A Guide to Chipped Teeth

Chipping a tooth is quite a common phenomenon. However, it can still be quite a shock when it happens to you. The thing about a chipped tooth is that it can happen in some many different and unexpected ways. For children, a chipped tooth can easily happen when they are playing on swings or a jungle gym. Adults will often chip a tooth playing sports such as rugby or hockey. And while many people may not necessarily realise it, you can chip a tooth simply while crunching on nuts or some other hard food.

So what should you do? Unless you wrap yourself and your children in cotton wool, there are not really any preventative measures you can take to avoid a chipped tooth. Sometimes, no matter how well you look after your teeth and try to eat the right types of food, these things just happen. That’s life. It’s how you deal with it that’s important.

Of course, a chipped tooth is hardly the greatest medical crisis in the world. There are plenty of people out there right now, walking around with chipped teeth who are all quite happy with the way they look. However, if you chip a tooth in a really visible way, it can affect your the aesthetics of your smile and make a real difference to your self-esteem. If this is the case, then you should look into the possibility of some cosmetic dentistry.

Due to advances in modern cosmetic dentistry, there are now a number of techniques which dentists can use to repair chipped teeth. Often, patients will have their chipped teeth repaired as part of a broader programme of cosmetic and orthodontic work to improve the overall quality of their smile for the future.

If you have a chipped tooth, the first step in the repair process is usually an evaluation from your dentist. This is primarily to assess whether the damage is purely cosmetic or whether it is more serious and the root of the tooth has been affected. So your dentist will probably want to know how you chipped the tooth and how much pain you are in. They will also take some x-rays at this stage, just to ensure that they have a clear view of any underlying damage to the root or nerve.

Provided that there is no deep-seated damage to the root of your tooth, your dentist can begin to identify which cosmetic technique is the most appropriate for your case. If it is only a very small chip, it could be that you do not require any expensive treatments. Your dentist can simply file away the edges of your tooth so that it looks smoother and neater. In many cases, this is all it takes to ensure that you can smile confidently again.

However, if your tooth is badly chipped and causing you pain, there is still no need to panic. There are plenty of other options that you can explore with your dentist. Many people opt for porcelain veneers which are popular because they cover a wide variety of irregularities. As well as chipped teeth, veneers can improve the aesthetic look of discoloured and crooked teeth. Dental bonding is another option. Rather than attaching a veneer to the tooth, the bonding material itself becomes the new surface, improving the look of the tooth.

In some cases, a veneer may not be adequate as it only covers the tooth. Therefore, if the tooth is really badly damaged, a veneer is simply hiding the problem. In these cases, your dentist may recommend that you have a crown, which gives the remains of your tooth and the root more robust protection in the future.

If you chipped tooth is affecting your confidence and self-esteem, then there will be a dental treatment that can restore it to its former glory (or pretty close to it, anyway). Don’t forget, however, that restoring the cosmetic look of your teeth is only part of the picture here. The right solution will also be the option that protects your natural teeth in the long term and avoids further decay, damage or extraction. This is why the initial evaluation from your dentist is so important, so that the can understand the extent of the damage and how far-reaching your treatment needs to be.