In addition to diminishing the appearance of your smile, a chipped tooth can undermine your oral health. At Gulch Dental Studio in Nashville, TN, we offer several treatment options for chipped tooth repair that will reestablish the functions and aesthetics of your smile. Depending on your goals and the extent to which your tooth is damaged, we may be able to provide a dental crown, dental bonding, dental filling, or porcelain veneer, all of which feature tooth-colored materials for natural-looking results.
The Importance of Treating a Chipped Tooth
A chipped tooth should be treated even if it is not causing pain or interfering with your bite. Any time that you chip a tooth, you should have it evaluated by a dentist to rule out underlying damage. Most of the time, a chipped tooth needs to be repaired to protect it from additional harm.
Any time you chip a tooth, you should have it evaluated by a dentist to rule out underlying damage.
A chipped tooth can contribute to new chips and cracks in the enamel over time. Damage to the enamel also makes your tooth vulnerable to bacteria that can cause decay. In the instance of deep chips, the nerve inside your tooth can be affected. Often this leads to pain and possible tooth discoloration as the nerve dies.
Treatment for Dental Infection
Some patients may need to be treated for dental infection prior to their treatment for the chipped tooth. Root canal treatment involves creating a small hole in the tooth to access the inner pulp chamber where the soft tissue and nerves are located. The dentist will remove the infected pulp, sterilize the chamber, and then fill it with a rubber-based substance. The hole will be sealed and the remaining tooth structure is shaped to accommodate a dental crown.
Methods for Treating a Chipped Tooth
Treatment for your chipped tooth will depend on the extent of damage and your cosmetic goals. Most chipped teeth can be repaired using one of the four following treatments:
Dental filling: A dental filling is used to strengthen a tooth that has endured mild to moderate damage. This procedure involves the application of tooth-colored composite resin to the damaged area.
Dental crown: Also known as a “cap,” this single tooth prosthetic fits over your tooth, encircling it. They are custom-crafted to match your surrounding teeth. Dental crowns provide a greater level of strength to a tooth than a filling and are often the final step in root canal therapy.
Dental bonding: This treatment involves applying a composite resin to the tooth to conceal flaws. This method would not fortify the tooth in the same ways a crown or filling would and is considered a cosmetic procedure.
Porcelain veneers: These are thin porcelain shells that fit over the front surface of a tooth to conceal visible flaws. Veneers are matched in shade and shape to your surrounding teeth so they blend in undetectably.
Caring for a Chipped Tooth before Your Visit
If you cannot immediately visit our office to see the dentist for your chipped tooth, a few helpful tips include:
- An over-the-counter pain reliever can be used to manage pain.
- Cover a sharp or jagged edge with a piece of wax paraffin or sugarless chewing gum. This will protect your tongue and the inside of your mouth from being scratched.
- Try to wait to eat until after you have been to the dentist. If you cannot, choose only soft foods and avoid chewing with the broken tooth.
- Rinse your mouth with salt water to keep the area clean.