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How to Fix a Chipped Tooth?

August 27, 2021

If you’ve experienced a chipped tooth, this guide will guide you through the causes, types, costs, duration, and potential ways to fix a chipped tooth, both at home and with professional help.

A chipped tooth is a widespread phenomenon that occurs as we age.

During childhood, we may break our teeth, injuring the adjacent few and making a couple chipped due to various external injuries or mishaps. There are numerous ways in which we may damage our teeth. In fact, in some cases, the damage may be extensive owing to horrendous external injuries.

The only solution to get your tooth repaired in such conditions is to visit your dentist and act immediately.

What Is a Chipped Tooth? 

A chipped tooth is a part of a tooth that is dismembered or broken due to various reasons, mainly injury, aging, poor oral hygiene, or bad diet.

To understand what causes chipped teeth, we must thoroughly know the enamel. 

Enamel and Its Role:

It is one of the most complex parts of the human body. It is the most critical tissue that makes up for teeth in the human body, as well as in animals and other living species. 

The enamel is rich in minerals, and calcium phosphate is its active ingredient.

The visible portion when we smile reflects our personality, while a chipped tooth may be problematic.

Over time, the enamel continues to decay with continuous exposure to either acidic substances or poor oral hygiene, which leads to the chipped tooth.  

See Also – Dentures: Types and Uses

Causes That Lead to a Chipped Tooth

Several causes lead to a chipped or cracked tooth, some of them are but may not be limited to:

  • External Injury:

Accidents or injuries, which can result in chipping or broken teeth, are familiar to anyone of any age. Careful planning and treatment of our overall health is essential in all activities, particularly those with the highest chance of injury.

  • Aging:

The reason we age is that our body’s structure changes, which can lead to the weakening of different aspects of our body, including the dental structure. Aging can lead to an increased risk of chipped or broken teeth.

  • Oral Hygiene:

Poor oral hygiene significantly affects your oral health. Regular flossing, brushing, and dental checks, which include damaged teeth, can prevent dental problems.

  • Teeth Grinding (Bruxism):

Grinding teeth often in sleep is a routine. In time, it can result in the deterioration of teeth and, in some instances, cause chipped or damaged teeth. A nightguard can be used to aid in reducing bruxism.

  • Poor Diet:

Consuming too many acidic beverages and foods can cause tooth enamel to weaken over time. A diet deficient in essential nutrients can cause dental issues, such as chips in teeth. A balanced diet is beneficial for the overall health of your mouth.

  • Alcohol Consumption:

Excessive alcohol consumption can cause bad oral hygiene. Alcohol can cause the loss of water, decrease saliva production, and lead to a greater chance of developing dental problems such as chipped teeth.

  • Tooth Decay and Cavities:

Poor dental health and a diet high in sugary or acidic foods could result in tooth decay and tooth decay. Weaker teeth are more susceptible to chipping. Regular dental exams and good dental hygiene can prevent chipped or decayed teeth.

A physical examination in the dentist’s clinic will determine whether you may have a chipped tooth, and after a round of consultation, the best treatment method is designed.

Our specialized dentists at Kirkland Premiere Dentistry deal with such situations with ease in numerous ways.

The tooth is generally reattached after a thorough dental examination, giving one a perfect look.

What Are The Types of Chipped Teeth

Chipped teeth can vary in severity, and different chips can occur. Here are some common types of chipped teeth:

  • Tiny Chip:
    • Description: A small chip on the tooth’s surface.
    • What it’s like Usually, it doesn’t hurt and may be hard to notice.
  • Cracked Tooth:
    • Description: A giant chip that goes deeper into the tooth.
    • What it’s like: It can hurt your tooth, especially when eating.
  • Fractured Cusp:
    • Description: A chip on the pointy part of your tooth.
    • What it’s like: It might not hurt now but could later.
  • Broken Tooth:
    • Description: A big chip splits the tooth into two parts.
    • What it’s like: It usually hurts a lot and needs quick attention.
  • Split Tooth:
    • Description: A broken tooth with two separate parts.
    • What it’s like Often needs a dentist to fix it.
  • Root Crack:
    • Description: A crack that starts in the root and goes up.
    • What it’s like: It doesn’t hurt much at first but could cause problems later.
  • Chipped Front Tooth:
    • Description: A chip on the front teeth.
    • What it’s like: Changes how your smile looks and might feel sensitive.
  • Chipped Back Tooth:
    • Description: A chip on the back teeth.
    • What it’s like: It can affect chewing and might be uncomfortable.
  • Horizontal Crack:
    • Description: A chip that goes sideways across the tooth.
    • What it’s like: It might hurt and could make your tooth less stable.
  •  Tiny Lines on the Tooth:
    • Description: Small cracks on the outside of the tooth.
    • What it’s like: It’s usually a minor deal, but it might bother you if you see them.

Some of the Methods to Fix a Chipped Tooth:

Dental professionals employ several effective methods to fix a chipped tooth. Here’s a detailed overview of the methods used in fixing a chipped tooth:

  • Bonding:
    • What is it? Dentists use a tooth-colored material to fix the chipped part.
    • How does it work? They apply the material, shape it to match your tooth, and then make it hard with a special light.
    • Why choose it? It’s quick and affordable, making your tooth look and work better.
  • Porcelain Veneer:
    • What is it? A thin, tooth-colored shell that covers the chipped tooth.
    • How does it work? Dentists remove a bit of the tooth surface, put it on the veneer, and bond it.
    • Why choose it? It’s a durable, natural-looking fix for chipped teeth, improving appearance and strength.
  • Dental Onlays:
    • What is it? Used for more significant chipping or damage.
    • How does it work? Custom-made onlays fit the damaged area and get bonded to the tooth.
    • Why choose it? Onlays are a good option, preserving more of your natural tooth than a full crown.
  • Cosmetic Coloring and Contouring:
    • What is it? Fixes chipping, discoloration, and tooth shape.
    • How does it work? Dentists reshape the chipped part and can add color to match your other teeth.
    • Why choose it? It’s a simple way to improve your smile’s look.
  • Timely Consultation:
    • Why is it important? Don’t wait if you chip a tooth.
    • What happens if you delay? Waiting can lead to more pain and problems with your oral health.
  • Specialized Dental Consultation:
    • What is it? Talk to dental experts if you chip or break a tooth.
    • Why is it helpful? They can check your situation and guide you on the best treatment.

How much does it cost to fix a chipped tooth?

Fixing a chipped tooth comes with different costs, depending on factors like how bad the chip is and the kind of fix you choose. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Bonding:
    • Cost Range: Between $100 and $400 per tooth.
    • What it means: Bonding is a wallet-friendly way to fix a chipped tooth.
  • Porcelain Veneer:
    • Cost Range: Around $500 to $2,500 per veneer.
    • What it means: Porcelain veneers cost more but give you a strong and good-looking fix.
  • Dental Onlays:
    • Cost Range: Typically $500 to $1,200 per relay.
    • What it means: Onlays are middle-ground, not as cheap as bonding but not as expensive as others.
  • Cosmetic Coloring and Contouring:
    • Cost Range: Between $50 and $300 per tooth.
    • What it means: This is a more affordable choice for minor fixes.
  • Full Dental Crown:
    • Cost Range: Generally $800 to $2,500 per crown.
    • What it means: A full dental crown might be suggested if the damage is significant. Costs can vary based on the materials used.

Remember, these are rough estimates; the actual cost depends on where you are, how bad your tooth is, and what your dentist charges. Some dental insurance plans might cover part of the cost.

How long does it take to fix a chipped tooth?

Fixing a chipped tooth can take different amounts of time based on what method your dentist uses:

  • Bonding:
    • Time Estimate: Around 30 minutes to an hour per tooth.
    • What it means: It is a quick process where the dentist applies a particular material, shapes it, and hardens it with a light.
  • Porcelain Veneer:
    • Time Estimate: Usually needs two appointments.
    • What it means: The first visit involves preparing your tooth and getting a temporary veneer. The custom veneer is bonded for the second visit, taking about 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Dental Onlays:
    • Time Estimate: Usually two visits.
    • What it means: The first visit involves preparing your tooth and getting a temporary one. The custom is only bonded on the second visit, taking 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Cosmetic Coloring and Contouring:
    • Time Estimate: Usually done in one visit.
    • What it means: The dentist reshapes and colors your chipped tooth to match the others in a single session.
  • Full Dental Crown:
    • Time Estimate: Typically needs two visits.
    • What it means: The first visit involves preparing your tooth and getting a temporary crown. The permanent crown is bonded on the second visit, taking about 30 minutes to an hour.

Remember, these are just general times, and your appointment might differ. Always talk to your dentist to understand how long your treatment will take before starting.

How to fix a chipped tooth at home

You can take some temporary measures at home to fix a chipped tooth.

  • Rinse Your Mouth:
    • Why: Clean around the chipped tooth.
    • How: Swish warm water gently in your mouth.
  • Save Broken Pieces:
    • Why: Save any pieces of the chipped tooth.
    • How: Put them in a container with some milk or saliva.
  • Control Bleeding:
    • Why: Stop any bleeding.
    • How: Press a clean cloth or gauze against the chipped area. Use a cold compress if needed.
  • Manage Pain:
    • Why: Ease any pain.
    • How: Take over-the-counter pain relievers following the instructions.
  • Cover Sharp Edges:
    • Why: Protect your mouth from sharp edges.
    • How: Use dental wax or sugarless gum to cover the chipped area.
  • Avoid Certain Foods:
    • Why: Prevent more damage.
    • How: Stick to soft foods, and don’t chew on the chipped side.

If you need to fix a chipped tooth, we would be happy to offer a consultation with our specialized dental surgeons, who will guide you through every step.

Chipped teeth treatment must not be prolonged as it affects oral health in the long run, causing more pain and discomfort.

Visit us at Kirkland Premiere Dentistry today and let your fears be allayed.

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