The minute you chip your tooth, you’re going to freak out. Don’t worry— it happens to the best of us. Knowing what to do about chipped teeth before it occurs can help resolve the situation more quickly. Below, you’ll learn the causes and available treatments to help you remain calm and confident if you have chipped your teeth.
And if you’re reading this for a friend or family member who is currently inconsolable about their chipped tooth, give Lasry Dental Clinic a call if you’re in the Los Angeles area. If not— at least now you’ll exactly what to do about if you chip your tooth!
What Causes Chipped Teeth?
You can chip a tooth in many ways, such as:
- Chewing Hard Foods
Biting on ice, popcorn kernels, hard candy, and other hard foods can chip or fracture a tooth.
- Participating in Sports without a Mouthguard
You are at risk of a direct and hard blow to your teeth when taking part in sports without wearing a protective mouthguard. A custom-made mouthguard offers excellent protection against chipped teeth for sports such as football and basketball.
- Chewing on Non-Food Items
Chewing on your fingernails or objects such as ink pens can cause considerable damage to your teeth, including chipping them.
- Bad Tooth Alignment
When your teeth don’t fit together properly, you can bite down and place too much force and cause chipped teeth.
- Tooth Decay
Large dental cavities weaken teeth and can lead to pieces of the tooth breaking off if not repaired quickly.
- Bruxism (Clenching and Grinding Your Teeth)
Stress or a bad bite can cause clenching and grinding of your teeth. This can occur while sleeping and cause cracks and chipped teeth. These habits also cause headaches and TMJ disorder. Bruxism also wears teeth down and makes them more susceptible to chipping.
- Teeth as Tools
Teeth help with eating, talking, and smiling. Using them for other purposes such as opening bottles or packages can chip and damage them.
- Facial Trauma
When your face receives any blow, such as in automobile accidents or falls, the result is likely to include one or more chipped teeth.
- Enamel Erosion
The hardest substance in the human body is tooth enamel. But the acids found in some food and drinks can erode enamel and make it thin and prone to chipping.
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Chipped Tooth Pain
Some minor chips cause no pain at all. However, the chip may expose the sensitive part of the tooth, causing minor to extreme sensitivity. Sensitivity to hot, cold, and air occur after these chips and will not resolve without dental treatment. Some chipped teeth expose the nerve of the tooth, and this can cause severe pain and require a root canal treatment to alleviate the discomfort.
How To Fix Chipped Teeth
It’s unsettling to break a tooth, so your first thought is probably, “can chipped teeth be fixed?”
It is possible to fix most chipped teeth, and some options offer affordable and quick solutions! Follow these 3 steps to ensure the best care of your chipped tooth.
Step 1: Gently rinse your mouth with warm, clean water.
Rinse any debris out of your mouth and check for bleeding. Apply gentle pressure to stop any bleeding. Apply a cold cloth to the area to help prevent swelling. If a large piece of tooth broke off, place it in a gauze or cloth and take it with you to the dentist. Avoid hot and cold food and drinks. Be aware of any sharp areas of the tooth and chew only soft foods.
Step 2: Call your dental office and describe what happened as accurately as possible.
The details of the cause of the chipped tooth may determine the urgency of treatment. Describe how much tooth chipped, any lacerations to soft tissue such as your lip, how much tooth remains, and the level of sensitivity or pain you have. Then, make your dental appointment!
Step 3: Visit your dentist at the appointed time.
Do not miss the appointment and leave a chipped tooth untreated for an extended time. Several treatments exist for treating chipped teeth, including:
- Dental bonding. Dental bonding can often repair a minor chip that involves only the tooth’s enamel. This is a simple, quick, and easy procedure that may not require anesthesia. Tooth-colored bonding can restore a tooth to match the adjacent natural teeth closely.
- Porcelain veneers. A veneer is a thin shell or covering placed on the entire front surface of a tooth. Veneers require that your dentist remove a thin layer of enamel before placing the veneer.
- Dental crowns. This is a “cap” or covering that restores the whole tooth to its normal size, shape, and function. Crowns are the best choice when a large part of the tooth breaks off.
Chipped Teeth Cost
After learning the likelihood of fixing your chipped tooth, the next question arises, “how much does it cost to fix a chipped front tooth?”
Chipped tooth repair cost varies depending on:
- Where you live. Larger cities and certain areas of the country have considerably higher dental fees.
- The severity of damage to the tooth. Minor chips are much less expensive to treat than more severe ones due to more time and material costs.
- The type of restoration needed. Dental bonding is less expensive than veneers and crowns.
- The need for additional dental treatments. More teeth may have chipped than you realize. A severely chipped tooth may require a root canal treatment to fix it properly.
All these factors create a wide range in the cost to repair a chipped tooth. Total prices range from less than one hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Call your dentist and ask for a quote!
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Should I go to the dentist for a chipped tooth?
You should always see your dentist after a tooth chips. Delaying can result in more extensive treatment to repair the damaged tooth and possibly result in tooth extraction!
Why are my teeth chipping easily?
Dietary choices and unhealthy habits cause teeth to chip easily. A highly acidic diet causes enamel erosion and more chipping. Habits such as those mentioned above cause repeated chips and fractures to teeth.
What happens if you don’t fix a chipped tooth?
Leaving a chip untreated can lead to:
- Tooth decay
- Shifting of adjacent teeth
- The need for a root canal treatment
- Tooth extraction
Chipping a tooth frequently occurs among children and adults. Remember, if you chip a tooth, don’t panic, and contact your dentist.