Do you know what to do if you chip a tooth? East Lansing, MI, dentist Dr. Thomas Faiver explains the steps you should take if your tooth chips and explains treatment options.
Why do teeth chip?
As you get older, your tooth enamel can become a little brittle, increasing the risk of a chip. Chips can also occur if you receive a blow to the face, have a cavity or bite into a hard food or object. Although nothing may have happened when you've opened bottles or packages with your teeth in the past, you never know when using your teeth in place of an opener or scissors may damage your smile.
What should I do if I chip my tooth?
Even small chips can be a problem, particularly if the edges of the chip are rough or sharp. Applying a little dental wax, available at drugstores, will prevent cuts to your lip, tongue and mouth until you schedule an appointment with our East Lansing office.
Using dental wax to reduce irritation is also important if you have a larger chip. Call our East Lansing office during regular hours if you develop a small chip in your tooth. If a large part of the tooth has broken off, call us as soon as possible so that we can determine if you need emergency treatment.
How are chips treated?
Small chips in teeth can be often be smoothed out by polishing your teeth. Larger chips can be repaired by bonding, a process that involves filling in the chipped area with composite resin, a flexible material that hardens quickly when exposed to a curing light. Dental veneers offer another option to repair small chips. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are applied to the front of your teeth.
If you have a large chip, your teeth may need to be restored with a dental crown. Crowns are hollow porcelain restorations that slip over your teeth. They not only restore the appearance of your smile but also make eating much easier. If a large chip exposes the pulp at the center of your tooth, you may also need a root canal.
Do you have a chip or other dental issue? Call East Lansing, MI, dentist Dr. Thomas Faiver at (517) 351-7222 to schedule an appointment.