If you suddenly find that you bit down on something that was too hard or you have been involved in an accident and chipped a tooth, you might wonder what your options are. Will the tooth need to be pulled? Are you stuck with fake teeth for the rest of your life? These are all thoughts that go through many people’s minds. The good news is that you are not stuck with artificial teeth; today there are many options to help restore the look of a chipped tooth without any major procedures taking place.
If your cracked tooth is in the rear portion of your mouth and is minor, as can sometimes occur when you chew on something that was not meant to be chewed on (ice, pencils), a dental filling can sometimes be applied. This is not your traditional amalgam (silver) filling; it is a tooth colored filling that blends in with the rest of your mouth. The structure of your tooth is then replenished and you are able to keep your natural teeth.
If the chipped tooth happens to be a front tooth, dental bonding might be an option for you. This virtually painless procedure simply requires removing a very small fraction of your enamel and adhering a bonding to it. The bonding is shaped to look just like your surrounding teeth and has the same color. This helps to strengthen the structure of your tooth while enhancing its appearance, making it look as if the chip was never there. Once the appropriate shape is created, the dental bonding is hardened with an ultraviolet ray. This makes your tooth look like new!
If the chip is excessive and the tooth cannot be saved with a simple filling or dental bonding, a dental crown might be necessary. This is a more invasive procedure, but it helps to save your natural tooth. This allows you to retain your natural tooth’s roots, while having an artificial tooth at the crown. The benefit to the dental crown is the fact that your jawbone still gets the stimulation of your natural tooth’s roots, enabling the bone to go through its natural cycle of dying and growing again without the risk of getting that sunken in look. The dental crown takes on the same appearance as your surrounding teeth, making it unnoticeable that you ever had a problem at all.
Your teeth were meant to help you chew food for easy digestion; they are not meant for use on non-edible objects as many people have the bad habit of doing. When you use your teeth as a “tool” you put them at risk for unsightly chips that can be embarrassing and require dental work.
Here are some of the worst dental habits that will leave you with teeth that could be unpleasant looking or even cause you some pain:
- Chewing ice – Ice was meant to be used to cool your drink down, not to chew on. Not only can chewing on ice wear down your enamel, it can downright fracture your teeth if they are already worn down.
- Using your teeth as tools – Do you use your teeth to open a stubborn package? This somewhat innocent act could cause your tooth to chip or break altogether, requiring you to need a root canal and bridge or crown to replace the now missing part of your tooth.
- Avoiding the use of a mouth guard – If you play any type of sport that could put your teeth at risk, you need to wear a mouth guard to prevent chips. This is true for any type of sport aside from the obvious, like football and wrestling. A mouth guard should also be worn during basketball, hockey, lacrosse, and racquetball.
- Oral piercings – Your mouth was not meant to be pierced. If you pierce your tongue or lip, the jewelry will cause excessive wear and tear on your enamel and even put your teeth at risk for chips or breakage depending on the type of jewelry you wear and its exact location.
- Grinding your teeth – If you have bruxism, otherwise known as teeth grinding, you could cause wear and tear on your teeth, making them weak over time. Eventually, your teeth could start to break because they can only withstand a certain amount of pressure. In order to avoid this, you should find out the reason why you grind your teeth as well as the appropriate measures to stop it, such as wearing a mouth guard or having orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth.
If you are guilty of any of the above habits, it is time to pay close attention to your dental health. You only get one chance at your permanent teeth, which means if you damage them, you are subjected to artificial teeth or various cosmetic dental procedures to enhance the teeth that are left. Use the appropriate tools and avoid putting things in your mouth that do not belong in order to ensure optimal oral health for many years to come.
Eating crunchy foods is something we do just about everyday. However, if you have ever chipped a tooth while chewing on a piece of hard candy, you know how quickly it can ruin your day. You could also discover a chipped tooth after falling or being hit in the face. However it happens, it can happen to anyone, and it will probably be when you least expect it.
Like any other part of your body, the strength of your tooth enamel has its limits. If your tooth is broken, fractured, or chipped, you need to take care of it as soon as possible. If the odd look and feel of a chipped tooth is not motivating enough to see your dentist as soon as you can, some other reasons include possibly damaging your tooth further and infection. You could even end up loosing the tooth if it is not treated properly.
Chipping a tooth is nothing you should take lightly, however, it can be repaired very easily with simple procedures. Usually a small piece of tooth enamel that has been chipped off is repaired with a filling or bonding. Larger pieces of tooth that are broken off are covered with a crown or a cap. In the meantime, take care of your tooth at home. Take over-the-counter pain reliever for pain, cover your tooth with wax paraffin or sugarless chewing gum if it has a jagged edge, and eat soft foods.