If you unfortunately chip a tooth it is in your best interests to visit your family dentist as soon as possible. The longer you wait the tooth might sustain more damage resulting in pain that you certainly do not wish to encounter. If an infection sets in, you could both lose the tooth or experience other health risks. It is simply not worth it.
Chipped teeth happen often. Even though the enamel of the tooth is literally the hardest and toughest tissue in our bodies, it is not totally indestructible. Sometimes it is nothing more than biting down on a chuck of ice, or a piece of hard candy or an almond.
Measures to Take at Home First
Take these quick measures at home before seeing your dentist. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever first if you are experiencing discomfort. Rinse out your mouth with salt water to reduce the risk of infection. Select softer foods until you can be seen, try to avoid biting down hard on the damaged tooth. If the tooth has a sharp edge cover the tooth with a piece of sugarless chewing gum.
The Solutions available at the Dental Office
The procedure recommended will vary based on the severity of the chip, the placement in the mouth of the chipped tooth and your own set of circumstances. Here are a few options you might expect.
- Dental Bonding-A quick and simple fix, the dentist will apply a putty like, tooth colored composite over the chipped tooth. After sculpting, shaping, and smoothing the composite is hardened and the chip is gone.
- A Filling- if the chip is the result of a cavity the infected material will be removed, and the ensuing hole filled with a composite material as well.
- A Dental Veneer-If it is a chip in the front tooth the tooth can be made to look healthy again with the application of a porcelain or ceramic shell that is placed on the front of the tooth. Fabricated in a dental lab to match your teeth, the enamel of the tooth is roughed up and the veneer is applied to the tooth with a dental adhesive.
- A Dental Crown- If the chip is bigger and deeper, a dental crown is like a cap covering the entire tooth. Thicker and stronger than a veneer, the entire tooth is reduced slightly in size and the fabricated crown is placed over the chipped tooth. If the damage involves the pulp a root canal may precede the application of the crown to prevent any infection.
The Benefits of Fixing a Chipped Tooth
Outside of the pain or discomfort you might experience you need to exercise some proactive measures in considering an infection might develop soon. The benefit that has great value that is overlooked is that of your smile. If the chipped tooth is visible in your smile you may begin to alter your smile to mask this defect. A healthy smile has been proven to be foundational to your personality. Your smile drives your self-esteem and your self-confidence. Do not allow a chipped tooth to alter your quality of life. Schedule an appointment and have the tooth repaired and return to your healthy smile.
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