Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, but it is not indestructible. In fact, according to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth make up the majority of dental injuries. But with prompt treatment, an experienced dentist can repair a chipped tooth quickly and successfully. Read on as Dr. Wayne Sutton of Sonoma Smiles explains what you should know about chipping your tooth.
Chipped Tooth Causes
One of the primary causes of chipped teeth is biting down into something hard, like a piece of ice, a pen cap or a bone. Sports injuries and other types of trauma to the mouth and face can also lead to chipped teeth. Factors like cavities and chronic teeth grinding can weaken the teeth, making them vulnerable to chips and cracks.
Do’s and Don’ts
When you chip a tooth, it’s important not to try to treat it by yourself. Instead, make an appointment with Dr. Sutton as soon as possible.
Until you can get in to see Dr. Sutton, follow these do’s and don’ts:
- Do rinse your mouth out with warm water.
- Do gently apply pressure with clean gauze.
- Do apply ice to your cheek.
- Do take over-the-counter pain medication if needed.
- Do not apply any medication directly to the tooth.
- Do not chew anything hard or crunchy (only consume liquids or soft foods).
Repairing a Chipped Tooth
Repairing a chipped tooth depends on the extent and location of the chip.
Dr. Sutton can sometimes repair minor chips by smoothing and polishing the tooth. In the case of a medium chip, he may need to place a filling or a crown over the affected tooth to restore normal appearance and dental function while protecting the inner layers of the tooth from further damage. Bonding material can help repair or reshape the tooth. Another option is placing a veneer to cover up a chipped front tooth.
With large chips or cracks that have reached the dental pulp (the tissue inside the tooth), Dr. Sutton may need to perform a root canal to clean out the inside of the tooth and seal off the opening to the tooth.
Contact Sonoma Smiles
If you have chipped a tooth, don’t panic. Dr. Sutton can repair it quickly and restore your tooth to its normal function and appearance. Please call our office as soon as possible at (707) 585-2555 to book an appointment with Dr. Sutton.
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(All photos of actual patients)