Chipped teeth are a problem for some, and they don’t seem like much of a problem for others. The reason is simple; a chipped tooth that’s noticeable is a problem for anyone whose smile is affected. If the chipped tooth is in the rear of the mouth, some people don’t consider it a problem since they can’t see it. Some people, in fact, have no idea they’re living with a chipped tooth until their dentist tells them it’s chipped. Unfortunately, assuming your chipped tooth isn’t a problem if it doesn’t affect the aesthetic of your smile is a mistake, and you must get it fixed.
Anything can cause a tooth to chip. Munching on a candy cane at Christmas, falling outside, being hit with the football while playing outside with the kids, bumping heads with the kids, car accidents, and any other occurrence could legitimately cause one of your teeth to chip. Accidents are so common, too, that many people might not realize how dangerous they can be to their oral health.
Chipped teeth are a problem, and you cannot ignore them. Chipped teeth can cause bigger problems than just an imperfect smile. They can rot, develop infection, cause decay, and many other things that are much worse than just a small chip. Your overall health is highly dependent on the health of your teeth and gums, and therefore you must take the time to call the dentist if you suspect you have a chipped tooth. Don’t wait to call, either; call right away.
Some chips are small, and you might not feel any pain as a result. If the chip in your tooth is causing you any pain, however, it’s all right to consume over-the-counter pain medication as a way of helping cope with the pain while you wait to see the dentist. This won’t prevent the tooth from eventually decaying if you choose not to call your dentist right away, but it can help with the pain if you’re experiencing it.
Swelling is another problem often associated with a chipped tooth. If your mouth is swelling because of the chip or the injury that caused the chip, take medication and try to keep your mouth clean. Gently rinse your mouth to remove any bacteria or food particles, and try to keep your mouth as sanitary as humanly possible.
Your dentist is going to fix your tooth using one of several methods.
Crowns are a type of cap that’s placed over the existing tooth to protect it from outside harm. It’s not a quick fix since it takes a while to create one that looks like your teeth and fits perfectly.
Fillings are the most common way to help a chipped tooth if the chip is minor. It’s a way of filling the tooth so it appears to look like it did before, covering the chip and making it look as though it’s natural. It’s quick, too, and takes only one visit to accomplish.
Bonding is when your dentist uses plastic resin. This is placed over the tooth and applied while it’s sculpted. Its job is to bind to the tooth and keep the chip at bay. It’s not difficult, it doesn’t take long, and it is a common way to deal with a problem like this one.
Veneers are porcelain, and they look very natural. This might be something you prefer as a veneer tends to look much more like a natural tooth than a bonding, and that’s helping. They’re also strong enough to last longer than most other dental procedures used to help with chipped or cracked teeth.
Root canals are serious, and it’s usually the end game when you don’t call the dentist to schedule an appointment to fix a chipped tooth right away. The longer you go without fixing the chip, the more likely the chip is to cause infection that goes down into the root. You might need this tooth completely removed, and that’s when an expensive, painful, and time-consuming root canal takes place.
If you allow your chip to get to the point you need a root canal, you’re also going to need to come up with another surgery because now you’re missing a tooth. Your dentist will provide you with a list of options for replacement, but it’s only more expensive, it takes more time, and its additional pain. Therefore, you want to call right away.