Is a Chipped Tooth Serious?

Going to the trusted dentist for events such as a chipped, broken or fractured tooth is not a rarity, far from it. Even if you do not participate in intense sports, there is always the change you could trip and fall, or that something can hit your mouth. Additionally, the risk of biting any food badly and causing a chipping or breaking of the tooth is always around the corner. While a small chip in your tooth is not serious, it is important that you get seen for a chip and get it corrected so that worse dental problems do not develop because of the chip. If you wait days or weeks, there is a risk that the dental fracture will progress, reach the nerve and cause infection of the pulp, with more serious complications.

In the event that the dental fracture was caused by a trauma, the best thing to do is to bring the broken part of the tooth to the dental office – better if stored in an alkaline environment (such as milk) or saline solution – and your dentist will try to reattach it. If you can’t get right to a dentist, there are a few things you can do in the meantime:

* avoid particularly hard foods
* do not practice chewing in the area where the tooth is fractured
* keep the fractured area well cleansed.

This last point is very important: since your broken tooth is much weaker than normal. If you neglect oral hygiene, bacteria can proliferate and lead to the onset of carious lesions, easily reaching the nerve area.

Treatment for chipped or broken teeth

If the broken or fractured tooth is an incisor, the deciding factor for the therapeutic choice is to understand whether or not there is an involvement of the dental pulp. If the fractured tooth is painful, throbbing, painful on percussion, or if you are sensitive to heat and cold, the pulp is likely involved. If the pulp is involved, the chip is more serious than if it is just superficial.

There are several therapeutic choices that the dentist can generally offer you in case of a chipped tooth.

Filing a chipped tooth

When the tooth is only slightly chipped, not painful and only scratches, treatment is very simple. With this method, only a small portion of the chipped tooth is reduced through filing, just enough to dull the cutting edge and relieve discomfort.

Tooth reconstruction in composite

Sometimes, the filing worsens the aesthetics of the smile, because the broken or chipped tooth can be too short or with a different shape than the others. In these cases it is decided to opt for a small aesthetic reconstruction, through a reconstruction with composite resin. This malleable plastic material can be applied to repair the missing parts of the chipped tooth. It turns out to be highly aesthetic and allows you to restore the original appearance of the tooth and - often - make it even better than before. The procedure is cheap and quick (no more than an hour per tooth). A disadvantage is that the composite restoration of a broken tooth must be checked and polished, often because it tends to stain or wear away, being the composite material "soft".

Creation of an aesthetic inlay

Reconstruction with composite might not be enough if you have a weakened tooth. In these cases, your dentist can intervene with an inlay, a laboratory-made composite or ceramic reconstruction, which is extremely precise and much more resistant. The cost of a dental inlay is a little higher, but it certainly gives greater guarantees of duration over time than a filling.

Applying dental veneers to chipped teeth

Another extremely valid option from an aesthetic point of view, in the event that the fractured incisor tooth has a large missing piece, is to apply a ceramic veneer. This is a thin sheet of ceramic (or composite) which is applied to the surface of the tooth to restore the missing part and has a very high aesthetic and structural value.

Root Canal and Crown

If the tooth is severely chipped, and if the tooth pulp has been compromised, this is slightly more serious, and your dentist might want to do a root canal to devitalize the tooth completely and then cover the tooth with a crown made of ceramic or other material.

What Should I Do About My Chipped Tooth