Chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth can have a negative impact on the appearance of your smile. More importantly, however, this can also seriously compromise your function and oral health; once a tooth is chipped, it becomes more vulnerable to further damage.
At River City Dental Solutions in San Antonio, TX, we offer treatment for chipped teeth, including cosmetic dental procedures such as dental bonding and porcelain veneers. Here, our team explores these options and explains how to prevent chipped teeth in the future.
Enamel, the outermost layer of a tooth, is the hardest substance in the human body. Even so, it can still become cracked or chipped by excessive pressure and forces. There are many reasons for this.
For example, you were eating hard candy or chewing on ice. Perhaps you were playing soccer without a mouth guard. In some cases, dental anatomy may be to blame. If your teeth do not fit together properly, excessive bite forces can erode the enamel or chip the teeth.
Whatever the reason for chipped teeth, they can lead to further problems if not addressed in a timely manner.
At our practice, we offer several cosmetic and restorative treatments for chipped teeth. The procedure recommended for you will entirely depend on your unique dental needs. In the sections below, we will briefly explore some of the most common treatments for chipped teeth.
Bonding is an affordable and effective way to repair chipped teeth. Composite resin, the same material used for tooth-colored fillings, is applied, then shaped and molded until the chip is concealed and the tooth is restored to its original shape. Dental bonding can last up to five years.
If chipping is more severe, then porcelain veneers may be a better treatment option. Designed to adhere to the front surfaces of the teeth, these shells are custom made to blend in with your natural smile.
Like bonding, veneers can conceal a wide array of aesthetic imperfections, including chipped teeth. However, veneers will need to be replaced at some point. Typically, with proper maintenance, porcelain veneers can last upwards of 15 years.
Crowns are custom-crafted, tooth-colored restorations. However, instead of covering only the front surface of a tooth, a crown fits over the entire structure, providing strength and reinforcement. Therefore, if a tooth has been severely weakened by a chip, a crown can help protect it and prevent more serious damage.
Sometimes a chip or fracture is so severe that it reaches the pulp of a tooth. If this occurs, root canal therapy will be necessary to address the problem. Otherwise, the tooth will remain infected and affect the adjacent teeth as well. During this process, the internal tissues are removed, including all nerves and blood vessels, and the tooth is filled. In most cases, a crown is also added to restore the bite.
If a chipped tooth goes untreated, the damage can worsen, leading to irreversible problems. Although saving natural teeth is always preferable, there are instances when it is not possible. In these cases, an extraction is the only predictable measure.
When a tooth must be removed, we always recommend replacing it. There are traditional tooth replacement options available. However, a dental implant is the most reliable long-term option for those who qualify.
If you have a chipped, cracked, or fractured tooth, having an assessment right away can help ensure the problem is addressed before things progress. To schedule an appointment at our practice, call us at (210) 349-3745 or contact us online.
Dr Perry is a great dentist. Very kind and informative. I feel like he is personally invested in my health. He always takes the time to sit and discuss any issues I'm having - I never feel like they're rushing me out.