Depending on the location and severity of your chipped tooth, the process of treating a chipped tooth varies. A chipped tooth is not considered a medical emergency unless it is causing you severe pain or interfering with proper sleeping and eating. You should always pay a visit to your dentist as soon as possible to prevent infection and further damage. Dentists treat minor chips by smoothing and polishing the tooth. If your chip is more severe, a dentist may recommend tooth reattachment, bonding, a porcelain veneer, or a dental onlay.
If you were able to recover the portion of your tooth that chipped off, keep it moist by putting it in a glass of milk. The calcium found in milk will help you keep your tooth alive while traveling to the dentist. If no milk is available, stick the tooth in your gums, being careful not to swallow it. The faster you get to your dentist at Lovett Dental Corpus Christi, the more likely they will be able to repair your tooth.
When applying a porcelain veneer, the dentist smooths away a portion of your tooth’s enamel to clear room for the veneer. First, the dentist will make an impression of your tooth. Then, the dentist sends the impression off to a lab where they create a veneer. Once the lab crafts the permanent veneer, the dentist will bond it to your tooth. With modern technology, veneers now last up to 30 years.
With dental bonding, a dentist cements a composite resin or porcelain material to the surface of a tooth. Ultraviolet rays adhere the material to your tooth, and shaping fits the material to your tooth. A bond can last up to 10 years before you have to get it redone.
Dentists use dental onlays when a tooth is only partly chipped. When chips are slightly more significant, a dentist might recommend a dental crown instead. These are often applied to molars. Your dentist will take a mold of your affected tooth, and a lab will structure a dental onlay based on your tooth’s mold. Once the lab creates your onlay, the dentist will then fit and cement the onlay onto your tooth. Depending on the types of foods you eat and the normal wear and tear it receives, a dental onlay can last more than 20 years. A molar, for example, will wear quicker than one of your front teeth because it is subject to more daily force and pressure from chewing.
Complications of a Chipped Tooth
Although a chipped tooth is one of the more common dental injuries, it can become more severe if left untreated. A chip can affect the root of your tooth, resulting in an infection. If this happens, treatment is generally done with a root canal. If you begin to experience pain while eating, bad breath, a fever, swollen neck or jaw glands, or sensitivity to hot and cold, these may all be signs of an infection. In more common cases, a chipped tooth can be successfully treated using one of the methods described above. The sooner you have your tooth looked at and treated, the lower your chances of complications. Contact your dentist right away, and have the dental procedure done so you can begin the recovery process as soon as possible.
Treat Your Chipped Tooth at Lovett
At Lovett Dental Corpus Christi, we offer a full range of multidisciplinary dentistry that includes six forms of specialty care. Our team works to keep your teeth in top health and help you repair any problems along the way. Whether you have a dental emergency or are looking for a new dentist for your regular dental appointments, our office is here to help. The other forms of dentistry offered at Lovett Dental Corpus Christi include general dentistry, high-end cosmetic dentistry and children’s dentistry.
Don’t let the pain and discomfort of a chipped tooth impact your days any longer. Take the first step to recovering your chipped tooth by calling a specialist at Lovett Dental Corpus Christi at 361.256.7896 today.