Excessive wear and tear caused due to grinding teeth or biting hard substances, and a forceful blow due to an accident can cause tooth chipping. Any weakened tooth, such as one with large fillings, is mostly prone to chipping, but that doesn’t leave intact teeth out of the equation either. Heartburns and acid reflux are two digestive conditions that increase the risk of damaged enamel, leading to weakened teeth. In addition, because tooth enamel wears over time naturally, two-thirds of those over 50 are known to report cracked or chipped teeth.
Usually, a chipped tooth isn’t towards the front of the mouth and is pretty minor, which is why you may not realize that you have one at all. However, some symptoms to look out for are gum irritation, pain when exerting pressure (i.e., biting), and feeling an uneven, jagged surface when running the tongue over the region.
While a chipped tooth isn’t an emergency (unless it’s causing severe pain), the weakened tooth is still at risk, which is why it’s best to get it checked at Ralph Dental LLC in Cinnaminson, New Jersey.
The treatment method chosen for a chipped tooth is widely dependent on its symptoms, severity, and location. A fairly minor chip is treated by smoothing and polishing the tooth surface; however, there are a handful of other treatments your dentist might recommend in case of an extensive chip:
Bonding is an easy procedure that lasts up to 10 years. Porcelain or resin is cemented onto the tooth’s surface to form its shape. The material is then hardened using ultraviolet lights. Upon drying, the dentist shapes the tooth further to fit in.
If the chip only affects part of the tooth, dental onlays can be applied to the surface of the molar. The dentist is likely to take a mold of the tooth and fit it onto the tooth through cementing.
Your dentist could also suggest shaving a millimeter of the tooth, making an impression, and attaching it to a permanent veneer that lasts for 30 years.
If you have the tooth fragment that chipped off, place it in a glass of milk to keep it alive and head to the dentist immediately. The dentist may be able to cement the fragment back.