If you ever chip a tooth, you’ll be unhappily surprised to discover a piece of your tooth in your mouth when you’re eating. The option your dentist recommends for fixing your tooth depends on how much of it has broken off and the health of the remaining part of the tooth. Following are the range of options for treating a chipped tooth.
If you’ve only chipped off a piece of enamel (the top layer of tooth) and the tooth is near the back of your mouth, Dr. Gowda may simply choose to add a filling. The filling can be made to match the color of your tooth.
If the part of the tooth that has chipped off is small and the tooth is easily visible when you’re talking or smiling, Dr. Gowda may choose to bond your tooth. It’s a simple procedure that doesn’t require any numbing agent.
Dr. Gowda prepares the tooth by creating light ridges on it to help the bonded portion adhere to the remaining part of the tooth. Next she places an adhesive on the tooth and covers it with a resin that matches your tooth color. She shapes the material to match the original shape of your natural tooth and then hardens your new bonded tooth using a special ultraviolet light.
Veneers are a more permanent method than tooth bonding to fix a chipped tooth. If your tooth has vertical fractures, bonding won’t work; you’ll need a veneer.
A veneer is a very thin covering of porcelain or resin that covers the front and sides of your tooth. It’s thicker in the area where your tooth has broken.
To make a veneer, Dr. Gowda makes an impression of the tooth and sends it to a lab that creates the veneer. She gives you a temporary veneer while your permanent one is made. At your final veneer appointment, Dr. Gowda makes light indentations on your tooth to help the veneer adhere to it. Then she uses a cement to place the new veneer on the tooth.
Once she’s satisfied that the veneer is perfect, she uses a light that helps the veneer adhere quickly to the cement.
Veneers can last anywhere from 10-15 years, whereas bonding may last 3-5 years. Also, veneers cover the entire tooth, providing more protection for the tooth than bonding does.
If you discover half of your tooth in your mouth, or if your tooth already has a significant amount of decay, a filling and tooth bonding aren’t likely to be options. You’ll need a crown.
If you’re getting a crown, Dr. Gowda must file down what’s left of your chipped tooth. It’ll be covered with the crown, which is a cap that covers the remaining part of the tooth.
Dr. Gowda takes impressions of your teeth and sends them to a lab where the crown is manufactured. You’ll receive a temporary crown while your permanent one is being made. When you arrive for the second visit, Dr. Gowda takes off the temporary crown and carefully places the new one, checking to see that the fit is perfect before she seals it in place.
Crowns today are made to match your surrounding teeth. The new tooth with the crown can look exactly like your original tooth if it’s porcelain, resin, or ceramic.
In a few cases, a chipped tooth can expose the center of the tooth, called the pulp. With no dentin or enamel protecting it, the pulp can get infected. A root canal removes any infected pulp. Dr. Gowda places antiseptic in the roots to avoid any new infection and seal the tooth. You’ll need a crown to cover the part of the tooth that remains.
Call or book an appointment online with Perfect Smiles Dentistry for expert, caring treatment for your dental needs.