What Should You Do With A Chipped Tooth?
Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the human body, but occasionally accidents occur, and a tooth may become chipped.
This can easily happen in contact sports, biting on something hard or being hit by a moving object such as a ball.
Unlike other parts of our body a chipped tooth cannot heal itself, so it’s important to know what you should do if you suffer any damage.
Save the piece that’s chipped off
If it’s a large piece that has chipped off, then it’s best to try to save it as it’s possible to glue it back on. Ideally you should store it in a clean container, and bizarre as it may sound, put it in a glass of saliva or milk as this will help to preserve it.
If it’s a small chip on the outer edge of your teeth, there’s a strong chance that the pulp (nerve) of the tooth hasn’t been damaged. If you don’t suffer any pain, then it’s an indication it’s not severe, but you should still make an appointment to see a dentist within a few days.
A minor chip is simple for a dentist to repair as he will smooth out the rough edges and replace the missing portion with some tooth coloured composite or glue it back. The composite is colour matched to your own teeth and very hardwearing and will last a long time.
Larger chip with no nerve damage
If it’s a larger chip and the pulp is still intact, then a dentist may decide to cap the broken tooth with a veneer or crown.
Dental veneers are thin slices of porcelain which cover the front of a chipped tooth. A veneer is made especially for you and your dentist will make an impression of the tooth. Once it’s been made it will be bonded back onto this tooth.
The alternative is having a crown fitted. There are two types of crown, one which is metal underneath and covered by porcelain or an all-over porcelain crown. Your tooth will have to be prepared, so it can accommodate either type of crown. The dentist will offer advice on what will work best for your circumstances, and a temporary crown will be created while your permanent one is made.
Big chip with nerve damage
If the chip is quite major and has caused pulp damage, then it can become infected and painful, so root canal treatment is the best option. Root canal is when the infected tooth is cleaned, and the damaged part removed. The tooth root is filled, and a crown is placed over it to make it strong again.
If none of these options are suitable for you, the dentist may consider tooth extraction and it will be replaced with a bridge, implant or removable denture.
Remember accidents do happen, so if you get your tooth chipped then come and talk to the dental experts at Dentistry Plus. We have five clinics across Perth and all our dentists are highly knowledgeable and our treatment extremely affordable.
We’ve been established ten years and we are covered with all health insurance funds and registered with DVA. Plus, you can book online, click here to make that appointment today.