip in a tooth until looking at themselves in a mirror. These small chips still require a trip to the dentist to restore the tooth to its natural shape.
Until you can get dental care for your chipped tooth, take the following steps to feel better:
The chip size will let you know how quickly you need to get to the dentist. For small chips that don’t cause any pain, contact your dentist as soon as possible. However, if you feel pain or see pulp or blood, visit your dentist immediately for emergency care to prevent long-term problems caused by a major chip or break.
Once you get to the dentist, their chipped tooth treatment will depend on whether you have exposed the pulp. If your chip is deep, you may need root canal treatment to clean the canals and stop infection inside the tooth. Alternatively, you may need a filling to fix minor chips.
After correcting the problems that could harm your dental health or the tooth’s integrity, the dentist will work on fixing your chipped tooth with one of several cosmetic dental options, depending on the chip’s location.
If you chipped one of your molars, which often happens from teeth grinding, you might need a full dental crown to cover the tooth’s entire surface and protect the root from damage. This is also an option if you had a large chip that exposed the root.
At Southview Cosmetic Dentistry, we have same-day crowns. Our dentists use the CEREC system to custom-create dental ceramic crowns for our patients. Then, they place and color the crown for the patient in one day. With expert eyes and careful coloring, our doctors will paint the crown to match the rest of your teeth perfectly.
Veneers restore the appearance of chipped front teeth by covering the front of the tooth with a custom-created piece. To get the right shape, your veneers will need to take time for the lab to create them based on a mold of your tooth. You can wear temporary veneers until the permanent one arrives.
To place the veneer, the dentist will need to remove a small portion of the surface of your tooth so the veneer will sit level with the other teeth and bond well to your tooth.
Veneers not only help your teeth to look normal, but they also protect the damaged sites. The extra layer of protection on your tooth and the bonding agent help keep your chipped tooth stronger.
To prevent chipping your teeth in the future, do the following:
Preventing chipped teeth can keep your smile intact for life. But if you chip a tooth, at Southview Cosmetic Dentistry, we’ll be here to help you fix the tooth.
Whether you have a chipped tooth now or want to know what to do for the future, you now know how to fix a chipped tooth with the help of your dentist. If you don’t currently have a regular dentist, see us at Southview Cosmetic Dentistry. We offer all types of dental services, not just cosmetic dentistry, so you can get a smile that has a healthy glow. Reach out to us today to set up your visit.