The severity of a chipped tooth can range from anywhere between a minor aesthetic issue to a dental emergency. Despite the fact that dental enamel is the hardest substance in […]
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The severity of a chipped tooth can range from anywhere between a minor aesthetic issue to a dental emergency.
Despite the fact that dental enamel is the hardest substance in the whole body (even harder than our bones!), there are still many reasons why our teeth can become susceptible to chips or damage.
The problem usually comes down to one of two factors:
Our teeth are thin and so excess pressure exerted upon them can cause damage
It’s possible for our enamel to become worn which leaves teeth weaker
Fortunately, a chipped tooth is not the end of the world. You have many routes to go forward with getting your smile back, or, in many cases, getting an all-new and improved smile.
Our preferred chipped tooth treatment here at Marylebone Smile Clinic is using veneers, although some patients may need remedial dental work before they are suitable candidates for veneers.
Carry on reading to find out how serious a chipped tooth is, what the best course of action is after your tooth chips, and how we can repair your chipped tooth (or teeth) with veneers.
Is a chipped tooth an emergency?
For most people who chip their teeth it is not an emergency. However, it is possible for a chip to become an emergency if it causes severe structural damage, exposes the root, or a significant amount of tooth has been chipped away.
In most cases, people who chip their teeth do so without even realising it. Especially in the case of chipped molars which are difficult to see when you smile. If this happens to you and your chipped tooth is causing you no pain or discomfort then you may be able to wait until your next dentist appointment to bring it up, or you can make a standard appointment with your dentist.
If you do feel pain after chipping your tooth, then you should try to make an emergency appointment with your dentist, regardless of whether your pain is severe or it comes and goes.
Sharp pains after tooth damage can indicate that the nerve is exposed, in which case you may need a root canal to avoid excess pain and prevent infections.
What to do when you chip your tooth
If you can keep the broken-off piece of tooth in either milk or saliva, then there is a chance that your dentist will be able to cement it back onto your tooth.
This will likely only be the case if the chip is substantial, as more often than not people swallow the chipped piece of tooth if it is small.
You may be left with a sharp tooth in your mouth that is causing discomfort or cutting you. If so, then cover your tooth with a temporary filling material (or sugar-free chewing gum, if you cannot access any) until your dentist appointment.
It’s important to remain calm if you chip your tooth. As we have mentioned, it is quite a common occurrence and is easily fixable.
How to fix chipped teeth
How we choose to fix your tooth will depend on how severe your damage is and what tooth is chipped. What will be suitable for repairing a chipped tooth with slight damage will not be suitable for repairing a tooth that has severe damage.
Furthermore, as we are cosmetic dentists, we will only deal with cosmetic issues. If your chipped tooth needs medical treatment then you will need to visit your dentist first.
Slightly chipped tooth
If you have a front tooth with a slight chip, then the best solution will likely be porcelain veneers.
Because veneers are so thin, they are able to cover any chips so that your teeth look very natural, and they will not add too much additional structure to the teeth. They are also very strong and durable and will last for up to 20 years before needing to be replaced.
Veneers are excellent at performing complete smile transformations, so this is the perfect opportunity to address any other aesthetic issues that you may have with your teeth such as fluorosis or a narrow smile. You can do this by receiving veneers on other teeth only as needed or by following our ‘all on four’ treatment for the best results.
Badly chipped tooth
If your chip is severe and a substantial amount of tooth loss has occurred, then veneers may not be suitable. A better solution, in this case, will likely be a dental crown to completely cover the remaining tooth structure, potentially following a root canal.
Crowns can come in a variety of colours and materials. Porcelain crowns can match the natural colour of your teeth and are preferred for front teeth.
Another option at your disposal is a dental implant. This involves removing the damaged tooth and fixing an artificial one in its place. This is not the same as dentures where the tooth is temporary, as implants are fixed to a metal screw that is drilled into your jaw bone.
Does a chipped tooth grow back?
No, a chipped tooth will not grow back. Teeth are unable to repair themselves because they are not living tissue like our skin, muscles, or bones are.
We are born with all the teeth that we will ever have, that’s why we should take very good care of them!
If you have noticed your teeth are wearing down over time, then you should visit your dentist to find out why and hopefully prevent the damage from becoming worse.
Chipped tooth veneers
Whilst we should try to take care of our teeth as best as we can to avoid damage, sometimes accidents happen that are unavoidable.
If you have damaged your teeth and are unhappy with how they now look, remember that you don’t have to put up with this forever! Get in touch with our clinic in Marylebone, London, and our world-class cosmetic dentists can help.