The tooth enamel may be the hardest tissue in the body, but it is not indestructible. And chipped or cracked tooth is quite a common occurrence. Don’t panic if you have a chipped tooth. A dentist will assess the damage and suggest the best possible way to treat chipped tooth. But you may have so many questions before you visit the dentist. We have answered 11 vital questions for you!
1. How do I know my tooth is chipped?
A minor chip, not in the front of the mouth is rarely visible. But you will have the following symptoms.
- Jagged surface on tooth when you run your tongue over it
- Tooth pain while putting pressure in biting; this becomes intense in case of exposed nerve
- Gum irritation around the affected area
- Tongue irritation when it touches an uneven edge
2. How to fix a chipped front tooth of my child?
If your child chips a tooth, call your dentist immediately. Any tooth trauma can have long-term effects, so treat it with emergency. For a small chip, the dentist will use bonding material to seal the chipped portion to the rest of the tooth. In case of a larger chip, they may apply veneer or crown.
3. After I have fixed chipped tooth, can it happen again?
Yes, even after chipped tooth repair, it can happen again. But you can prevent some of the circumstances. If you play contact sports, using a mouthguard would be a good idea. Biting and chewing on hard food items can affect your bonding or crown.
4. What will be a good choice to treat chipped tooth: bonding or crown?
Tooth bonding involves rejoining the missing piece to the rest of the tooth. A composite filling material will be used to match the shape and color of the original tooth. If the chipped-off portion of the tooth is not damaged, it can be reattached to the original tooth with bonding. The entire process is further sealed off with ultraviolet light.
If a larger portion of tooth is missing, the crown will be a better alternative which fully covers the affected area of the tooth. Crown made of ceramic or porcelain is normally merged with a metal crown. The material will be shaded to match the rest of the teeth. To fit the crown, a portion of the existing tooth surface might be removed. But if you compare the chipped tooth repair cost, bonding is inexpensive than crowns.
5. How do I take care of my chipped tooth at home?
To treat chipped tooth, it is best to visit a dentist. But till you see the doctor, you can take some precautions to reduce the injury.
- Make a temporary filling material with sugar-free gum, tea bag or dental wax to cover the rugged edge of the tooth
- With proper dental care like flossing your teeth, it is easy to remove food particles between teeth. The food particles may cause unnecessary pressure on chipped tooth while chewing.
- Any anti-inflammatory medicine will reduce swelling and pain
- Do not chew with your chipped tooth
- Put an ice pack on the cheek, if there is any irritation
- To reduce the effects of nighttime grinding, use a mouthguard
- Use clove oil on the tooth and surrounding areas to reduce pain
6. Can I get a pre-treatment estimate to treat chipped tooth?
The dentist will evaluate the extent of damage and provide an approximate cost to fix chipped tooth. It is best to get an estimate from the dentist and submit a predetermination to your insurance service provider.
7. Are chipped and broken teeth the same?
Damage caused by a broken tooth will be greater than a chipped tooth. A minor chipped tooth repair can be finished with bonding in a single visit. In case of a broken tooth, you may require root canal therapy before placing the crown. Of course, the treatment will depend on the extent of the damage. Be it chipped or broken tooth, if you experience bleeding, you should immediately consult a dentist.
8. My friend had a chipped tooth during surgery. Is it possible to chip my tooth in unexpected circumstances?
Yes, most people can chip their tooth in the most unexpected circumstances.
- Bouncy houses & trampolines: Did you know that kids often chip their tooth as they bang against each other in a trampoline or a bouncy house?
- College parties: Raise your beer bottle to your mouth, a bump in the elbow and you end up with a chipped tooth
- Winter trauma: A vigorous shiver on a wintry day can cause a chipped tooth
- Surgeries: As patients are intubated during surgeries, they often end up with a chipped tooth
- Childbirth: During the contraction phase, pregnant women often chip their tooth
- Loving pets: You love the welcome hug from your dogs, but their enthusiastic jump can be miscalculated causing a chipped tooth
9. Is nutritional counseling important once I treat chipped tooth?
You need to have a conversation with your dentist about a proper diet to know how it is related to oral care. It is best to reduce intake of grains, sugary foods or processed carbs which lead to an imbalanced oral microbiome. This will also reduce the probability of chipped tooth.
10. What will happen if I do not treat chipped tooth?
Your chipped tooth cannot get better on its own. Neither will it grow back. In most cases, a chipped tooth will require professional intervention to avoid complications in the future. Consulting a dentist is a must.
11. Can my chipped tooth affect my smile?
You will be glad to know that Brad Pitt took the role of Tyler Durden in Fight Club so seriously, that he deliberately chipped a tooth. But his famous smile was restored after the film ended. A chipped tooth may affect your smile, but most importantly if it is left untreated it can cause damage to gum and nerves. So, unless you are looking for a Hollywood role, it is best to visit the dentist.