If you've chipped a tooth, it's important to seek treatment as early as possible because chipped teeth are more vulnerable to decay and further damage, not to mention how they affect the appearance of the smile. Restorative dentistry treatments can repair the damage of chipped teeth and restore dental appearance. To undergo treatment for chipped teeth, schedule a consultation with Lake Jackson, TX dentists Brian K. Bell and Justin J. Crocker.
Treatment Options to Repair Chipped Teeth
Chipped teeth often occur unexpectedly and most commonly from an accident or sports-related injury. Regardless of the cause, it's important to seek treatment for a chipped tooth as soon as possible to prevent further damage, like tooth decay and root canal infections. Fortunately, there are many cosmetically appealing options for treating chipped teeth.
- Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers are a great option for repairing front-facing chipped teeth. Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin, tooth-shaped fabrications that are bonded to the teeth to improve appearance. Each veneer is custom-made to the desired size, color, and shape.
- Dental bonding: Similar to porcelain veneers, dental bonding treatment is used to repair damage or other flaws of the front-facing teeth. Dental bonding treatment uses a soft, putty-like resin instead of porcelain to improve dental appearance. The resin is directly applied and shaped on the chipped tooth. Once the resin is adjusted to the desired appearance, it is hardened and polished to complete the treatment process.
- Onlays: Onlays are another option for repairing chipped teeth and are well suited to repairing chipped molars. Sometimes called “partial crowns,” onlays are useful when damage is extensive but not severe enough to require a full crown.
- Dental crowns: Dental crowns may be used to repair severely chipped or damaged teeth. A dental crown is a tooth-shaped restoration that completely encases a damaged tooth. Dental crowns are highly effective at restoring dental appearance and function.
Tips to Prevent Chipped Teeth
Although most chipped teeth occur unexpectedly and without warning, there are steps you can take to help prevent chipped teeth, such as:
- Wear a mouth guard while playing sports: Sports-related injuries are a common cause of chipped teeth. Wearing a mouth guard while playing sports, including rollerblading and skateboarding, can help protect the teeth and prevent chips.
- Replace metal fillings: Silver amalgam fillings can expand and contract when exposed to changes between hot and cold foods. Over time, this expansion and contraction can cause cracks and chips in the teeth. Replacing old metal fillings with tooth-colored fillings, which don't expand or contract, can help protect the teeth.
- Avoid chewing on hard items: Chewing on hard items, like pen caps, fingernails, and even hard foods, like ice and corn nuts, can lead to chipped teeth. Avoid chewing on these items to reduce your risk of chipped teeth.
- Don't use your teeth to open packages: Opening plastic packages with your teeth can lead to dental damage, including chips. Avoid using your teeth as tools to prevent chips and fractures.
Which Treatments Are Right for You?
Drs. Bell and Crocker offer many treatments to repair dental damage and improve the appearance of your smile. To find out which treatments are right for you, we invite you to schedule a consultation.