How Does a Dentist Repair a Chipped Tooth?
What to do Before Going to the Dentist
- If you are experiencing pain, rinse your mouth with salt water and take an over the counter painkiller.
- To avoid the now jagged edge tooth from hurting you, cover it with sugar free chewing gum or paraffin wax.
How is it Repaired?
The most common dental injury is a chipped tooth. The procedure to fix it will depend on the extent of the chip. Here are some of the repair procedures your dentist may perform.
1. Dental Filling or Bonding
Your dentist will opt for dental filling if the chip is really small and at the back of the mouth. If the chip is not so severe your dentist may simply file the tooth to restore its smoothness. For a chipped tooth at the front of your mouth, the dentist will choose a procedure called bonding. This procedure is simple and does not require the use of a mouth numbing agent unless the tooth is decaying.
- The tooth is filed and a conditioning liquid is applied to it to make it rough so that the bonding material can stick to it.
- Next, an adhesive is applied to the tooth and the bonding material is fixed onto the tooth. The bonding material is a composite resin that is colored and shaped to match the tooth for a natural look.
- Finally, the dentist will use an ultraviolet light to instantly harden the resin.
2. Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are another option. Dental veneers are made from colored porcelain or composite resin. They cover the entire front part of the tooth to replace the chipped part. Your dentist will prepare the tooth by filing the enamel then making an impression of the tooth will be used to form the veneer.
After a week or two the dentist will fit the veneer and cement it into place. The dentist will apply a liquid onto your tooth to roughen it, special cement is applied to keep it from moving or falling off, then a special light is used to harden the cement quickly.
3. Root Canal
In case the chip damages the pulp (that is the section of the tooth that contains the nerve and blood vessels), you will need a root canal procedure. Otherwise a simple bonding procedure should suffice. When the pulp is exposed bacteria damages it and cause it to die. If not removed immediately, it can infect the tooth and as a result your tooth will have to be extracted. The root canal involves the removal of the dead pulp, cleansing your root canal, sealing it off and finally covering the tooth with a crown. Getting a root canal may take a couple of appointments to complete.
A chipped tooth can become a big deal if left untreated. Choose a dentist who knows how to efficiently and effectively handle this situation. This way, you can ensure the repaired tooth matches the rest of your teeth and still stays functional.