A chipped tooth can ruin an otherwise perfect smile. More importantly, a chipped tooth is a damaged tooth. Without proper and timely treatment, it could lead to bigger problems such as tooth decay, infection and possible loss. This can be prevented with a trip to your dentist.
The extent of the damage to the tooth determines which treatment will be best in restoring it. There are several options available to restore your tooth back to its normal appearance.
Restoring the Chipped Tooth
The tooth must be examined thoroughly to determine whether or not the damage extends to the tooth nerve center. This is important, because exposure of the nerve or pulp may require root canal therapy in order to save the tooth from extraction. If the pulp of the tooth has been exposed, germs can get into the area and cause an infection. This exposure can also cause a great amount of discomfort or pain, if not treated promptly.
Chips that do not involve the nerve of the tooth can often be remedied with dental bonding. In this case, a bonding material is used to bond the missing part of the tooth back on. If the missing part is not available, a composite resin can be used to fill in the missing part. This becomes bonded to the tooth structure. After it is trimmed and polished, it looks and feels like the natural tooth.
Occasionally, a chip may be extensive enough to require that the tooth be covered with a dental crown. The remaining tooth structure is prepared to receive a crown. They are usually porcelain fused to metal or a resin crown. Metal crowns are also used. They can be stainless steel or a gold alloy. After the tooth is prepped and the crown is ready, the crown, or cap as it is sometimes called, is cemented onto the tooth.
It can be tempting to ignore a chipped tooth when only a small portion of the tooth is affected. However, little chips can cause big problems later. If you have a chipped tooth, make an appointment with Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta, and let us restore your tooth to prevent decay and infection.