At Wash Park Dental we are frequently asked questions about chipping a tooth. “Is it big a deal? Doesn’t it depend on how big the chip is? While for most people a chip may seem mostly a cosmetic concern, it is important to know that any time that you chip or otherwise damage a tooth it is important to have your tooth and gums evaluated by a dentist to rule out any underlying damage and to protect your tooth from additional harm. For example, if dental pulp at the center of the tooth has been exposed, your tooth could become hypersensitive to temperature and pressure, causing recurring discomfort. The pulp could also become infected, resulting in a need for root canal treatment.
In most cases, you should plan to have your chipped tooth repaired. The treatment how deep the chip runs. A chipped tooth equals a significant loss of tooth structure and can even contribute to new chips in the future and cracks in the enamel over time.
Very small chips at the edges of teeth may be fixed simply by polishing them with dental instruments to remove rough edges. Over time, however, the bonding material can chip or stain, and therefore may eventually need to be replaced.
A dental veneer can be used to hide smaller areas of missing tooth. This is a thin, custom-made shell placed on the front of the tooth to give it a new façade. Some removal of existing tooth surface may be necessary to fit a veneer so it is flush with the surfaces of surrounding intact teeth.
Dental cosmetic bonding is the quickest and lowest-cost option to repair a chip. Bonding involves an application of a composite filling material that your dentist will color and shape to match the original tooth. Little to no removal of existing tooth surface is needed.If a substantial part of the tooth has chipped off, it should be recovered and saved if possible. In some cases, your dentist may be able to reattach it via bonding. Otherwise, depending on the extent of tooth loss, the bonding material can be used to replace the lost portion.
In rare cases, a dental extraction and tooth replacement may be necessary to repair your tooth. For minor chips, dental bonding or a veneer may be available to cosmetically repair your tooth.
It is also important to learn how to avoid chipping a tooth. Of course, accidents happen, but there are steps you can take to substantially reduce the risk of ever experiencing a chipped tooth — for example, wear a dental bite guard while playing sports, don’t grind or clench your teeth, don’t crunch on ice chips or hard candies, and don’t use your teeth as a tool for opening things!
The most important thing to remember is that if you chip a tooth, you need to see a dental professional for a proper evaluation and treatment remedy. Contact us to learn more today!