Chipped Tooth Repair

“Help! I Chipped My Tooth”

broken toothA chipped tooth can be anywhere from really shallow and just lost enamel, to a full blown break just below the gums. Here’s the thing, though – either way, you should go get the chipped tooth repaired. Even a tiny piece of tooth that’s come off, or a barely cracked filling can compromise the health of the entire tooth. Bonding is the best way to seal that damaged area back off while also mimicking the original appearance of the tooth.

The treatment for a chipped tooth will be determined by the severity of the damage. If most of your tooth has broken off, or if the damage or decay is too great, chances are you’ll need a tooth extraction and a dental implant to replace the tooth. But when just a small piece of the tooth breaks off, a qualified dentist can usually repair the tooth in one visit. The dentist will examine the tooth to be sure that the damage is not more extensive than a chip.

Repairing a Chipped Tooth

The most common repair for a tooth that is chipped is a simple filling. However, if the tooth can be seen when you smile, the dentist will probably recommend a process commonly used in cosmetic dentistry called bonding. This process uses a composite resin that is tooth-colored. In the process of dental bonding, the dentist sculpts the resin to match the original shape of the tooth and then cures it with UV light, so typically the tooth does not require numbing.

The Details of Dental Bonding

To bond the chipped tooth, the dentist etches the surface of the tooth so the bonding material will adhere to it. The purpose of the etching, which does not harm the tooth, is to roughen it so the bonding material will adhere to it more easily. After the etching is finished, the dentist will apply an adhesive material to the tooth. Next, a tooth-colored resin (the bonding) will be applied. The dentist will shape the bonding material to look just like the tooth. Finally, the bonding material will be hardened by an ultraviolet light.

This process restores the tooth to its original appearance and function. That’s why it’s such a popular choice for front teeth that are damaged. Some things to consider about dental bonding, though, is that the bonded part of your tooth cannot change shade; if you get teeth whitening done, they will no longer match your bonding. The other issue with bonding, as opposed to other solutions cosmetic dentistry has to offer, like veneers or implants, is that the resin material isn’t as strong as your real teeth. You’ll probably have to have the bonding redone every 5 to 10 years.

Repairing Chipped Teeth with Decay

When a large piece of the tooth breaks off, or the tooth has a lot of decay, the procedure will be different. The dentist may need to grind part of the tooth away. In this instance, a tooth-shaped cap or a crown will need to be made in order to improve appearance and protect the tooth. If you have a cracked filling, a broken tooth – anything that exposes the inner layers of your tooth to the bacteria in your mouth – you’re in danger of infection, abscesses, further damage, etc. This is especially true of a broken tooth, which is why getting immediate chipped tooth repair is so important for your health.

Repairing a Chipped Front Tooth

Dental bonding is often used as a less expensive alternative to getting a tooth veneer. A dental veneer can restore the tooth’s whole and healthy appearance. A dental veneer is a thin layer of tooth-colored porcelain material that covers the entire front of the tooth and is fit to perfectly match the surrounding teeth. Tooth veneers are cosmetic. Bonding may serve a similar purpose, but only replaces the missing part of the tooth by filling it and sculpting it to mimic the look of the original tooth.

Fixing a Cracked or Broken Filling

While it’s true that dental bonding is technically a cosmetic dental procedure, that’s not to say it serves no purpose. If you have an existing silver filling that’s cracked or broken, you can get it replaced with bonding, and all of a sudden there is no longer any way to tell you even have a filling. In protecting the tooth from further decay, bonding is just as effective as traditional fillings at sealing the tooth, but matches the surrounding tooth exactly. A broken filling is just as urgent as a chipped tooth; both need repaired as soon as possible to prevent the exposed part of the tooth from further damage.

Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Some people develop this syndrome as a result of either over brushing your teeth, or compressing/grinding your jaw too much. These activities cause micro-cracks in the teeth that can’t be seen, but the main symptom is toothache with no visible identifiable cause. Your local family dentist can test your teeth to tell if it has tiny cracks. This syndrome often requires dental bonding or crowning to correct the issue and protect the tooth from further damage or decay.

Chipped Tooth Repair in Cincinnati

It is important to get to the dentist as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary delays, which could result in additional dental problems. If you have a chipped tooth, contact the dentists at Beckham Square Family Dental today – serving Blue Ash, Springdale, Evendale, Cincinnati and the surrounding areas. We’re experts at repairing chipped teeth with as little discomfort and inconvenience as possible, and we are also your local emergency dentist if the chip is a little more than just a chip.