Chipping a tooth is annoying. It can happen in the most innocuous of circumstances. You might bite into a piece of food that is too hard. You might use your tooth to open a tricky package. Or, you could have a nasty habit of chewing on your nails or pens and one day you bite down too hard. Of course, that’s not to mention external sources of trauma that aren’t even your fault.
Whatever the cause, you need it fixed. A chipped tooth is painful, and it affects the aesthetics of your smile.
So, how do you fix it? Here’s how.
Get To The Dentist Quick Smart
There are a number of ways to fix a chipped tooth. Your dentist will be the best person to select the right treatment for you. But, while you’re waiting for an emergency appointment, you should take some over-the-counter pain medication to reduce swelling and discomfort. Ice packs are also useful for addressing swelling.
You should also give your mouth a rinse to prevent food particles from sticking to the jagged edge of the tooth. It’s a good idea to avoid scorching or icy foods because they can create sensitivity.
Now it’s time to choose the right option to fix your chipped tooth. Your dentist will most likely suggest one of the following options.
This technique is perfect for addressing small chips, and chips with relatively straight edges. Bonding essentially works like a filling. Your dentist will use composite resin to replace the chipped area and create the perfect edge.
The process works by roughening up your enamel to create the perfect adhesive surface. Once the composite has been moulded, it is cured with a blue light. This is a cheap and easy treatment that can last upwards of 10 years if you look after your teeth.
If a chipped or cracked tooth has left a severe aesthetic issue, veneers are your best bet. Made from porcelain or composite resin, they act as covers for your teeth and look completely natural.
You will need a full veneer treatment, which means it can be an expensive option. They do offer a semi-permanent solution, and with proper care can last up to 20 years. They can be used to treat other cosmetic issues including staining, as well as irregular or misshaped teeth, making them perfect for a more comprehensive aesthetic treatment.
Crowns are one of the most useful treatments available to dentists. They are similar to veneers except they shield the entire tooth. This makes them perfect for addressing severe chips as they restore both aesthetic and structure. Placing a crown on a damaged tooth can prevent it from needing to be extracted, which saves you a lot of money.
The procedure is straightforward:
- First, the tooth will be cleaned, meaning all decay is removed. Then, the tooth is shaped, and an impression is made. This impression is used to fabricate the crown.
- The crown is fitted and cemented to the tooth. It can be shaped for fit and looks, and with proper care, it will last for many, many years.
For cracks below the gum line, your tooth will have to be removed. You do have the option of leaving the missing tooth alone, but this can cause a whole range of other problems. Your other teeth can drift to fill the space, and you can end up losing other teeth because of an imbalance in the force being exerted during eating.
That’s where dental implants come in.
This procedure does take some time. The first step involves placing a metal post, which looks like a screw and acts as the root for the implant. A crown will be shaped to look like the rest of your teeth, and once the post has fused with your gum and jaw bone, it can be placed.
This option offers the most long term result, but it does depend on your jaw health and oral hygiene maintenance after the initial healing.
Chipping a tooth isn’t anything to stress about. There is plenty your dentist can do, just make sure you visit them as soon as possible. You can also do the following to reduce your chances of suffering from a chipped tooth:
- Follow a proper oral health routine to ensure your teeth and gums are strong
- Use mouthguards if you play any contact sports
- Visit your dentist at least every six months to check on your teeth and gums
- Avoid bad habits like chewing on hard objects or opening things with your teeth
We always leave appointment open for emergency cases. So don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team!
If you have any questions, reach out to our dentists in Camberwell.