You may think that if a chipped tooth is not causing you any pain, then that means it does not need to be fixed. However, even small dental chips can cause you problems in the future if left untreated.
Why Fix a Chipped Tooth?
You should always call our office if you chip a tooth. We will be able to evaluate the severity of the chip and see if there is more extensive damage beyond what can be seen on the surface of the tooth. Even a small chip leaves the structure of your tooth damaged, and a damaged tooth is more vulnerable to further chips and cracks. The chip can also extend deeper than you previously realized and affect the sensitive pulp inside your tooth. If a piece of your tooth chips that far down, it can damage your nerve endings and cause severe pain. Chipped teeth are also highly susceptible to infection, which can lead to serious health problems and even be life-threatening if left untreated. That is why it is best to come see us as soon as possible after you chip a tooth, so we can assess the damage and prevent you from needing more extensive dental work in the future from an untreated, underlying problem.
Options For Fixing a Chipped Tooth
Your treatment will depend on the size and severity of your dental chip. Minor chips can typically be fixed using fillings or dental bonding. These treatments involve using a tooth-colored composite material to create the proper shape to fill in the chipped area, then hardening the material in place with an ultraviolet light. For more severe chips, we might suggest either veneers or crowns. Veneers are porcelain caps that are bonded in place over the front of your natural teeth, while crowns cover the entire existing tooth. Veneers and crowns both require two office visits to be placed, but are highly durable and natural-looking.
For dental chips that have extended down into the tooth pulp, we may need to perform a root canal. This is the best way to remove any infected pulp, as well as small pieces of your chipped tooth that could lead to further infection and serious complications. Contact our office right away if you have chipped a tooth so we can discuss your treatment options.