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Treating Your Chipped Teeth

Posted on 11/13/2015 by Zac Bird
A woman suffering from chipped teeth.Chipping a tooth can definitely ruin your day. Not only can a chip look unsightly, but it can also be extremely painful depending on the severity. It is important that you know what to do in the event of a chip and what treatment options are available to help you correct the problem.

What Should You Do Before You See Your Dentist?

Obviously getting in to see your dentist right away is important when you have a chipped tooth. Failing to get your tooth looked at could cause further damage or may result in infection, but if it is going to be a day or two until you get in, you can try a few self-care measures:

•  If your tooth is painful, take Tylenol or another pain reliever.
•  If the break in your tooth has a jagged or sharp age, cover it up with a piece of sugarless gum to keep it from cutting the inside of your cheek, lip, or tongue.
•  If you need to eat, choose soft foods and avoid biting on the broken tooth.

What Are Your Treatment Options?

The treatment option that you use to correct your chipped tooth will really depend on the severity of the damage. There are several procedures that can be used, and many can be completed in as little as one visit:

•  Bonding. Many chips can be fixed with bonding, in which your dentist will fill in the missing area with a composite resin material that will match the rest of your teeth. The material will be hardened with a special light before it is shaped to match the original structure of your tooth. The end result should be a tooth that looks as good as new.
•  Shaping. A minor chip may be corrected with simple shaping of the enamel in order to smooth out the chip. In other cases, it can be used along with dental bonding in order to improve surface flaws. Throughout the process, a small portion of the surface will be removed so that it can be smoothed out to eliminate imperfections.
•  Crowns. If you experience a significant or large chip, you may need a cap to cover the entire crown portion. This is especially useful with the molars or other large teeth.

A vast majority of chips will be corrected using these treatment methods. However, severe chips may require more invasive treatment methods:

•  Root canal. If you experience pain in addition to your chip, you could have damaged the tooth to the point where the nerve is exposed. In these situations, root canal therapy may be necessary in order to save the tooth.
•  Veneers. When significant damage is present and bonding or shaping of the enamel won't work, veneers might be needed. These thin shells of porcelain will cover the surface of the tooth, and they are best suited for chips of the front teeth.
•  Extraction. If your tooth isn't able to be saved, it may need to come out. If you need to have an extraction, your dentist can talk to you about tooth replacement options.

Can Chips Be Prevented?

Many chips are a result of trauma after a blow to the face, and in most cases, these situations can't be avoided. However, if you know that you will be participating in an athletic event in which a blow to the mouth could be possible, wearing a mouth guard could be a good option to protect your teeth.

You should also take a good look at your dental health habits, and if you find that you are chewing on ice, pencils, or other hard objects as a nervous habit, you should make every effort to eliminate these behaviors.

Please contact us if you have any questions about your chipped teeth.








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4707 S Junett St
Tacoma, WA 98409
(253) 777-0252



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