A chipped tooth is one of those things that often occur at the worst time possible. For the most part, these are not considered to be dental emergencies, but more severe cases do require emergency dental care.
The size of the portion of the tooth that is lost when it chips often determines what types of treatments the dentist decides to go with.
Treatments commonly used to address a chipped tooth
1. Filing down and polishing
Minor cases of chipped teeth often do not require more than the dentist filing down the tooth and polishing it. This helps to make the chip virtually impossible to detect.
2. Composite bonding
Composite bonding is another commonly used treatment for chipped teeth. It involves the use of a composite resin, and it is typically reserved for minor to medium chips. During the procedure, the dentist will prepare the patient's teeth for the composite by applying phosphoric acid. This helps roughen the teeth's surface, making it easier for the composite to stick to it.
The composite is then applied directly to the tooth, and it is shaped as desired. An ultraviolet light is used to harden the putty-like material, and it is polished to give it a shiny look, just like natural teeth.
Dental crowns are another popular option when it comes to treating a chipped tooth. Crowns can be used to address chips of all sizes, but they are best for medium to major chips, given their price tags. Crowns serve two primary purposes: They help protect the damaged tooth from saliva, food particles and bacteria, and they also restore the look and function of the tooth.
Crowns are most often made out of ceramics and porcelain, but other materials like gold, silver and a host of metal alloys can be used. The dentist might have to remove additional portions of the tooth being treated to make space for the crown.
Veneers are another way the appearance of a chipped tooth can be restored. These prosthetics serve as a mask that covers the front of a tooth, hiding any imperfections like chips, discoloration and stains. Veneers are made from porcelain or ceramics. and these devices can last up to 15 years when properly maintained.
It should be noted that veneers only cover the front of a tooth, so a patient might not be eligible for this treatment if the chip was on another area of the tooth besides the front.
During the installation, the dentist might remove a small portion of the enamel in the front of the tooth. This is done to prevent the prosthetic from making the tooth appear larger than normal. Once veneers have been installed, it is virtually impossible to tell if the person has had work done.
There is no reason to let a chipped tooth ruin your smile. Schedule a consultation with one of our dentists and explore your options.
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For more information or to schedule an appointment with Palm Beach Dentistry, request an appointment in our Delray Beach dental office here: https://www.palmbeachdentistry.com. Or call us at (561) 225-2057.
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