As much as you care for your teeth, they can break or chip for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, teeth chip or break while chewing on a hard piece of candy, become damaged playing sports, and often teeth break due to an old amalgam filling weakening the tooth’s structure. However a tooth chips, it’s important to see a dentist right away.
The types of problems which can occur after chipping or breaking a tooth depend on the damage. Though minor chips often aren’t serious and sometimes have no symptoms, chips can cause tooth sensitivity, pain, and even serious infections of the tooth pulp and/or root. If you chip a tooth, it’s important to have it examined by a dentist and receive the proper treatment to prevent more serious problems from occurring later on.
The right treatment for a chipped tooth depends on the extent of the damage. A minor chip might require no treatment at all. Sometimes, minor chips can be sharp, in which case our dentist would smooth the tooth’s edges to prevent soft tissue injuries. If a minor chip creates sensitivity or an aesthetic concern, we can fill the chip, using a dermal bonding material matched to the surrounding tooth’s enamel color.
More severely chipped teeth require more extensive treatment. If you have a serious chip that did not damage the tooth’s pulp or root, we’ll likely recommend fitting a cap or crown over the tooth to protect these delicate internal structures from future infection or damage. If your tooth’s pulp was damaged when the tooth was broken or severely chipped, then you might need a root canal procedure prior to the placement of a crown to prevent a serious infection from occurring.
Although minor chips aren’t too serious a dental problem, serious chips and breaks can require extensive dental work to restore your smile and dental health. To prevent chipped and broken teeth, avoid chewing any hard objects like ice, hard candy, fingernails, or on the end of a pen. It’s also essential to wear the proper protective gear when participating in sports.
If you chip or break a tooth, we recommend scheduling an appointment with our San Diego dentist, Dr. Schaffer, right away. Dr. Schaffer will inspect your broken tooth, take x-rays if necessary, and help you determine the best course of treatment to preserve your tooth and dental health. We welcome you to contact our office today.