Your teeth are tough, and tooth enamel may be the hardest substance in the body, but that doesn’t make them indestructible. Everyday wear and tear (like teeth grinding) or accidents (like a bad fall) can cause a tooth to chip, crack, or break.
The most common causes of chipped teeth are:
- Auto accidents
- Bite issues
- Biting down on things that are too hard such as ice or hard candy
- Not wearing a mouthguard while playing sports
- Teeth grinding
- Trips and falls
- Weakened teeth from poor oral hygiene
Luckily, you don’t have to live with broken tooth for the rest of your life. You have chipped tooth dental options. This is especially reassuring if your tooth is causing you pain, and over-the-counter pain relievers aren’t cutting it anymore.
At a visit with your dentist, he or she will examine your chipped tooth to determine its severity. Major chips may require a different, more thorough type of treatment plan compared to minor chips. Treatment generally depends on your tooth’s location, severity and symptoms you may be experiencing.
Treatment for Minor Tooth Chips
If the chip is small, your dentist may just use special tools to smooth and polish your tooth without the need for further treatment.
Another chipped tooth dental option is bonding. This painless procedure involves placing a composite resin material over your tooth to create a mold. Your dentist will ensure the material blends in with the rest of your tooth by shaping the composite into the chipped area.
The results of bonding are usually quite positive. Many people say that it looks natural. With proper oral hygiene, the material can last on your tooth for years to come.
Treatment for Moderate Tooth Chips
If your chip is slightly larger, you have several options for treatment, as well. Dental bonding is a popular, painless repair method for moderate tooth chips, as mentioned above. If needed, your dentist may also recommend placing a dental crown, which is like a cap that fits on top of the tooth to protect it and cover up the chipped area. The crown surrounds the entire tooth, and it also looks natural.
Treatment for Severe Tooth Chips
If the chipped part of the tooth is significant, your dentist may recommend several options. The first is dental veneers. Made of porcelain, veneers are thin coverings placed on top of chipped teeth to repair them and restore a normal appearance. They are placed on the front of the tooth to provide a smooth and natural look.
Sometimes chipped teeth may require root canal treatment depending on the extent of the damage. During a root canal, your dentist will remove the decayed portion and the nerve of the tooth. Then the dentist will place a crown for protection and a natural look.
Another option for severe tooth chips, especially if the chip caused a crack extending to the gum line, is a dental implant. First, the broken tooth is pulled. After the area heals, a metal, screw-like post is inserted into the gum and jawbone. Once that area heals, the dental implant replaces the entire tooth by screwing into the post. The result is a natural-looking faux tooth that lasts a lifetime. Keep in mind that this procedure is more invasive than the treatments mentioned above, so it’s often only used as a last resort.
If you have questions about a chipped or cracked tooth, don’t be afraid to ask your dentist. He or she will examine the tooth to determine the severity and the best course of action. You don’t have to live with a broken tooth — you have several chipped tooth dental options to make your broken tooth look and function normally.
Family Dentistry and Emergency Dentistry in Columbus Ohio
We are proud to offer family dentistry and emergency dentistry to our patients in Central Ohio. Call us for your routine dental checkup. Contact us today to learn more!