Did you know your tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body?
Yes, it’s true. The enamel covering your tooth is the most mineralized tissue in your entire body, but even the strength of enamel has its limits. Getting hit in the face, falling down, or biting on something hard can cause your enamel to break, resulting in the necessity of finding out how to fix a chipped tooth.
Chipping your tooth can be among the scariest things that can ever happen to you. This situation occurs when an actual piece of our tooth has actually fallen off. But worry not because there are several ways that your dentist can use to fix your chipped tooth and make your smile whole again.
Keep scrolling to discover what incidents can cause a chipped tooth, how you can look after it until you get an appointment with the dentist, and what treatments your dentist might suggest to fix a chipped tooth.
How Can a Tooth Chip?
There are several instances where you can experience a small chip in your tooth, causing you to frantically search about how to fix a chipped tooth. You can get a chipped tooth even if you brush twice a day and take extreme care of your oral hygiene.
A chipped tooth can happen to anyone, and the possibility increases as you age. Here are a couple of reasons why you might get a chipped tooth.
- Sports Injury
- Biting down on a hard substance
- Constantly chewing on ice
- Tooth decay
- A blow to the face
- A car accident
- Acid reflux
- Eating disorder
- Compromised immune system
- Certain medications, including chemotherapy
How to Diagnose Your Chipped Tooth
Before finding out how to fix a chipped tooth, it is crucial to know how to diagnose it. It is super easy to diagnose this minor cosmetic annoyance on your own. Do keep in mind that early treatment for a chipped tooth is a must, as cracks and chips often start near the gumline, exposing the root of your tooth and making it susceptible to infection.
Here are some signs you can look for to detect a chipped tooth:
- Extreme pain in your tooth that comes and goes
- High-temperature sensitivity
- Pain when chewing
- Pain without visible damage
- Inflamed gums around the affected tooth
Treatment for a Chipped Tooth
Innovations in cosmetic and restorative dentistry now allow dentists to fix even the worst damage to your teeth. The exact treatment that a dentist recommends for your chipped tooth depends on the extent and location of the damage.
Here are some ways your dentist can tell you how to fix a chipped tooth:
Dental bonding is a straightforward treatment that is minimally invasive and relatively cost-effective. This method is used to repair minor chips.
The dentist will etch the tooth surface during this procedure to roughen it up. This helps in ensuring that the bond sticks to the tooth. The dentist then applies an adhesive, followed by tooth-colored resin, that is shaped to match the look of your surrounding teeth. This composite resin is then hardened using a special light, thereby bonding it to the tooth.
Usually veneers are used when you suffer from a tooth chip in your front teeth. They can help fix your chipped tooth and make it look whole and healthy again. This thin shell is made of porcelain or composite resin and covers the entire front of the tooth.
The dentist prepares the tooth by removing a certain amount of enamel from your tooth and taking an impression, which is sent to the lab. Once your veneer is ready, your dentist will roughen up your enamel to ensure the shell sticks to your tooth. After applying a special cement on the veneer, the dentist will place it on your tooth and use a special light to harden the cement and fix it in place.
Veneers are perfect for concealing small or medium chips in your tooth and are a minimally invasive procedure.
Dental crowns are among the best options that you can choose when exploring options for how to fix a chipped tooth. The crown, or “cap,” covers the entire tooth and helps in providing additional support to the structure of the chipped tooth.
Getting a crown is usually a two-part process. The first appointment is where the dentist will examine your tooth X-rays that can help them understand the damage to your surrounding bone structure and the tooth roots.
Once the dentist is satisfied, they will numb your tooth and the surrounding soft tissue and then proceed to remove enough tooth enamel to make space for the crown. Using a putty-like material, the dentist will take an impression of your tooth and send it to the lab. You can come back to the clinic and get the crown cemented firmly in place once it’s ready.
Enamel shaping can be an excellent choice if you have a minor chip in your tooth and are looking for methods on how to fix a chipped tooth. It’s a quick and inexpensive way to restore your smile.
With the help of a filer or a similar instrument, your dentist will shape the enamel of your teeth in the roughened-up or chipped spot to smooth the corners. The dentist might also use a resin composite to fill in gaps or small holes. The entire procedure finishes with the tooth’s final shaping and filing to smoothen it completely.
How Can You Look After a Chipped Tooth?
It is important to note that whether it’s you or your child suffering from a chipped tooth, there is a high possibility that you might not get an appointment with the dentist right away. In such a case, you can follow a few home remedies to help manage the swelling and discomfort.
- If your tooth is aching from the chip, try an over-the-counter painkiller to help with the pain.
- Rinse your mouth with saltwater to remove anything stuck to the jagged ends of the tooth.
- If the chipped area of the tooth has a sharp or jagged edge, cover it with some paraffin or sugar-free chewing gum to avoid cuts on the inside of your lip.
- Apply an ice pack on the side of your face to reduce swelling.
- Eat soft foods and avoid biting with the chipped tooth.
Even with the best oral hygiene, there are instances where you simply cannot save yourself from a chipped tooth. Eating the wrong foods could damage your molar; a sudden injury or accident can lead to a sizeable chip in your teeth. The good thing is that your dentist can employ plenty of treatments and procedures to fix a chipped tooth and restore your smile.
If you wish to learn more about how to fix a chipped tooth, you can get in touch with Hopkins Family Dentistry at 952-935-2121.