chipped tooth is always bad news. It’s not only uncomfortable and painful, but is also unsightly to look at. More damage and pain can accumulate if a chipped tooth is left untreated, which can have a negative impact on one’s health and sense of self-esteem.
Fortunately, your social life, eating habits and productivity don’t have to suffer just because you have a chipped tooth. This type of damage can be easily remedied with modern cosmetic dentistry methods which will restore your tooth to smile-perfect condition.
What Causes Chipped Teeth?
Teeth can chip, crack or break for a variety of reasons. The most common are:
- Hard Grinding – Many people will grind their teeth while sleeping and not realize what they’re doing. Over time the force and friction from this motion can wear away at the teeth, causing them to weaken and eventually to chip.
- Biting on Hard Objects – Chewing on hard candies or snacks – or ice! – can increase the risk of chipping or cracking a tooth. Your teeth may be strong now but they wear and weaken with age.
- Accidents and Injuries – Contact sports like football can be a leading cause of chipped or cracked teeth. It’s always a good idea to use a sports mouthguard when participating in a rough sport.
- Brittle Teeth from Poor Oral Hygiene – Teeth can also weaken and become brittle due to plaque, gum disease and exposure to acids from food. Under these conditions even light pressure or chewing can cause a chip or crack.
How To Fix Chipped Teeth
If your tooth chips for any reason, don’t wait for things to worsen before seeking care. Physical damage to teeth will only worsen with time, so it’s important to address the situation and avoid unnecessary discomfort and expenses. There are several ways to treat this problem, and one of the most common is dental bonding.
Dental bonding is the process by which special resins and composites are applied to teeth to modify the shape and color. In the case of chipped teeth, the missing part is replaced by a mixture of plastic-based matrix and filler. The bond between the two components is then strengthened by a coupling agent, making for a solution that’s both durable and aesthetically pleasing.
The great thing about dental bonding is that the resin can be made to match virtually any tooth color. This allows dentists to give you a natural look that restores your smile after the procedure while protecting and preserving the natural tooth.
Dental bonding is also very convenient. It’s pain-free and it usually requires just one visit to the dental office. For patients who may not be comfortable with the procedure, sedation and sleep dentistry options are available.
Other Ways To Treat Chipped Teeth
A dental crown can also be used to treat a chipped tooth. A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that fully encases a tooth and is cemented into place. It is highly durable and is a permanent solution for serious tooth damage.
Crowns not only protect and strengthen the natural tooth, they also mimic its pre-chipped look for a perfect smile. Like dental bonding, the application of a crown is relatively pain-free and can be performed in just one to two visits.
Porcelain veneers is another popular alternatives to dental bonding for chipped teeth. A veneer is a layer of material placed over the natural tooth that strengthens and improves the aesthetic of a smile. Many patients will inquire about veneers as an alternative to mechanical braces.
Porcelain veneers can usually be applied in as few as two short visits. During the first visit the “trial smile” is applied that allows you to feel comfortable with the new shape of the smile. In the second visit the permanent smile is applied.
Is Dental Bonding Right For Me?
Dental bonding works well for minor aesthetic enhancements, and is a great choice for small chips in teeth. Crowns and veneers are usually a better option if a significant portion of the tooth is lost. Always follow the professional recommendation of your cosmetic dentist.