Solutions for a Chipped Tooth

Solutions for a Chipped Tooth

The outer layer of your teeth — the sturdy, white enamel — protects the inner pulp from bacteria and injury. But sometimes the enamel itself can get damaged. If your tooth gets chipped, your tooth will be more susceptible to infection.

That’s why Robert F. Wilcox, DMD, PC, a leading family and cosmetic dentist in Butte, Montana, recommends fixing chips and cracks in your teeth as soon as possible.

But what’s the best solution for repairing a chipped tooth? The answer depends on where the chip is and how much of your tooth was chipped off.

Dental bonding

If your chip is small and located in the front of your mouth, Dr. Wilcox may recommend repairing it with a tooth-colored resin. The resin is colored and molded to match the shade and shape of your tooth.

After preparing the surface of your tooth, Dr. Wilcox applies the bonding material. He then shapes and smooths the resin so it looks natural. Finally, he cures the resin with ultraviolet light to harden it.

For care, Dr. Wilcox will advise you to be careful when you eat and not bite down on hard objects. Furthermore, you’ll need to brush it and floss it daily just like your other teeth.

Dental veneers

If the chip is on one of your front teeth and is too large for a filling, your best choice may be to get a dental veneer. A veneer is a thin shell that’s custom made to fit on the front of your tooth.

Dr. Wilcox first files down a small portion of your tooth’s enamel to make room for the veneer. Then he makes a mold of your tooth and sends it to a dental lab where your veneer is made.

The lab will create a perfectly shaped and colored veneer. When your veneer is ready, you’ll come back to the office, and Dr. Wilcox bonds it to your tooth with a special cement.

Your dental veneer will look and act just like a natural tooth. For care, you’ll brush it and floss it daily just like your other teeth.

Dental crowns and inlays

When your tooth is badly chipped or the chip is on a molar, a dental crown or a dental inlay may be recommended.

For a crown, which is a false tooth that goes over your natural tooth, Dr. Wilcox files down a small portion of your natural tooth to make room. He then makes a mold your tooth and sends it to a lab where your crown is made.

For an inlay, which is only used to cover the top of a molar, a mold of your tooth is made and sent it to a lab for fabrication.

Once the lab finishes your crown or inlay, Dr. Wilcox cements it in place. Dental crowns and inlays can be made of porcelain, resin, or a metal alloy that is colored to match your natural teeth.

For care, you’ll brush and floss your crown or inlay daily just like your other teeth.

Root canals

If the chip is big enough that the pulp inside your tooth is exposed, you will need a root canal. In this procedure, Dr. Wilcox drills a small hole into your tooth and removes the pulp. He then fills it with a natural latex material. Finally, he puts a crown on your tooth to protect and strengthen it.

For care, you’ll brush and floss your crown daily just like your other teeth.If you have a chip or crack, call or book an appointment online with Dr. Wilcox today.

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