Our teeth are critical to our health. Most obviously, we rely on these enamel workhorses to break down our food into smaller pieces for nutrition. But our teeth aren’t perfect. Sometimes they break, either from wear and tear or injury. If that happens to you, you’ll learn something about the process of treating a chipped tooth.
Treating a chipped tooth is done not just for cosmetic reasons. The chipped tooth can dig into your cheek, making it important to repair it. While each case is a little different, of course, cosmetic dentistry has the techniques to make you whole.
Treating a Chipped Tooth
The American Association of Endodontists says that treating a chipped tooth is among the most common procedures in dentistry. Dentists and endodontists alike are called upon to find solutions for chipped or broken teeth, putting the chips back in place or seeking alternative solutions such as crowns.
More than anything else, know that in treating a chipped tooth — time is of the essence. The more time that goes by, the less chance there is for endodontists or dentists to assist you. If you do face a gap in time before you can obtain treatment, stick with soft foods.
However, the process of treating a chipped tooth could well be minor. Your dentist may be able to polish the tooth, smooth down the ragged edge, and make your smile as good as new.
You can help make sure the dentist has an easy time in treating a chipped tooth. If you can, save the chip from the tooth. If it’s the right size, your dentist can probably reattach it using some dental adhesive.
If you’ve suffered greater damage, the best option might be to have the dentist make you a crown. That’s a synthetic tooth that fits into space where the biological tooth had been originally located. If this is the way you go, one thing to keep in mind — the process of making the tooth tends to require a time commitment – perhaps across several appointments. Your dentist will have to make a mold of your tooth and fit it into the available space.
Some elements of treating a chipped tooth can get complicated. The more severe the injury, the greater the risk of infection. You might have to wait a few weeks to let the infection subside before it can be properly treated. In very severe cases, you could need a root canal.
Why Do Teeth Break?
Sometimes teeth chip or break simply as we age, and it’s no fault of our own. Other times, we eat the wrong things, use our teeth to open bottles, play risky sports — in other words, we take our teeth for granted. Some of the most common reasons for teeth to break include:
- Playing tough contact sports such as hockey or football without a mouthguard
- Eating hard candy, ice, or hard nuts
- Age-related tooth decay that leads to cavities, which weaken the tooth.
- Grinding of your teeth in a way to wears down enamel
- Diet considerations
You can’t escape age as a factor, either. The enamel around your teeth starts to break down if you are over the age of 50. As the enamel wears away, your teeth become more susceptible to injury. Almost two-thirds of cases of chipped teeth occurred in people over 50.
Fixing the Pieces
It’s disconcerting to lose a piece of tooth and not know how to go about treating a chipped tooth. But it’s not the end of the world. Our experienced team offers the fullest range of emergency dentistry skills to handle chipped or broken teeth, infections, abscesses, or more. Lovett Pasadena also offers a complete portfolio of general dentistry services, ranging from sedation dentistry for dental anxiety, as well as everyday services such as professional teeth cleaning, fillings and sealants, and dental crowns and bridges. Regular visits to the dentists can lower the risk of emergencies happening. Contact us at 281.336.8068 for an appointment today.