Chipping a tooth can be an uncomfortable and painful experience, but with prompt dental care and the right solutions, it’s not the end of the world! Thankfully, modern dental technology has made it possible to fix a chipped tooth quite quickly.
If you chip a tooth, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible, and they can walk you through some options. Depending on the severity of the chipped tooth, your dentist may consider dental bonding, crowns, root canal treatment, or extraction. If you notice pain or a visible chip or crack, visit your dentist quickly to restore the function and appearance of the tooth.
Possible Causes of a Chipped Tooth
Common symptoms that accompany a cracked tooth include:
- Feeling a jagged surface
- Temperature and sweetness sensitivity
- Intermittent pain when biting or chewing
- Swelling of the soft tissue around the tooth
From simply eating crunchy food to having some sort of accident, there are a variety of potential causes of chipped teeth.
Eating Hard & Crunchy Food
If you’ve ever bitten into a hard piece of candy or popcorn kernel, you know how painful it can be. Certain types of food can put a lot of pressure on your teeth and cause them to crack or chip.
Similarly, biting on ice or using your teeth as tools, like for ripping packaging or opening bottles, can also lead to a chipped tooth. Be mindful when chewing on hard objects, and try to avoid it.
Poor Dental Hygiene
Neglecting your oral care routine can result in several dental issues, including a chipped tooth. When you don’t brush and floss regularly, plaque and bacteria accumulate on your teeth, weakening the enamel. This makes your teeth more prone to breakage and sensitivity.
Maintaining good dental hygiene and visiting the dentist every 6 months is crucial for preserving your overall dental health.
Accidents or Injuries
If you play sports or engage in physical activities, you risk getting hit on the face, which can sometimes result in a chipped tooth. Similarly, car accidents, falls, and other traumatic incidents can cause a tooth to crack or break. For contact and high-impact sports, your dentist may recommend wearing a mouthguard to preserve the safety of your teeth and mouth.
Grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, can be a subconscious habit caused by stress, anxiety, or sleep disorders. Your jaw is strong, and the pressure it exerts can put significant force on your teeth and cause chips, cracks, and other issues.
If you suspect teeth grinding, visit your dentist and get a custom-fitted nightguard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Treatments for a Chipped Tooth
The first step in fixing a chipped tooth is to gauge the extent of the damage. Not all chips are the same—some require intensive intervention, while others may not require any treatment.
Dental bonding is often used to fix small chips or cracks in teeth. The process involves applying a tooth-coloured composite resin to the damaged area of the tooth. After drying and hardening, the resin will be filed down and polished to match the colour and shape of your natural tooth. This is a quick and comfortable process, producing low-maintenance results.
For more substantial chips or damage, your dentist may suggest a dental crown. A crown is a cap placed over the damaged tooth to provide additional strength and protection.
The tooth will first be prepared by removing any damaged enamel, and then an impression of the tooth will be made for the crown. The crown will be crafted specifically for your tooth and placed over it once it’s ready.
If a chip is deep within the pulp, the centre of the tooth that holds the blood vessels and nerves, a root canal may be required to save the tooth. The pulp will be removed, the canal disinfected, and a crown will be placed over the weakened tooth.
In cases where the tooth is damaged beyond repair, extraction may be necessary. This could be due to severe decay, infection, or injury. Tooth extraction is a standard procedure that requires numbing the area and removing the tooth.
Your dentist will then provide options for replacing the tooth, such as a dental implant.
Fix a Chipped Tooth with a Range of Solutions
Chipping a tooth can be an uncomfortable experience, but with various solutions to choose from, dentists can fix a chipped tooth quickly and efficiently. Book an appointment at Markham Dental Smiles for preventive dental exams and cleanings. If you’re experiencing pain, have mouth trauma, or notice the appearance of a chip, you can find a solution by consulting with our dental team.