Chipped Tooth: How to Treat and Deal with a Chipped Tooth
Some of the most significant issues with oral health are those that we don’t expect – the chip here, the crack there. While they may seem like minor damages compared to other issues, they can be painful and cause significant discomfort. Whether your molar is broken or chipped, knowing what to do and how to repair the damage as quickly as possible is helpful.
Often caused by falls, blows to the face, using our teeth to tear packages, or even just biting down too hard on something, a broken or chipped tooth affects many of us. The enamel on our teeth is one of the toughest in our bodies, but it can still be damaged relatively easily.
We recommend that you consider visiting a dental clinic as soon as possible to prevent further damage and find the best way to treat the damaged tooth and restore your smile to its original glory.
If you have chipped a tooth in Brighton, Queensland and need an expert opinion, reach out to our team at Brighton Dental Suite.
What Causes a Tooth to Break?
A variety of factors can contribute to the possibility of a broken or fractured tooth, such as an accidental fall or receiving a blow to the face. Biting directly on ice or hard candy, using your teeth to open packages, or even grinding your teeth in your sleep can all cause a chipped or broken tooth.
Here are some of the more frequent causes:
- Physical impact: A hit to the face or mouth can lead to a chipped or broken tooth. The impact on a face or mouth can come from sports accidents, falls, or other mishaps.
- Tooth decay: When decay weakens a tooth, it becomes more prone to chipping or breaking.
- Grinding: Bruxism, or tooth grinding, can put pressure on teeth, leading to cracks or chips over time.
- Acid reflux: Gastric reflux can erode teeth with acid, causing enamel damage and making them vulnerable to breakage.
- Old dental work: Fillings that have become loose or fallen out can leave the tooth exposed to damage.
• Unhealthy diet: A diet high in sugar and acid can cause tooth erosion and increase the risk of chipping or breaking.
The Risk Factors for a Broken Tooth
If you regularly participate in contact sports, it’s best to invest in a mouthguard. Also, avoid crunching down on ice cubes, hard candy, and anything else that might be too tough for your teeth. Never use your teeth for anything other than eating, even if you’ve broken or chipped a tooth before it can happen again – so take extra care when it comes to your dental care. Cavities, acidic foods, and heartburn can also weaken your enamel, so carefully managing sugar and acidic foods like coffee, fruits, fruit juices, and spicy foods can go a long way.
Diagnosing a Broken Tooth
It’s usually relatively simple to diagnose a chipped or broken tooth, as it affects the appearance of your smile and causes pain. You can feel the area with your finger or tongue, which may be more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures.
Treatment Options When Dealing With a Broken Tooth
If you’ve experienced a break or chip in your tooth, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, rinse your mouth with warm water, floss around the area to get rid of food particles and irritating the area, and use temporary dental wax or bonding materials to cover the jagged edges of the break. You can pick up these materials at most drug stores and pharmacies.
Care For a Chipped Tooth
Dental specialists recommend taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pills, icing the affected area, and using temporary professional dental bondings or waxes to coat the jagged edge of the tooth until you can visit the dentist to get the proper treatment.
What Are the Common Treatments Dentists Deploy on Chipped Teeth?
Dentists have several options for treating chipped teeth, which can vary based on factors such as the size and severity of the chip, the tooth’s location, and its overall health. Some common treatments include the following:
- Dental bonding (using a resin material to fill in chips),
- Dental crowns (placing a cap over the tooth),
- Inlays and onlays (custom-fit tooth-shaped restorations),
- Veneers (thin porcelain shells on front teeth) and dental contouring (smoothing rough edges by removing enamel).
- The right treatment plan will depend on the specifics of each case and the patient’s goals.
Once your plan is determined, the team at Brighton Dental Suite will create a tailored treatment that fits your case. Depending on the severity and size of the chip, they may recommend a crown, a veneer, or complete removal of the damaged teeth. In some cases, he/she may also suggest an implant, dental bridge or dentures.
White Fillings: A straightforward filling can be done for more minor chips. A composite filling uses a material to fill the space, and the result looks and functions just like the original tooth. This process is fast, painless, and usually requires no numbing agents.
Dental Bonding: Another method of treatment is dental bonding. Bonding involves adhering a tooth-coloured resin to the affected area and filling in any chips or cracks in the enamel. Not only does this restore the tooth’s appearance, but it also strengthens it and makes it less likely to break again in the future.
Pain Relief: If the chip or break is causing discomfort or pain, your dentist may prescribe a painkiller. Your dentist might also recommend an antibiotic if there is an infection present.
Our Tips for Keeping Your Teeth Strong and Avoiding Potential Cracks
Taking good care of your teeth at home is essential to ensure that no further damage or fractures occur. Flossing and brushing twice daily is crucial for keeping your teeth healthy and strong. Visit your dentist twice a year for check-up and professional cleaning and to ensure your teeth remain healthy.
Additionally, eating healthy foods, including plenty of leafy greens and fruits, can help to keep your teeth in good condition. Avoiding high-sugar snacks and drinks and cutting back on your intake of acidic foods and beverages can go a long way in preventing dental decay which weaken your teeth and lead to chips or breaks to your teeth.
Finally, avoid hard objects such as pens, pencils, and ice cubes, as they can cause chips or breakage to your teeth.
Our Thoughts on Broken or a Chipped Tooth
A chipped front tooth can affect bite or speech; our advice is that a dentist assesses the tooth. Chipped teeth are common, caused by trauma, decay, grinding, reflux, old fillings, and diet. Symptoms are evident, and prompt dental attention is essential to prevent further damage and maintain tooth function and appearance. Options to fix a chipped tooth include bonding, crowns, inlays and onlays, veneers, and contouring. Consult a dentist to determine the best treatment for you if you suffer from any of the above dental symptoms.
Schedule an Appointment Today
We offer same-day visits and late opening hours that work around your schedule. Contact our friendly, caring today to book a time to examine your chipped tooth in Brighton! We’re providers with Medibank, HCF and MDF. You can claim your health fund rebate on the spot with our HICAPS machine.
* Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.
Common Questions & Answers for A Chipped Tooth
What should I do if my tooth is chipped or broken?
Visit your dentist immediately. In the meantime, you can rinse your mouth with warm water, floss around the area to remove any food particles, and use temporary dental bondings or waxes to cover the jagged edges of the break. Additionally, take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pills and ice the affected area for relief.
What are some treatments for repairing a broken tooth?
Depending on the severity and size of the chip, your dentist may recommend a simple filling, a crown, a veneer, a root canal, or complete removal of the damaged tooth. Bonding is another option for more minor chips, where the composite material is moulded over the chip and then hardened with a blue light.
Is fixing a chipped tooth painful?
Treatment should not be painful, but some discomfort may occur during healing after the procedure.
How much does it cost to repair a chipped tooth?
The cost of repairing a chipped tooth can vary based on the damage’s severity, the tooth’s location, and the treatment required. The cost can range from $200 to $1,500 or more. If the chip is small, it may cost around $200 to $400 to repair with dental bonding or a filling. However, if the chip is more prominent, a dental crown or veneer may be needed, costing $1,000 to $1,500 or more.
To get an accurate estimate, it’s best to consult with a dentist.
What steps can I take to prevent chipping or breaking a tooth?
Investing in a mouthguard and avoiding hard objects like pens, pencils, and ice cubes can help to reduce the risk of a chipped or broken tooth. Eating healthy foods and reducing sugary snacks or acidic beverages can also go a long way in preventing chips or breaks. Finally, this is part where many people seem to fail; you need to continue and maintain correct dental care for your teeth. This will typically include flossing daily and brushing twice daily to keep your teeth strong and healthy.