A small chip in the tooth may seem insignificant, but it has the potential to cause a lot of problems if it is left untreated. Without chipped tooth repair, the fracture will grow deeper or become infected resulting in loss of tooth. Often when we lose a tooth, the pain is not immediate, but you may notice it visually. In 9 out of 10 cases bashing the tooth against something hard may be the underlying cause behind a chipped tooth. Let’s discuss why you should not neglect chipped tooth and repair it immediately.
Possible factors behind chipped tooth
Bruxism or nighttime grinding is one of the reasons behind chipped or cracked teeth. 1 in 3 people suffer from this habit. If you have the habit of clenching while chewing food, it wears down the teeth. As the enamel weakens, it becomes more susceptible to chipping.
Poor nutrition can be one of the reasons which leads to damage to the teeth. When you eat foods full of starch, sugar and acids, it can corrode the enamel and make them weaker. Often people have an imbalanced bite with some teeth taking the brunt, instead of even distribution of pressure across all teeth. Mostly people with crooked teeth face this problem, but even straight teeth can cause an uneven bite.
Sports injuries can result in a chipped front tooth. If you are involved in high-impact sports where you fall, crash or ram into another player or have the possibility of getting hit with a ball, chances of a chipped tooth are high.
Tongue splitting or oral piercings may look cool, but they can cause damage to teeth. The metal components of the jewelry may brush up against the teeth and weaken them. Hard foods like jawbreakers, granola bars or frozen treats may cause chipped teeth. If you already have a filling or a crown, your teeth will be extra vulnerable to chipping.
Why you should not ignore a chipped tooth?
The rough edges around the chipped tooth can expose the soft tissue underneath. An accidental tongue graze on the chipped tooth or a bite on the cheek causes much pain. Avoid the discomfort by getting the chipped tooth fixed.
Tooth fractures are the weak spots; with an opening in the enamel, there will be greater bacteria growth leading to tooth cavity.
In case of a small chipped tooth, the fracture is mostly superficial and can be smoothed to restore its natural function. But often the visible damage is negligible compared to internal trauma and may require extensive treatment.
Things you can do to stop the damage of chipped tooth
If a chipped tooth results in a jagged or sharp edge, you can cover it with a sugarless chewing gum or wax paraffin so that you do not cut your tongue, or lip. Eat soft foods to avoid biting on the cracked teeth.
Treatment of chipped tooth will depend on the severity of its damage. When a small enamel is broken, it can be repaired in one visit. A badly damaged tooth may require a lengthy procedure. Talk to your dentist about the different procedures and cost to fix chipped tooth.
Different processes for chipped tooth repair
In case of a chipped front tooth where your smile is likely to be affected, the dentist uses a composite resin for a process known as bonding. The resin will resemble the color of the tooth.
As it is not a surgical procedure, dentist will not numb the tooth, but may give medications to reduce swelling. To bond the tooth, the dentist applies a liquid or gel on the surface to roughen it so that the bonding material sticks to it. An adhesive material is applied to the tooth followed by the tooth-colored resin. The bonded material is shaped to resemble a natural tooth and hardened with an ultraviolet light.
Dental crown or cap:
With severe tooth decay, the dentist will remove the remaining tooth and cover it with a tooth-shaped cap or crown. It not only protects the tooth but improves its appearance. The metal crowns are the strongest, but a resin or porcelain crown resembles a natural tooth.
The installation of crown can take 2 days. On your first visit the dentist may take an X-Ray to check the damage in bones and surrounding gum. After cleaning the area, filling material is normally used to build the tooth for holding the crown. Impressions of the real tooth is sent to the lab to make the crown.
A temporary crown is installed made of thin metal or acrylic. On your second visit, the temporary crown is removed to check whether the permanent one fits properly.
Root canal therapy:
Often the chipped tooth is so large that it exposes the blood vessels and nerves. You need to extract the dead tooth before it is more infected. With a root canal therapy, the dead tissues are removed, the area is cleaned and then sealed.
With a dental veneer, the front portion of the teeth is wholly covered. A thick dough of resin composite material is used to cover the broken part.
Chipped tooth repair cost
Chipped tooth repair cost normally depends on the number of teeth lost. In case of a small chipped tooth, the dentist normally polishes through the rough surface to make it smooth. For severely damaged tooth, it is best to know about the expenses and whether your dental care insurance covers for it.