You’ve used your teeth to open packages for years; why is that this time, they have failed you? How is it that a tooth could chip because of something so seemingly innocent as biting into a candy or on a fingernail? There is no saying, for sure, why chips occur; they just do. The important matter is figuring out what to do about this problem. Sure, you can live with a chip in your tooth, but why do this if you don’t have to?
Here, we discuss a few short-term remedies that can help you deal with this type of damage, and then some treatment options for long-term repair.
A chipped tooth could be classified as a dental emergency. As such, it is quite likely that the chip will occur when you can’t get to the dentist right away. We encourage our patients to call our Scottsdale office for restorative care as soon as possible. In the meantime, comfort may be aided by:
- Taking over-the-counter pain medication for short-term relief. Medication is intended for temporary pain relief, not as a substitute for proper dental care.
- A warm salt-water rinse can wash away any debris that may linger on the chipped tooth, and may also decrease the aching sensation that could occur with this injury.
- You may need to limit food and beverage consumption to room temperatures to avoid sensitivity.
Professional Treatment for a Chipped Tooth
There are a few options that you may have to restore the structure to a chipped tooth. We may recommend one or a few options based on the severity of the chip, your lifestyle habits, and your preferences.
Small chips may be reparable with dental bonding, a conservative treatment that is similar to filling a cavity. To repair the chip, a malleable composite material, shaded to match surrounding enamel, is applied to the tooth. This small application is shaped, cured, and polished for a natural appearance.
A veneer is like a crown that covers only the front surface of a tooth. This full-frontal sheath of porcelain is made in a dental lab from a mold of the tooth, so full restoration requires two visits to the office. One of the benefits of a veneer is that the tooth may regain a degree of strength from its durable cover. Veneers, after bonded to the tooth, can handle the force of biting and chewing (just don’t use your teeth as tools!).
A dental crown encases the full tooth, front and back, up to the gum line. This treatment may be best for severe chips in which a substantial portion of the tooth has been damaged. For front teeth, all-porcelain crowns are an excellent treatment option for restoring strength and maintaining an organic appearance.
For friendly dental care from our professional team, call (480) 657-6981.