A chipped tooth is a common dental concern we treat. It happens during accidents and sports every day. It is not necessarily a dental emergency unless you are in a great deal of pain and the inner layers are exposed. However, we do recommend contacting your local Owens Cross Roads, AL dentist as soon as possible for treatment. Your dentist will need to repair your chipped or broken tooth. If you do not seek treatment, your tooth is susceptible to further damage and infection. Bacteria can enter the inside of the tooth and cause a painful infection. Or a small chip can weaken a tooth and leave it vulnerable to more severe damage.
Dr. Elizabeth Duling is an Owens Cross Roads, AL dentist that provides many treatment options for chipped teeth. She will examine your tooth to determine the extent of the damage and then suggest the proper treatment.
Treatment for a Chipped Tooth in Owens Cross Roads, AL
For a simple and small chip in your tooth, your dentist will suggest dental bonding. This versatile dental treatment is commonly used for less complicated chips. It is very affordable and your dentist can complete the treatment in a single day. Your dentist will apply the composite resin directly to the tooth and sculpt it into the desired shape by hand. However, the bonding material is not permanent and your dentist will need to replace it every three to ten years.
A porcelain veneer is a great choice to repair a chipped tooth if you are worried about aesthetics. This is a permanent solution that can treat moderate to major tooth damage. A tooth veneer is a thin shell that a dentist will bond the front of a tooth. This cosmetic dental restoration can hide any blemish including a chipped tooth. We can custom-make it to blend in with the rest of your natural, remaining teeth.
A dental crown is also used to treat a significantly chipped tooth. However, unlike a dental veneer, the dental crown will cover the entire tooth like a cap. This is also a permanent solution that will protect the tooth from further damage and restore its strength and function. Dr. Duling offers CEREC custom dental crowns. This means she can make and place your new crown in a single visit.
Most patients will not need root canal therapy for a chipped tooth. However, if the chip is severe and extends into the root canal of the tooth, it could damage the tissue there. Also, if you do not seek treatment as soon as possible after you chip your tooth, you will increase your risk of infection. In both of these instances, root canal therapy is necessary to remove the damaged or infected tissue inside the tooth.
How to Prevent a Chipped Tooth
It is difficult to prevent this accident from occurring. However, a few simple steps can at least lower your risk. You can start by cutting out bad habits that include chewing on hard objects. This would include ice, hard candies, pens, pencils, etc. Also, for patients that participate in sports, we offer custom mouthguards. These are superior to the counter mouthpieces. They are made of strong and thicker materials that will cushion a hard blow to the face. This will better protect your teeth while you are playing the game!