Chipped teeth are painful when it happens, and do not look great – especially if it’s front and center.
Whether you’ve chipped your tooth from a slip and fall, or by bumping into a beer bottle a little too hard. A chipped tooth needs to be taken care of.
So what should you do the moment you’ve got a chipped tooth?
Firstly, it should get looked at by a dentist because a chipped tooth is trauma and is not great for both your tooth as well as the gums surrounding it.
In the meantime, take any pain killers to dull the pain and rinse your mouth with saltwater. If the chip results in a sharp edge then to prevent your tooth from accidentally cutting your lip or cheek, it’s good practice to use chewing gum or wax paraffin to protect it.
Eat soft foods when possible, and avoid anything extremely cold as the tooth will be very sensitive.
Once at the dentist, your dentist will recommend a few ways to treat the chipped tooth, these are:
Bonding or Filling
Common chips are easily fixed using what’s known as dental fillings. This is a tooth-colored filling resin that essentially plugs the gap left in the broken tooth. The bonding material is used when the chip is more extensive and this material can be shaped to look much more natural.
Today, dental bonding or filling materials have gotten better to the point where it’s barely noticeable if they’ve been used to mask a chip.
Veneers are porcelain or composite shells that completely cover the front of a tooth to give it a fresh new look. It will hide the broken tooth underneath it.
This treatment is much more expensive and involves a more elaborate procedure where the thin layer of enamel is removed from the original tooth, and then an impression of the tooth is used to develop the veneers. These veneers are then etched onto the surface using adhesive cement.
Root Canal is a much more advanced and complicated procedure. Because of this, it’s only used if a chip was extensive and has exposed nerves of blood vessels in the tooth, which can be prone to infection. This will result in root canal therapy followed by a full crown to help strengthen the damaged tooth.
Crowns, as mentioned above, are a great way to strengthen a broken tooth. They are similar to veneers and are made from either ceramic, metal, or porcelain. The treatment process is more elaborate and involves two or three visits to have them made and fixed. Typically they’ll match the color of the tooth and cover the top of the tooth entirely that has been damaged.