What Do You Do if You Have a Chipped Tooth?
Ever chip, crack, or lose a tooth? Almost 40% of people had this frightening experience, and when it happens, many patients are understandably distraught. Here’s the good news: while harming a tooth can be concerning, there is a solution to your dental distress.
How Do Teeth Get Chipped?
Teeth can get chipped in some surprising and unexpected ways. From falling, chewing on hard substances, high impact hits like sports or falls, or even tooth grinding, there are a variety of ways that chipped teeth occur. Essentially, a chipped tooth usually comes from a blow to the mouth that is stronger than your tooth enamel, the tough coating on your teeth. The impact can be exacerbated by tooth decay already present in the mouth that can weaken structural integrity of the tooth.
Symptoms of Chipping/Cracking
It’s simple to notice a broken tooth in the front of your mouth. Some symptoms of teeth that are chipping or cracking include feeling a rough jagged edge when you run your tongue over it; an irritated gum around a tooth; pain when biting or putting pressure on the tooth; and/or a sudden sensitivity to cold foods or drinks If any of these apply to you, schedule a dental visit immediately to prevent further chipping, cracking, or pain. No matter if it’s a small chip or a large crack, possibly the most important thing to do when you chip or crack a tooth is call us right away.
What is the Best Treatment for a Chipped Tooth?
At Impact Dental, we can determine what dental procedures you may need based on several factors. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to fully assess your treatment options at home. We take into account the size, location, and type of damage that has happened to the broken teeth. From these things, we can design a plan to get your oral health back on track. The following are some possible treatments for chipped teeth:
- Reattachment: In rare cases, reattachment may be possible. We will cement the missing piece back onto the chipped or cracked tooth. However, many times it’s impossible to reattach a tooth fragment. It’s still a good idea, though, to bring the fragment to us. We can look at the color and condition of the fragment to help determine how the chip occurred.
- Reshaping: If the tooth chip is very small, the issue can often be corrected by simply reshaping the tooth, which means smoothing and polishing the affected area.
- Filling: A more significantly sized problem may require a filling. This will simply fill in the hole or crack left if the tooth is unable to be reattached.
- Bonding: Dental bonding will fill in the crack left using composite resin, which is a bonding material that can be tailored to match the color of your teeth.
- Veneers: A veneer is another option available, especially in larger chips or cracks that affect the front teeth. For a veneer, a small portion of the tooth will be smoothed away, and we will send an impression away. You will use a temporary veneer on your tooth as you wait for your permanent one to be made and placed.
- Crown/Cap: Getting a dental crown or a cap is generally recommended when a larger portion of the tooth breaks off. The crown can be fitted to the top of the tooth to cover the missing enamel.
- Root Canal Therapy: Root canal therapy is your next step if x-rays or a visual exam confirm that the damage has reached the pulp or root of your tooth. Even a minor trauma to a tooth can result in infection that needs root canaled or extracted. While no one wants to hear the words “root canal,” saving your natural tooth can be worth the trouble. Without this intervention, the tooth can become infected, and in extreme cases the problem can even spread to surrounding blood vessels and other tissue.
- Extraction and Dental Implant: If your dental problems after cracking or chipping a tooth are beyond repair, you may need your tooth extracted and a dental implant to replace the cracked or chipped tooth.
While a cracked or chipped tooth can be alarming, it’s not uncommon or a cause for panic. No matter what causes your chipped or cracked tooth, call Impact Dental right away if you notice symptoms, and preserve any fragments of the tooth you have.
Let Us Take Care of Your Dental Needs
At Impact Dental, we provide a full range of dental services and take care of most of your dental needs in-house, including dental implants, fixing chipped teeth, and more. We have sedation certified dentist, so sleep dentistry is always an option. We are dedicated to provide excellent service, quality care, and patient convenience. Click here to learn more and to set up an appointment.