Poway and San Diego, CA
So you have a chipped tooth, and may be wondering, “what is the big deal?” Regardless of how it occurred, you may not be concerned with esthetics, but a chipped tooth could cause you oral health issues down the road, even if you do not feel self-conscious about it.
A chipped tooth can occur from trauma, eating something crunchy, or clenching and grinding of the teeth. Sometimes a tooth becomes chipped for what seems like no reason at all. In these cases, it could be an underlying oral health issue such as decay that caused the tooth to chip.
A tooth with a small chip may seem insignificant to some people, but it could increase the risk of other oral health problems. Anytime a tooth is fractured or chipped, the integrity of the tooth becomes compromised, meaning the tooth becomes weaker and more susceptible to further damage, sensitivity or tooth decay. Eventually, the tooth could suffer a more severe break, exposing the tooth’s nerve, which causes an immense amount of pain and discomfort. In these cases, often a root canal procedure may be necessary to protect the interior structure of the tooth’s root and to prevent total loss of the tooth.
Repairing a chipped tooth may be easier than you think. A chipped tooth may be repaired by the placement of a porcelain veneer, a dental crown, inlay/onlay or dental bonding.
- Veneer – A porcelain veneer is essentially an ultra thin shell that fits directly over the front surface of your tooth. It can hide a variety of imperfections in one tooth, lasts a decade or more, and looks completely natural.
- Dental crown – Unlike a veneer, a dental crown covers the entire outside structure of a tooth, and is typically recommended when a tooth has suffered extensive damage such as a large fracture. Dental crowns can also be made entirely of dental porcelain to look and feel just like a real tooth.
- Inlay/Onlay – This procedure is similar to a regular filling only larger. It is the in-between treatment for a tooth that needs a little more coverage, but not in need of a crown to fit over the whole tooth. Inlays or onlays can be made from either composite or porcelain, depending on the oral care needs of the patient. The results are completely natural, and beautiful.
- Dental Bonding – This procedure uses a composite material that is pliable when applied to the tooth. It is then shaped and formed to look like a real tooth, and then using a special ultraviolet light, the dentist will harden the material so that it will last you for years to come.
To determine which method of treatment is best for you, schedule a consultation with the dentist. Repairing a chipped tooth will provide you with esthetic results but also ensure that your tooth’s structural integrity is preserved.
If you have a chipped tooth, you should not ignore this seemingly insignificant concern. The problem may only worsen over time and eventually lead to tooth loss. Repairing a minor chip can be simple and easy, instead of risking extensive repairs or a tooth extraction later on.
For a consultation or to schedule your consultation for cosmetic dentistry, please call (858) 384-4009 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Carmel Mountain, Poway, and Rancho Bernardo, California.