5 Healthy Ways to Fix (or Hide) Chipped Teeth
It usually happens when you least expect it. You crunch into something unexpectedly hard, and then the next thing you know, you’re left with chipped teeth and a smile that needs fixing immediately.
But don’t worry. While this isn’t a great situation to be in, there are various ways to fix it. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need anything from a simple filling to a more complex treatment like dental implants.
Here are some ways dentists help repair damaged and chipped teeth.
#1. Dental Filling or Bonding
If your broken teeth are only slightly chipped, your dentist may repair them with a filling. If your front tooth is damaged and can be seen when you smile, your dentist will likely perform a procedure called dental bonding. Bonding involves a tooth-colored composite resin.
Bonding is a simple treatment that doesn’t usually involve numbing the tooth. To bond a tooth, the dentist first engraves its surface with a gel or liquid to roughen it. This allows the bonding material to stick to it.
After shaping the bonding material to resemble a natural tooth, an ultraviolet light hardens the material.
#2. Dental Cap or Crown
If a significant piece of tooth breaks off or the tooth features a lot of decay, the dentist may file away or grind some of the leftover tooth. Then, they’ll cover it with a crown or tooth-shaped cap. This tooth-shaped cap is created to protect the tooth and enhance its appearance.
Permanent crowns can be produced from metal, all resin, porcelain fused to metal, or all-ceramic. Different types of crowns provide various benefits.
Crowns created from metal are the strongest. But porcelain and resin crowns are the most natural-looking. They can be produced to appear nearly identical to the original tooth.
If the whole top of the tooth is broken off, but the root is still fine, the dentist may perform root canal therapy and set a pin or post in the canal. Later, the dentist can cement the dental crown over the pin.
An endodontist may also perform this root canal therapy. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in root canals.
#3. Dental Veneers
When it comes to fixing dental issues, veneers are an excellent option. If your front tooth is chipped or broken, a dental veneer can make it look healthy and whole.
A dental veneer consists of a thin shell of tooth-colored porcelain or resin composite material. This material covers the whole front of the tooth with a thicker section to replace the broken area of the tooth, similar to how a false nail would cover a fingernail.
To prepare your tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove approximately 0.3 to 1.2 millimeters of enamel from its surface. Next, the dentist produces an impression of the tooth. This is sent to a dental laboratory where the veneer is made.
When the veneer is complete, you’ll need to head back to the dentist to have it placed. Usually the veneer is ready a week or two after preparation.
To set the veneer, your dentist will engrave the tooth’s surface with a liquid to roughen it. Your dentist will then add cement to the veneer and will set the veneer onto the tooth. Once the veneer is positioned, your dentist will use a light to activate the chemicals in the cement.
This last process makes the cement harden quickly.
#4. Root Canal Therapy
If a tooth chip or break is big enough to show the pulp, bacteria from the mouth can enter and infect it. The pulp is the center of the tooth, and it’s full of nerves and blood vessels.
If your tooth is painful, changes color, or is sensitive to heat, the pulp is likely damaged. Or it may have a disease. Pulp tissue can die, and if you don’t have someone remove it, the tooth can become infected and requires extracting.
Root canal therapy consists of removing the dead pulp, cleaning the root canal, and then closing and sealing it.
Both general dentists and endodontists perform root canal therapy. Most treatments are no more painful than having a cavity filled. In many cases, the remaining tooth must be covered with a crown to defend the weakened tooth.
#5. Dental Implants
If you have a missing tooth, then dental implants are the way to go. They’re often recommended by dentists for their comfort and ability to support other treatments like dentures. One massive benefit of implants is that they won’t damage surrounding teeth either.
Dental implants look and feel natural. Plus, most people are qualified for the procedure if they have a fine jaw and gums strong enough to support the implant’s weight.
It’s essential to remember that an implant must be looked after the same way you’d care for a natural tooth. This means you must clean it regularly, including brushing and flossing.
Learn more about the benefits of dental implants here.
Fixing Chipped Teeth
If you have chipped teeth that need fixing, it’s essential to consider the time spent on the procedure and the cost. Additionally, while many traditional dental treatments are likely covered by your insurance, some treatments on this list may not be. Or they may be covered at a lower percentage.
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