One of the most common dental problems that people can experience is a chipped tooth. Sometimes the strength of the enamel that covers the tooth gives in, subjecting it to external damage. Here are some of the important facts that you need to know about this condition.
What Causes a Tooth to Chip?
When the integrity and the strength of the tooth is compromised, it can lead to it being chipped. There are a variety of things that can cause this imperfection. One of the most common causes of chipped teeth are cavities. Cavities weaken the tooth from the inside, and makes it susceptible for chipping, even with minimal force.
Biting down on hard surfaces can also cause a tooth to chip because of the amount of force exerted on the tooth. Some of the most common substances that can cause chipped teeth from biting include ice, bones or hard candies. Opening and holding things with your teeth are another cause of chipped teeth.
Force or direct trauma to the face or the mouth can also cause this. Usually, this is common in contact sports such as football and hockey. With enough direct force to the facial area, the teeth can be impacted. Custom mouth guards are recommended to protect your teeth while playing contact sports.
Poor hygiene is also a potential cause for chipped teeth. If you do not practice good oral care, you will be vulnerable to chipped teeth because the enamel gets damaged and thins out, exposing more of the tooth.
There is also a condition known as bruxism that can cause chipped teeth. This is also known as excessive teeth grinding, and a tooth can break as a result.
How to Repair
In terms of how you repair a chipped tooth, the first step is caring for it to ensure that you do not infect the tooth. If the tooth becomes infected, then you run the risk of needing a root canal or extraction.
If the tooth is causing pain, taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen rinse can help with the discomfort. If there are jagged edges, a piece of sugarless chewing gum or wax paraffin can keep it from cutting the tongue or inside of the cheek until you can see the dentist. You also need to avoid chewing on that tooth.
Your Dentist May Repair the Damaged Tooth With a Filling or Bonding
Bonding is a relatively simple procedure that often doesn’t require the tooth to be numbed. In order for the tooth to be bonded, the dentist will first etch the surface with a special gel or liquid to roughen it. The purpose of doing this is to ensure that the material used to bond it will adhere properly.
After that, the dentist will apply the adhesive material directly onto the tooth followed by a tooth-colored resin. The bonding material will then be shaped to look like a natural tooth, and the material will ultimately be hardened utilizing ultraviolet light.
If a significant amount of the tooth breaks off, the dentist will prepare the remaining tooth and cover it with a crown to strengthen the tooth and improve its appearance. Crowns are usually made from zirconia or porcelain. Dental offices such as Midway Family and Cosmetic Dentistry contain a variety of sources that can help you with these procedures and how they are done.
Average Number of Visits
The amount of trips that you will need to fix a chipped tooth usually depends on the extent of the damage and what procedure is chosen as the best course of action. With crowns, you will need two visits. During the first visit, X-rays are taken of the roots and the accompanying bone. The dentist will then numb the tooth and surrounding gum while removing enough of the tooth so that a crown can fit.
Impressions are made and sent to a lab where the crown will be made, and a temporary crown is placed during the first visit. During your second visit, this temporary crown will be removed, and the fit of the permanent crown will be checked and cemented.
A chipped tooth can be repaired, but it will never be completely healed. What is important is that the chip be treated as soon as possible to prevent infection and any further damage that can happen as a result. You can also expect mouth soreness after treatment which should pass over after a few days.
After the procedure, avoiding hard foods, practicing good dental hygiene and wearing a mouth guard will be important for you. Midway Family and Cosmetic Dentistry can assist you more in this regard. Please reach out to our office today and get scheduled for a consultation to move forward with fixing your chipped tooth!