How to Fix a Chipped Tooth

Will there be a point in your life when you need cosmetic dentistry in Raleigh, NC? Statistics reveal that more than 50% of Americans aren’t happy with their smiles, which is one of the reasons why they seek dental cosmetic care.  

Unfortunately, accidental chips will require you to invest in cosmetic dentistry not just for aesthetic reasons but to restore oral function and reduce your risk of more complicated problems. How do cosmetic dentists fix chipped teeth? 

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What Causes Chipped Teeth? 

Even though your tooth’s enamel is strong and durable, it can still chip and break. Some of the common reasons why your teeth could get chipped are the following: 

  • Biting into hard foods or objects such as hard candy, popcorn, or pens 
  • Car accidents 
  • Falls 
  • Not using a mouthguard while playing contact sports 
  • Teeth grinding 
  • Excessive wear and tear 


What Are the Risk Factors for Chipped Teeth? 

People with weak teeth are more vulnerable to chips and cracks than those with strong teeth. What can compromise the strength and integrity of your teeth? 

  • Tooth decay 
  • Cavities 
  • Large dental fillings 
  • Teeth grinding
  • Excessive consumption of acidic food and drinks such as coffee, fruit juices, and spicy foods 
  • Heartburn
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Eating disorders 
  • Age 


What Tooth Is the Most Commonly Chipped Tooth 

When a tooth is weakened, it increases the risk of chipping or breaking. However, research reveals that your second lower molar is more prone to chips because it receives more pressure when you chew. Teeth that have dental fillings are also susceptible to chips. 


What are the Symptoms of Chipped Teeth? 

Minor chips are hardly noticeable. In fact, you may not even be aware of them. But if it’s a major chip, you’ll likely observe the following symptoms: 

  • Rough surface that you can feel with your tongue 
  • Tongue irritation when it constantly gets in contact with the ragged edge of the chipped tooth 
  • Pain on the chipped tooth 


How Do Cosmetic Dentists Treat Chipped Teeth? 

Your cosmetic dentist will first determine your symptoms, the severity of the chip and its location before presenting a treatment plan. It will be considered a dental emergency if you experience severe pain that significantly affects your sleeping and eating. 

Nevertheless, a chipped tooth requires an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your tooth. 


Dental Bonding

Two different types of materials are used in a dental bonding procedure – composite resin or porcelain. Composite is made of plastic, while porcelain consists of layers of ceramic. 

The material is attached to the surface of your tooth and is shaped and cemented into place. UV light may be used to dry and harden the material quickly. 

After it dries, your cosmetic dentist will reshape the material so it forms the natural contours of your tooth. The average lifespan of dental bonding is up to a decade. 


Porcelain Veneers

Another method of fixing a chipped tooth is through the application of a veneer. A veneer is a thin, tooth-colored shell your dentist will place over the affected tooth. Before attaching the veneer, your dentist will shave some areas of your enamel to accommodate the veneer. 

Typically, it’s just less than one millimeter. An impression is taken of your tooth and is sent to the lab for fabrication. 

While waiting for your permanent veneer, you’ll be asked to wear a temporary one. Dental veneers are expected to last more than three decades due to their impressive durability. 


Dental Onlays 

If the chip took place on the surface of your molars and if it’s not too deep and the damage isn’t that extensive, your dentist may recommend dental onlays. However, a dental crown is advisable if your tooth has serious damage. 

When your onlays are ready, your dentist will securely cement them into your tooth. Advancements in dental technology have made it possible to create onlays on the same day using a milling machine inside the dental office. 

How long do dental onlays last? The longevity depends on how well you care for your teeth. If you continue to consume hard and chewy foods, you can expect the onlays to break and wear more quickly, but if you are careful, they can last much longer. 


What to Do While Waiting for Your Dentist 

  • Place a temporary filling material over your chipped teeth, such as a tea bag or a sugar-free gum, to keep your gums and tongue protected 
  • Take pain medications 
  • Apply an ice pack over your cheek 
  • Avoid chewing on the chipped tooth 
  • Wear a nightguard if you have bruxism 

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Do You Need Cosmetic Dentistry in Raleigh, NC? 

If you end up with a chipped tooth, don’t worry, because our cosmetic dentist can fix the problem. At Tyron Family Dentistry, we offer a wide range of dental cosmetic treatments that are personalized to fit your needs. Contact us today for an appointment. 

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