When it comes to junk food, I have quite the affinity for chips – tortilla chips and guacamole, and especially pita chips and hummus – just to name a few. However, as a dentist, I also frequently see the not-so-good kind of chips – a chipped tooth. No matter how many chipped teeth I have repaired over the years, I still find myself cringing when patients share their stories of how it happened. In this post, we will discuss common causes of chipped teeth and four ways to fix a chipped tooth.
Common Causes of Chipped Teeth
Some of the most common causes of chipped teeth I have seen with my patients over the years include:
- Chewing hard objects, like ice or candies
- Mouth piercings
- Accidents from falls and car accidents
- Sports or physical activity
The list of events that bring in patients who want to fix their chipped tooth or teeth doesn’t stop there, though. I had one patient who came in after she chipped a tooth on a crouton! But regardless of the cause or how long you’ve been debating how or if to have your chipped tooth fixed, the good news is there is a solution.
So how does one fix a chipped tooth? The size of the chip will dictate how best to fix it. Here are four common procedures to fix a chipped tooth or chipped teeth.
1. Dental filling or bonding to fix a chipped tooth
If you have a rather small chip, or it’s on a tooth or teeth that you can see when you smile, one of the most common solutions is bonding. What is bonding? It’s a composite resin that is colored like your tooth to blend in and make the chip ancient history and blend seamlessly. It’s a relatively simple and pain-free procedure. The piece of bonding is essentially glued to your tooth with some reshaping to match your tooth shape and the adhesive is hardened and secured by UV light.
2. Dental cap or crown to fix a chipped tooth
Large chips or chips caused by decay may need a bit more work done and your dentist may suggest using a crown. Essentially the tooth that is severely chipped will be filed down and covered with a cap, also known as a crown, to both protect what remains of the original tooth, while restoring its appearance to before it was chipped.
When it comes to crowns there are resin, porcelain, and all-metal – each has its distinct pros and cons. Where the chip is located may also dictate what material is best for fixing the chipped tooth or teeth. While it’s a bit more involved than a filling or a bonding, it’s relatively pain-free, and it will just require a couple of more dental visits to complete the process.
3. Dental veneers, another option to fix a tooth with a chip
If you get your nails done you’ll understand the analogy that a dental veneer to a tooth is like an acrylic nail to your fingernail. Dental veneers are commonly used on front teeth to cover the whole front of the tooth, making it appear whole once again and chip-free. Much like dental caps and crowns, dental veneers require impressions and a couple of trips to the dentist’s office to, finish fixing your smile.
4. Root canal therapy for the most severe chipped teeth
Root canal therapy by an endodontist is needed in the most extreme cases when the chipped tooth exposes your tooth’s pulp. The pulp is where nerve and blood vessels are located, and if it’s exposed you’ll most likely experience pain as well as risking infection that could result in a whole lot more than just fixing the tooth, resulting in an extraction.
With root canal therapy the dead or bad pulp is removed, the canal is cleaned, then sealed. Since the tooth has been weakened, a crown is often used to protect the tooth from any further injury and make it look brand new.
So if you have a small chip from chewing too much ice, getting hit in the mouth by a soccer ball, or perhaps from a more serious accident, we’re here to help give you back your perfect smile by fixing your chipped tooth here at South Gables Dental. We have the technology right in the office to perfectly match the color of your teeth, so no one is any the wiser! And you’ll leave smiling from ear to ear.
Final Thoughts on How to Fix a Chipped Tooth
Chipped tooth? No problem. Call South Gables Dental today. We are a top dental office in Coral Gables, Florida, that helps our patients deal with all sorts of chipped teeth. We look forward to serving you and making your chipped tooth a thing of the past.