A chipped tooth refers to a partial or complete breakage of the tooth structure, which can affect your enamel, dentin, or both.
Chipped teeth are a common dental problem that can happen due to traumatic injury, biting down on hard food, or even simple wear and tear over time. This condition can be painful and discomforting but can be restored by your dentist. This article explains chipped teeth and how you can fix them.
A chipped tooth refers to a partial or complete breakage of the tooth structure, which can affect your enamel, dentin, or both. Enamel is the hard, protective outer layer of the tooth, while dentin is the softer, inner layer that contains nerves and blood vessels. When the tooth is chipped, it can cause varying degrees of sensitivity, and pain, and even affect the appearance of the tooth.
You can get a chipped tooth when you bite down on hard substances, like candy or ice. Other reasons for chipped teeth include injury, falls, or accidents. If you play contact sports like boxing without mouthguards, then you might get a chipped tooth. Along with this, teeth grinding or clenching can also lead to a chipped tooth.
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The treatment for chipped teeth depends on the severity of the chip, the location of the tooth, and the underlying cause of the damage. Here are some common options for fixing chipped teeth.
Bonding is a simple and cost-effective way to fix minor chips in the teeth. The process involves applying a tooth-coloured resin material to the damaged area and then hardening it with a special light. Dental bonding can improve the appearance of the chipped tooth and restore its shape and function.
Dental veneers can be used to fix various cosmetic dental issues, including chipped teeth. They are thin, custom-made shells that are put over the front area of the teeth to make them look better. Their material is typically made of porcelain or composite resin, and it can last for many years with proper care.
Dental crowns are also custom-made tooth-shaped caps placed over the damaged tooth to protect and restore its function. Crowns are usually made of porcelain, metal, or a combination of both, and they can last for many years. They are typically used for more severe cases of chipping, where the tooth structure has been significantly compromised.
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If the chip is deep enough to expose the inner layer of the tooth, it may cause the tooth's nerve to become damaged or infected. In such cases, a root canal treatment may be necessary to remove the damaged nerve and restore the tooth's health.
In rare cases where the tooth is severely damaged and cannot be saved, extraction may be necessary. This is typically done as a last resort, and the missing tooth can be replaced with a dental implant or bridge.
Depending on the severity of the chip, your dentist can recommend the best treatment option for your situation. However, prevention is always the best approach, and taking steps to protect your teeth can help avoid chipping in the first place.
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