Despite tooth enamel is one of the most durable tissues in the human body, chipped teeth are a common occurrence and can happen for a variety of reasons, such as trauma to the mouth or biting down on something particularly hard. Sometimes these situations can be prevented if appropriate precautions are taken such as wearing a protective mouthguard during sports or wearing a bruxism appliance (a.k.a. nightguard) if you clench or grind your teeth while you sleep. While the initial chip might be alarming, there really is no need to panic. Dentists are able to restore the tooth to its natural appearance, usually in one visit.
- Call your dentist right away to reserve an appointment.
- If necessary, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen in order to relieve any discomfort.
- Sometimes chips can cause a sharp or rough edge on the tooth. To prevent further injury to your tongue or cheek, cover the area with a piece of wax paraffin or sugar-free chewing gum.
Your dentist will first assess your tooth for any signs of trauma or mobility, and an x-ray may be required to rule out any possibility of root fracture. If it is just a small chip, the tooth can typically be repaired within one visit with a simple filling (bonding) or by being polished to smooth out jagged edges.
Bonding is a relatively simple and comfortable procedure that often does not require freezing the area. This is good news to those who are afraid of needles! To begin the process, your dentist will use a shade guide to determine the right shade of composite resin to match your natural tooth color, then will gently roughen the surface of your chipped tooth and apply a liquid to allow the bonding agent to stick. The tooth-colored composite resin will then be applied and molded to your tooth and hardened with ultraviolet light. Once completely hardened, your dentist will shape and smooth the new filling to blend in seamlessly with your smile. With most procedures only taking from 30 to 60 minutes, you’ll be done in no time.
Have you recently chipped a tooth? Dr. Syed has extensive experience in treating chips of all kinds, ranging from mild to severe. Give our office a call today to learn more about how we can help and your options for treatment.