Don’t panic if you chip your tooth, there are plenty of options that Dr. Porcaro can offer to help fix your smile. Chipped teeth are often reported as the most common dental injury. A chipped tooth can be caused by just about anything from accidental trauma to the mouth, to tongue piercings. Even snacking on hard foods or chewing on hard objects can cause your teeth to chip. When a minor or major tooth fracture happens and you have a chipped tooth it’s important to call your dentist immediately. Our practice will do our best to schedule a same day appointment for a dental emergency such as a severely chipped tooth.
Prior to coming to the office be sure to inspect the affected tooth. Chipped teeth can leave rough or sharp edges that can irritate your mouth or cut your tongue. Obviously unsightly, even a small chip can affect your smile. Small chips may not cause any pain; however large breaks can cause problems with the nerve in your tooth or the blood vessel, both of which can be extremely painful. If the chip is large and you actually find a broken piece, place the chipped piece in a small cup of milk and bring it with you to your appointment. It’s okay to take pain medicine if you are in pain and a tea bag can be placed on the chipped tooth to help stop the bleeding.
The process used to fix a chipped tooth depends on the type of trauma that caused the fracture and how badly the tooth has been affected. If a chip is small and just some enamel is missing, you may simply have your tooth filed to smooth the rough edges. If needed a small tooth colored filling may be added was altered from the chip. Dental bonding is often times what many dentists use to fix a chipped tooth. Dental bonding is a tooth colored composite resin that can be matched to your tooth color. If you have the chipped piece, dental bonding will be used to reattach the tooth fragment.
For bigger chips or chips on an incisor tooth you may need a porcelain veneer. Porcelain veneers are wafer thin shells that are custom fitted to be placed on the front of your tooth. Veneers are a multi-step process however so you may have to live with a chipped tooth for a few days until the veneer gets back from the laboratory. The results of a well placed veneer are stunning and natural looking and well worth the wait.
Another option for fixing a chipped tooth is a dental crown which is a cap the fits over the entire tooth. Crowns are almost always used when damage is severe. Dental crowns can be made to match the exact shade of your other teeth, and will conceal the damaged tooth and protect it from further trauma or exposure. If your cracked tooth has reached the pulp region of your tooth and nerves are exposed your dentist will most likely perform a root canal procedure on the tooth and then place a crown over the tooth.