Our general dentist can help reduce the effects of teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. Most people who grind their teeth tend to be unaware of their habit because it mainly occurs during sleep. Grinding your teeth occasionally due to being anxious or stressed out typically does not cause noticeable damage to teeth, but doing…
Dental Restoration Options for a Chipped Tooth
Having a chipped tooth may not seem like a serious concern, but it can affect your smile. Even a small chip can become larger and develop into bigger issues later on. That is why it is usually a good idea to treat and repair this damage. Your dentist has the knowledge and training to properly take care of this and restore your appearance. There are a few solutions available, depending on the severity of the chipped tooth’s damage and your preferences.
Why a chipped tooth can be a problem
There are bigger impacts on a smile than chipping a tooth. This does not mean a chip is something to ignore or take lightly. This can be an embarrassing situation, especially if the chip is on a front tooth. It can hamper the person’s smile and may even make an individual want to avoid being around others. Chips can also make the tooth more susceptible to further damage, such as a fracture or even tooth loss. When a tooth suffers this type of injury, it can also be more prone to decay or infection.
Bonding or filling
Fixing a chipped tooth is often a minimally invasive process. If the chip is small enough, the dentist can use composite material, such as what is used for a filling, to repair the tooth. This material may also be made of ceramic or porcelain, so its color will blend in well with the tooth. The bonding or filling will build up the tooth, restoring it to the right size and shape. In some cases, the dentist might not even need to numb the patient to do this work. The dentist will smooth the bonding so that there are no rough edges on the tongue or cheek.
A dental crown might be the right treatment for a larger chipped tooth. A crown fits entirely over the tooth, giving it stability and protecting it from further damage. Usually made of ceramic or porcelain, a crown is natural-looking in size, shape, and color. The crown not only gives the patient an attractive smile but also restores strong bite force to the tooth. Before placing the crown, the dentist will reshape the tooth.
There are similarities to crowns and veneers. The purpose of fixing a chipped tooth is the same: to restore the structure of the tooth. A veneer attaches to the front of the tooth. Made of porcelain, this thin shell is often used on front teeth. A veneer can last up to 10 years or more, depending on how well the patient takes care of it. To effectively bond the veneer to the tooth, the dentist will remove some enamel and make the tooth rough.
Diagnosing a chipped tooth
The dentist will ask the patient about the symptoms. Asking about the possible cause is also necessary for the diagnosis. The dentist may ask about the injury or trauma as well. The patient’s dental history and eating habits can help the dentist figure out the root cause of the damage. The dentist will need to perform the following:
- Ask the patient to bite down to see if there is pain
- Check if the tooth is knocked out or broken
- See if there are cracks by using a probe, a staining dye, or transillumination
- Order digital dental X-rays to see the extent of the damage
- Check for gum inflammation
Possible complications of a chipped tooth
Dental chipping may start to affect the dental roots as well. This will trigger infections. The dentist will perform a root canal to rescue the tooth. Common symptoms are bad breath with a sour taste in the mouth, as well as dental pain when eating. The patient may experience temperature sensitivity to food and drinks. Swollen glands and fever may also arise.
A chipped tooth will need an appointment with a dentist. The patient will need to wait until that day. While waiting, the patient may perform self-care practices to care for the affected tooth or teeth. Here are some of them:
- Place an ice pack outside of the cheek to reduce the irritation in that area.
- Wear a mouth guard while playing contact sports.
- Put a temporary filling on the area to protect the soft tissues of the mouth from the sharp edges. Examples of these temporary fillings are dental wax and sugar-free gum.
- Wear a night guard for teeth grinding at night.
- Relieve pain by taking anti-inflammatory pain relievers.
- Refrain from using the chipped tooth for chewing or biting.
- Apply clove oil on the surrounding tooth to numb this area.
- Floss to get rid of food particles between the teeth. These particles can put pressure on the damaged tooth while chewing.
Take care of your tooth now
If you have been putting off repairing your chipped tooth, make an appointment with your dentist today. You should not have to feel ashamed of your smile any longer. Your dentist will discuss one of these options and which one makes the most sense for you. A brand-new smile awaits.
Are you considering fixing a chipped tooth in the Pearl City area? Get more information at https://pearlcity.diamondheaddentalcare.com.
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