Chipped Teeth – What to Do
Perhaps it happened while eating a piece of hard candy or ice. Or maybe you fell on a hard surface. Regardless of the impact, broken or chipped teeth can happen to anyone. Even the most vigilant preventative dental care cannot avert the occasional accident that can happen to your teeth.
Although the enamel that covers your teeth is one of the hardest, most mineralized substances within your body, it can become broken or chipped due to an accident or biting into something hard. And, if your teeth are already compromised with decay, it may not take much to cause a chipped tooth.
Good news. Our dental team can repair the damage. Regardless of whether or not it is a cosmetic concern, however, it is important to make an appointment with our office as soon as possible. Chipped teeth left untreated can lead to further damage or even infection and possible tooth loss.
Once you are seen by our team, we will determine what measures are needed to repair your tooth. Here are a few of the most common treatments:
If the tooth needing repair is in the front of your mouth, often we will employ a basic procedure called bonding, which involves adhering and shaping a tooth-colored composite resin to the broken area to look like your actual tooth. An ultraviolet light is used to harden the material. This is a simple, one office visit repair that is relatively inexpensive. The down side to bonding is that it may need to be repaired more often than other procedures.
To repair a front tooth, we may also recommend a more involved and lengthy procedure called veneering. Veneers are covers for a tooth that are meant to look like your actual teeth and are bonded directly onto the surface of your teeth. Veneers, although a bit more expensive, are a wonderful option that when properly cared for can last for decades.
In the case of a large broken area on one of your teeth (usually in cases of dental decay), a dental cap or crown may be needed. This dental crown protects the tooth from further damage. If a porcelain or resin crown is used, the tooth appearance looks like a normal tooth. Metal crowns may also be used. If you have a preference, be sure to discuss options with our team.
Crowns typically involve two visits to our office: one visit to assess the damage and create a mold for your crown and a second visit to place your permanent crown. The permanent crown will typically take two to three weeks to be ready. In the meantime, we will typically place a temporary crown on your tooth.
Regardless of the treatment chosen, remember: it is important to see us as soon as possible to prevent further damage and cost. We are here to partner with you to ensure you have the best smile and the best set of teeth possible!