Picture this; you get set to take a bite into your favorite fall treat, a candy apple. When you do, you hear a crack and feel some grittiness between your tooth. Uh oh, it looks as though you have just chipped your tooth; what now?
A chipped tooth can happen to anyone, at any age, for a whole host of reasons, from a sports accident to chowing down on a cherry pit too hard. Some chips cause aesthetic concerns, while others present as a dental emergency. Lucky for you, in all cases, your dentist can skillfully fix a chipped tooth.
Keep reading to learn more about how this is done, plus what to do at home to take care of your chipped tooth.
How Your Dentist Will Fix a Chipped Tooth
How your dentist approaches your treatment plan depends on the nature of the chip.
Say you are the type of person who treats their mouth as a secondary tool belt. In that case, the chances are that your teeth will have a few minor chips missing that you can notice as your run your tongue across your teeth. For this kind of slightly chipped tooth, where the tooth’s integrity is otherwise still intact, your dentist will likely use bonding to rebuild the small missing piece.
Cosmetic tooth bonding uses a tooth-colored composite similar to what your dentist would use to give you a filling. After finding a shade that matches your teeth, your dentist will shape the composite so that it seamlessly appears natural. After the composite sets, it will appear as though you have your whole tooth again.
However, this isn’t a great long-term solution, and you will need to take special care to avoid chipping off the composite in the future.
For a more permanent fix or to treat a larger chip that still leaves your tooth mostly intact, you should look into dental veneers.
If you have ever wondered, “what are dental veneers?” then you are not alone. Veneers are custom-made for every patient in a dental lab. They are made of porcelain and are expertly shaped to make a perfect match for your natural teeth.
For this procedure, your dentist will file down a thin layer off the front, sides, and bottom of your tooth. Then, they will cement the veneer to fill in those places for a flawless chipped tooth repair.
To fix a chipped tooth that has lost a substantial amount of tooth structure, or if you have a chipped back tooth, a composite or veneer is not possible. For this area, something stronger like a crown is needed.
If you are experiencing severe chipped tooth pain, it may mean that the pulp of your tooth is exposed. To treat this, your dentist will need to perform root canal therapy before your crown is placed.
Taking Care of Your Chipped Tooth at Home
Now that you know how to fix a chipped tooth, it’s essential to know what to do to take care of your tooth while waiting for your appointment.
First, rinse with warm water to remove any sharp tooth shards. If the tooth is very jagged, you can purchase some dental putty from your local pharmacy to apply over the tooth to avoid further injury.
Sometimes a chipped tooth can cause a lot of pain. If this happens, taking a combination of aspirin and ibuprofen works well together. As with any medication, always consult your doctor to make sure that it’s safe for you.
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