Enamel is the outer layer of your teeth. It provides a durable shield and protects your teeth from decay and bacteria. Your tooth enamel is one of the strongest substances in your body. However, it does have limits and can be chipped if enough pressure is applied. Once you chip your tooth, it does not grow back. Dr. Keith Boenning and Dr. Nate Dancykier are expert general dentists that offer several treatments to fix a chipped tooth in Towson, MD.
What Causes a Chipped Tooth?
Even though your teeth are very strong, they are not indestructible. With enough pressure, they can crack and break. It is actually common for people to get small chips here and there throughout their life. However, a larger chip will have to be addressed by a dentist. Chipped teeth can be caused by:
- Teeth grinding: Bruxism (teeth grinding) exerts excessive force on teeth, leading to chips over time.
- A blow to the face (like through contact sports): A fall, impact, or sports injury can create enough force that will result in chipped teeth.
- Chewing on hard objects: Chewing on hard objects such as ice, nuts, pen caps or unpopped popcorn kernels can cause chips.
- Car accidents: Many people who are involve in car accidents experience trauma to the face which can result in chipped teeth.
- Cavities: Tooth decay can weaken the tooth enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to chipping.
- Weakened enamel: Acidic foods, acidic reflux, or tooth erosion can compromise enamel strength.
- Genetics: Some people may simply inherent weaker enamel, increasing the risk of chips.
Repairing Your Chipped Tooth
It is actually important to repair your chipped tooth. Even a small chip can create instability in the tooth and leave it vulnerable to further damage. A larger chip may leave the interior of the tooth exposed to germs and bacteria. This can cause an infection. The treatment for that is a root canal or extraction. Fixing a chipped tooth will help protect the tooth from further damage and restore your smile.
Treatment for a Chipped Tooth in Towson, MD
Dr. Keith Boenning and Dr. Nate Dancykier provide several treatment options for patients who chip their teeth. After a brief consult, they will suggest the best treatment option for you, depending on the severity of the damage. A small chip may only require a single visit to fix, while a large chip may need several trips to the dental office to fix.
A dental filling can be used to fixed a chipped tooth. Your dentist may opt to use this treatment if the chip is small and does not involve a significant portion of the tooth’s structure. This is a simple and quick treatment that your dentist can use to restore the shape and foundation of the tooth. They will use a tooth colored composite material to fill in the chipped area of the tooth. It will match the tooth’s natural color and appearance.
Tooth bonding is a popular and affordable dental treatment that dentists use for various cosmetic reasons. Your dentist may suggest dental bonding to correct a chipped tooth for several reasons. These reasons include if the patient is too young or not ready to commit to a more permanent treatment.
Your dentist will apply a composite resin directly to the tooth and then sculpt it into the desired shape. They will use a curing light to harden the material. The bonding material is not permanent and will need to be touched up or replaced eventually. However, it is a cheap, quick, and effective solution for chipped teeth.
While a filling and dental bonding will work just fine to fix a chipped tooth, they will require touch-ups often and will need to be replaced eventually. A porcelain veneer is a permanent solution that will completely fix the chipped tooth by hiding the damage. A tooth veneer is a thin layer of porcelain that is custom designed to match the natural color and shape of teeth. Your dentist will prepare the tooth be removing a very minimal amount of enamel. Then they will securely bond the dental veneer to the front and sides of the tooth. This will effectively hide the chip and restore the tooth.
Porcelain veneers can be used to create an aesthetically pleasing smile by fixing any blemish, such as a chip, to improve the appearance, function, and health of your teeth. The treatment will take about two to three dentist appointments to complete. To learn more about the porcelain veneer treatment, see Porcelain Veneers.
A tooth with a larger chip will need a dental crown. This restorative treatment will provide the tooth with support, protection, and restore the tooth’s shape and function. The process to receive a dental crown requires reducing the size of the tooth and reshaping it to accommodate the crown. For this reason, this would be a permanent solution for a chipped tooth. We will take dental impressions which will be used to fabricate your custom crown. It will be made from a durable material such porcelain. The custom made restoration will cover the entire tooth to prevent further damage and allow for normal function. We will color match it to be blend in with the rest of your smile. To learn more about the dental crown process, see Dental Crown.
How Can I Prevent a Chipped Tooth?
There are several things you do to prevent a chipped tooth:
- Maintain good oral hygiene practices at home
- Avoid chewing on hard objects such as pens, hard candy, ice, etc.
- Wear protective gear such a mouthguard if you play contact sports
- Attend your regular dental visits to keep your teeth healthy
- If you grind your teeth at night, invest in a night guard
- Try to avoid overly acid foods that can break down tooth enamel
Schedule an Appointment for a Chipped Tooth in Towson, MD
Tooth damage can happen to anyone. Even if you practice good oral hygiene, you may chip a tooth due to an accident or teeth grinding. Dr. Boenning or Dr. Dancykier offer several treatments for a chipped tooth in Towson, MD depending on the severity of your damage. Contact our office today by calling 410.324.2294 to schedule a consultation to see which treatment will work best for you. You can also request an appointment online by filling out the provided form.