Getting a chip in your tooth can cause a lot of problems – not only will the chipped tooth have sharp edges that can be uncomfortable, a chipped tooth can also make you feel very self-conscious, especially if you chipped a front tooth. The bad news is that there’s no way to fix a chipped tooth at home. The good news, however, is that fixing your chipped tooth can still be easy and relatively painless.
Can a Chipped Tooth Be Fixed?
Most of the time, fixing a chipped tooth is easy. There are various treatment methods your dentist can use to in order your chipped tooth:
- Polishing the chip away: For very small chips in your front tooth, your dentist might be able to polish and buff the tooth so the bottom edge is even again. However, this will only be an option for very small chips, as buffing away too much of your tooth enamel can lead to tooth sensitivity.
- Dental bonding: Bonding is used when chips are too big to polish down, but too small to justify more invasive procedures. With dental bonding, you dentist will mold a resin and shape it around your tooth, molding it to fit the natural shape of your tooth before it chipped.
- Veneers: Dental veneers are a good option you chipped a front tooth, especially if the chip is too big to fix with dental bonding.
- Crowns: A tooth crown is a great option if the damage caused by a chip in your tooth is very extensive. By using a dental crown, you dentist will be able to prevent further damage to the tooth while restoring its original shape and function.
- Tooth replacements: In some of the most severe cases, a chip in your tooth might also cause a crack that extends into the root. In this case your dentist won’t be able to fix the tooth. When this happens, you’ll have to look into tooth replacement options like dental bridges or implants.
While the idea of losing a chipped tooth can make you feel reluctant to call you dentist for an appointment, your chances of saving a tooth are higher if you don’t wait. Don’t leave your chipped tooth for weeks on end without calling your dentist for an appointment, as the damage to your tooth is likely to get worse during this time.
Depending on what treatment option your dentist used to fix the chip in your tooth, you can expect the tooth restoration to last between 5 and 20 years. Generally, options like veneers and crowns will last longer than dental bonding, though.
Fixing a Small Tooth Chip At Home
Even if the chip in your tooth is very small, you’ll have to see your dentist to fix it. If the chip is small enough so it doesn’t cause discomfort, doesn’t have sharp edges and is barely even noticeable, you can leave the chip without repairing it. Just don’t try to buff the chip away and polish the tooth yourself, as this will do more harm than good. If you’re unsure about whether or not a small chip in your tooth can be left without treatment, it’s best to see your dentist for a professional opinion as to whether or not the chip needs to be repaired.
Preventing a Chipped Tooth
Once you have your chipped tooth fixed, it’s important to take well care of your teeth to prevent another chip from forming. Apart from good oral hygiene and brushing twice daily, you should avoid biting into hard things, opening packets with your teeth and using your teeth as tools to grip anything. Your teeth are meant for biting off and chewing foods. It isn’t good to use your teeth for anything other than eating everyday foods.