Is Fixing a Chipped Tooth Really Necessary?
Chipped teeth happen. When they do, many times patients come to see us at Discover Dental’s Heights office to get their smile repaired with cosmetic dentistry. Typically, it’s a quick, painless, affordable procedure with permanent results that our patients are happy with. For others, though, chipped teeth aren’t such a big deal. Do they really require a trip to the dentist?
As always, dental treatments are up to the patient. At Discover Dental, we never try to force anything on the people who put their oral health in our hands! However, anytime you chip or damage a tooth, we highly recommend that you visit the dentist to have your tooth and gums evaluated in order to rule out any underlying damage and to protect your tooth from additional harm. A chipped tooth is one thing. A dead, discolored, or missing tooth is quite another. Don’t take any chances with your health, even if you’d prefer not to get your chipped tooth fixed.
In most cases, Discover Dental will recommend having your chipped tooth repaired. Our teeth are a particular size and shape for a reason, and chipped teeth can affect the way we eat and potentially cause problems with our other teeth, our gums, and our jaws. A chipped tooth often entails a significant loss of tooth structure that can contribute to new chips in the future and cracks in your enamel over time.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to repair a chipped tooth. Here at Discover Dental, we offer several options depending on the nature of the chip and whether you’ve been able to locate and save the otherwise undamaged missing piece. The treatment we recommend typically depends on how deep the chip runs.
Cosmetic bonding is usually the quickest and lowest-cost option to repair a chipped tooth. Bonding involves the application of a composite filling material that we will color and shape to match your damaged tooth. Little to no removal of existing tooth surface is needed.
In some cases, a dental veneer or Lumineer can be applied to your chipped tooth to repair its appearance. A veneer is a thin, custom-made shell attached to the front of the tooth to give it a new façade. Some removal of existing tooth surface is usually necessary to fit a veneer or Lumineer so it rests flush with the surfaces of the surrounding teeth, but few people will be able to tell your tooth was ever chipped once we’re done.
If a chip is particularly severe, a crown may be the best option, especially if a relatively large portion of the tooth is missing. A crown will fully encase the visible portion of the remaining tooth (also known as the crown) above the gum line and is shaped and sized to match the original. Some of the existing tooth surface will be removed to allow the crown to fit over it.
The best way to deal with chipped teeth, of course, is to prevent them! Wear a dental mouth guard while playing sports, don’t grind or clench your teeth, don’t crunch on ice chips or hard candies, and NEVER use your teeth as a tool for opening things! If a chipped tooth happens, though, Discover Dental is happy to help. Book an appointment today for an examination to learn more about your options for restoring your smile! Don’t forget—we have financing options available.