A chipped tooth is all it takes to ruin the appearance of your smile. It occurs when a fragment of a tooth comes off, typically due to trauma. In some cases, the tooth is already weakened due to tooth decay and the trauma simply finishes the job.
The way a dentist decides to go about repairing a chipped tooth often depends on the severity of the chip. Sometimes only a small portion of enamel comes off, while parts of the dentin come off with more severe chips.
Ways to fix a chipped tooth
Here are some of the popular options when it comes to fixing chipped teeth:
1. Dental bonding
Dental bonding is often used to fix minor chips. The dentist prepares the patient's tooth for the composite resin by roughening it with an etching solution. The putty-like resin is then applied to the tooth and shaped appropriately. The dentist hardens it with an ultraviolet light and polishes it off to give it a glow like a real tooth.
2. Teeth recontouring
This is often the preferred way to treat minor chips. During the treatment, small amounts of enamel are removed to change the appearance of a tooth. It is used to smooth out the chip and balance out the appearance of the tooth. The procedure is also used to even out a person's smile.
Veneers are another way a chipped tooth can be fixed. A veneer is a tooth-like shell that is used to cover the front of a tooth. It can hide the poor aesthetics caused by the chip. During the installation of veneers, dentists typically remove a small portion of enamel to make room. It prevents the veneer from making the tooth it is covering look abnormally huge. Veneers can last upwards of 10 years.
A dental crown can also be used to fix a chipped tooth. This solution is typically reserved for the most severe types of chips where a large portion of the tooth has come off. It protects the contents of the inner layers of the tooth from being exposed to bacteria and acids that can infect and irritate them.
During the installation of a crown, the dentist will take off a small portion of enamel. It ensures a tight fit with the crown. Crowns are extremely durable dental prosthetics, and they can last over 25 years if the wearer practices good oral hygiene.
5. Root canal
Sometimes a chip can compromise a tooth's pulp chamber. This is the area that houses the nerve and soft tissues of the tooth. When the contents of the pulp chamber are exposed, bacteria will eventually make its way into it. It will become infected, and that can lead to some nasty symptoms like severe toothaches. A root canal is performed to clean out the pulp chamber and treat the infection. The tooth will then be covered with a crown.
Ignoring a chipped tooth should never be an option
A chip makes a tooth more vulnerable to tooth decay, even if it does not cause any pain. Come by our clinic and have your chipped tooth fixed today.
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