Some dental ailments patients may be tempted to ignore rather than see a dentist. One is chipping a tooth. It may appear to be a little discomfort, but it can have long-term consequences on the tooth’s health.
Some people may envision a tooth as a single block of substance, like a fingernail. But a tooth is a complicated structure, and even small injury can have major consequences. The Shine Dental team examines what to do if you fear you have chipped a tooth.
What Not To Do
Most crucially, you should never disregard tooth damage, no matter how little it appears. Always contact your local dental clinic to schedule a checkup. A dentist can inspect the tooth thoroughly and determine whether or not treatment is required.
“Oh, it’s only a chip”. Why do we say so when we bite something and feel a tooth crack before recognising that only a small piece has fallen off? Even if you decide to see a dentist, it may feel like something you can do ‘when you have time’. Delaying your dentist visit may cause the chip to weaken the tooth, causing more of it to fall away and expose the more sensitive dentin layer beneath the enamel. This can lead to tooth deterioration and root canal infections, requiring more invasive dental procedures.
The dentist may advise no action if the only damage is to the surface enamel and the chip is so minor that it does not affect the tooth’s health. Even small damage can cause complications for the patient if the rough edge of the chip damages the sensitive tissues of the tongue or cheeks. This can create painful scrapes and abrasions, especially when eating. The dentist may use a bonding agent to soften the rough edge.
If the chip is large enough to endanger the tooth, there are several treatment alternatives. The dentist will only know which one to use after a thorough examination. There are four possible solutions.
Bonding – As stated previously, this can be placed to a tooth to both smooth down rough edges and protect it from additional injury.
Filling – Porcelain dental veneers are an excellent alternative for restoring a front tooth that has chipped. These can restore your teeth’s look while protecting them. If you take good care of the veneer, it should last ten years or so.
Veneers – A crown, or cap, is only used when the damage is extensive and would be considered a breakage rather than a chip. Crowns provide excellent protection when needed and can be fashioned to match your natural teeth.
Crowns – Our professional and experienced dental team will perform all of the above to protect a damaged tooth. If you have overlooked any damage and now have a root canal infection, we can also provide a competent endodontist to treat the problem.
We strongly encourage that you make an appointment with us as soon as possible, so that any minor harm can be remedied and the condition does not deteriorate.