Is DIY Teeth Whitening Safe?June 11, 2022
What Is A Dental Crown?July 4, 2022
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.
Is It Chipped or Cracked?
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.
Top Reasons You May Chip a Tooth – And Some Unexpected Ones
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:
- Biting down on hard candies, ice, or nuts
- Using your teeth to open a package
- Getting hit or falling during sports without wearing a mouth guard
- Grinding your teeth at night
- Getting hit in the face or falling for any reason
- Root canal treatment or a filling that weakens a tooth
- Hitting your teeth directly with utensils or drinkware
- Biting down on an unexpected bone or hard part of a food
Whatever the cause of the chipped tooth, you still should see your dentist to fix the problem.
What Should You Do When You Chip a Tooth?
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:
- Find and save all chipped pieces in milk until you get to the dentist.
- Rinse your mouth with salt water to remove debris and dirt around the chipped tooth.
- Cover rough edges of the tooth with sugar-free gum or paraffin wax to protect your mouth and tongue from scratches.
- Eat soft foods and avoid chewing with the chipped tooth to prevent worsening the chip.
- Take over-the-counter medicines such as Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen), or Tylenol (acetaminophen) to ease the pain.
- Place a cold compress or ice pack on the face over the chipped tooth area to ease pain and swelling.
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.
How to Fix a Chipped Tooth – What Our Dentists Do
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.
Preventing Chipped Teeth
To prevent chipping your teeth in the future, do the following:
- Always wear a mouthguard for impact sports or exercises.
- Never bite down on non-food items or use your teeth to open bottles or packages.
- Get a nightguard if you grind your teeth.
- Don’t bite down on hard candy or chew on ice.
- Don’t nibble on pens or pencils.
- Take care of your teeth to keep them stronger and prevent chips.
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.
Call Us at Southview Cosmetic Dentistry for Chipped Tooth Repair and More to Restore Your Smile
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.