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Can a dentist fix a chipped tooth?

Jan 4, 2024Oral health, oral surgery

Can a dentist fix a chipped tooth?

Certainly, a dentist holds the ability to skillfully fix a fractured or cracked tooth that may result from whatever reason. Nevertheless, immediate action is crucial upon the realization of a tooth being chipped. Neglecting the treatment of your issue may lead to aggravated injury and necessitate a more complex treatment approach, depending on its severity.

In the event of a chipped tooth, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from a cosmetic dentist. With modern advancements in cosmetic dentistry, teeth that have been severely damaged can be effectively restored. The unsightly appearance of a chip on your front tooth can easily be remedied. There are numerous cosmetic dental options at your disposal to enhance the aesthetics of your teeth and restore your smile:


Dental composite or Bonding

In case of minor tooth enamel damage, your dentist may suggest filling to repair it. However, if the damaged tooth is located at the front or is visible when you smile, bonding is a preferred treatment option. This cosmetic procedure involves using a tooth-colored composite resin to restore the natural appearance of the tooth.

The process of bonding a tooth is relatively straightforward and usually doesn’t require any form of dental anesthesia. The initial step involves the dentist roughening the surface of the tooth by using a specialized liquid or gel, which allows the bonding material to adhere more effectively to the surface. Following that, the dental practitioner administers an adhesive solution to the affected tooth, trailed by a resin tinted to match the natural color of the tooth. Upon crafting the bonding material to resemble a genuine tooth, the dentist utilizes ultraviolet radiation to solidify the composite.


Dental Cap or Crown

In the event that a tooth sustains substantial breakage or has developed significant decay, a dental professional may opt to grind or file away a portion of the remaining tooth and subsequently fit it with a dental crowna tooth-shaped cap designed to not only protect the affected area, but also enhance its aesthetic appeal. Various materials may be used to manufacture permanent crowns, such as all resin, porcelain fused to metal, all ceramic, and metal. Each kind offers unique advantages. The all-metal crowns are known for its durability, while porcelain and resin crowns can be customized to match the characteristics of the original tooth with impressive precision.

In the event that the entirety of a tooth’s crown is fractured while its root remains undamaged, it may be necessary for a dentist or an endodontist – a dental professional who specializes in root canal procedures – to administer root canal therapy. This involves inserting a pin or post into the canal in order to create a robust foundation upon which a crown can subsequently be affixed. Subsequently, the dental practitioner may affix the crown onto the pin or post-retained restoration through a cementing process.


Dental Veneers

A dental veneer can restore the appearance of a damaged or fractured front tooth, making it appear complete and healthy once more. A dental veneer is a cosmetic dental solution wherein a tooth-colored, porcelain or resin composite material is utilized to cover the whole front surface of a tooth, resembling a fake nail’s function on a fingernail. It has a thicker portion to replace and restore the broken part of the affected tooth.

In order to proceed with the veneering process, your dentist will initiate by eliminating approximately 0.3 to 1.2 millimeters of enamel from the surface of your tooth. Afterwards, a replica of the tooth will be obtained and sent to a dental laboratory that will fabricate the veneer accordingly. Upon completion of the veneer preparation, which typically takes one to two weeks, a follow-up appointment with your dentist will be necessary to have it affixed. Prior to its placement, the dentist will initiate the process by roughening the tooth’s surface using an etching liquid. The dental professional shall proceed with applying a distinct cement to the veneer and fix it onto the tooth that has been prepped. The activation of chemicals in the cement is achieved by using a specialized light, which allows the veneer to harden promptly.


Properly Managing a Chipped or Broken Tooth

It is imperative to consult your dentist immediately in case of a broken, chipped, or fractured tooth. Delaying the dental visit could aggravate the damage and lead to infection, even resulting in the loss of the affected tooth.

Meanwhile, it is recommended to adopt the self-care strategies:

  • In cases of toothache, it is advisable to consume over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen. Additionally, gargling with saline solution can alleviate the discomfort and provide temporary relief.
  • In the event of a break resulting in a sharp or jagged edge, it is advisable to apply a coating of wax paraffin or sugarless chewing gum to prevent any potential harm caused by the edge to your tongue, inner lip, or cheek.
  • For optimal oral health, it is advised to consume soft foods if eating is necessary and to refrain from biting down on the broken tooth.

The course of action for a fractured or cracked tooth will vary according to the extent of the injury. In cases where only a minor section of enamel has broken off, a quick fix can typically be administered within a single trip to the dental office. When a tooth is severely damaged or broken, the process of repairing it may entail a more extensive and expensive procedure. Your dentist has several methods to address a chipped or broken tooth.


Why Did Your Tooth Chip?

Your dental hygiene standards are exceptional. Your daily routine includes brushing twice a day and flossing, earning commendations from your dentist for keeping up with it. However, despite these efforts, you find yourself in a situation where one of your front teeth has chipped.

It is a common occurrence for individuals to chip their teeth, regardless of age. However, the likelihood of experiencing such an incident increases with age. Considering the circumstances, here are some prevalent reasons that may lead to a tooth being chipped, cracked or fractured:

  • Biting down on a hard substance
  • Chewing ice
  • Sports injury
  • Bruxism
  • Tooth decay
  • Acid reflux
  • Weakened enamel
  • Compromised immune system
  • Certain medications, including chemotherapy
  • Diabetes
  • Eating disorder
  • Stress

Insufficient dental hygiene may raise the likelihood of tooth chipping; however, unpredictable falls and accidents also contribute significantly. Additionally, an individual’s psychological state can also impact their oral well-being. As per the COVID-19 impact poll conducted by the ADA Health Policy Institute in 2020, it was found that dentists had observed a significant increase of 53.4% in cases of chipped and cracked teeth resulting from emotional stress.

Rather than dwelling on a chipped tooth, it would be more productive to explore solutions to restore it. Feel free to contact our Victorville dental office to learn more.

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