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Chipped Tooth Repair

Chipping a tooth doesn’t happen easily, but if and when it does, it is better to be prepared and know where to find the care you need to fix it. In addition to highly trained staff and multiple locations, Monarch Dental offers same-day appointments and emergency dental services so you can get your chipped tooth fixed quickly and get back to your busy life.

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What should you do if you chip a tooth?

A chipped tooth can be an embarrassing distraction from everyday life and, if left untreated, it can be a painful breeding ground for infection or a precursor to tooth decay, more damage, or even tooth loss. Although a chipped tooth is inconvenient, it’s much faster, easier, and more affordable to fix a chipped tooth than deal with extensive decay or a lost tooth.

If you think you’ve chipped a tooth, contact the Monarch Dental location nearest you and inform them of your situation, and we will get you scheduled for an appointment as soon as possible. If it is after-hours, we can find you a location that offers emergency dental services. 

How can you care for a chipped tooth at home?

If you’ve chipped a tooth, the time leading up to your appointment can be stressful, so here are a few things you can do to ease any pain while you wait and help ensure the best possible outcome. 

  • An over-the-counter pain reliever can be helpful in alleviating any discomfort.
  • A saltwater solution can be used as a rinse to reduce swelling and the chance of infection.
  • Avoid hard foods and opt for softer foods like soups or smoothies.
  • Use dental wax to cover any jagged edges that may be irritating the gums or tissue. Dental wax can typically be found with oral care at most pharmacies. 

Dental Damage: Chipped, Cracked or Broken?

The way your tooth breaks can change the treatment that best fits the situation. The more severe the break, the more intensive the treatment must be. 

The dental professionals at Monarch Dental will assess your unique situation and develop the best plan for treating it effectively and efficiently. The goal of any treatment is always to save the existing tooth. However, certain types and degrees of damage may make it impossible to save the tooth, requiring an extraction. If this is necessary, Monarch Dental also provides tooth replacement services like crowns and bridges, dental implants, and dentures. 

Here are some of the most common types of dental damage many patients experience:

Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth can be difficult to notice at times, especially if it’s not noticeable to the naked eye. If you notice symptoms of a toothache or a new sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages, that could signify that your tooth has cracked. If you feel pain when you release your bite, that could also be a strong sign that your tooth has been cracked. Knowing how deep the crack is affecting your tooth is important and will need to be assessed by a dentist.

Chipped Tooth

A chipped tooth is what most people picture when they think of a dental emergency. Chips can occur from decay or accidents. No matter how it happens, a chip is a noticeable portion of your tooth missing. For large chips, your dentist may use a filling to replace the missing piece. No matter what the cause, it is very important to consult with your dentist. An untreated chip can leave your teeth susceptible to infection.

Broken Cusp

The cusp of your tooth is the top biting and chewing surface of the tooth. While a broken cusp often requires more extensive dental work, it typically doesn’t cause much pain. Your dentist will need to repair the tooth to prevent any grooves where cavities can occur and to restore your tooth’s full and proper functionality.

Severe Chip or Break

A severe chip or break often comes from trauma suffered to the mouth in an accident, and these typically cause a lot of pain. Sometimes there is also bleeding from the tooth. Because the nerve is exposed and the root is damaged, your dentist will need to perform a root canal and restore the tooth with a dental crown.

Chipped by Tooth Decay

Tooth decay weakens the enamel of your teeth over time, and as a result, the teeth become easier to crack or chip. Decay can weaken a tooth so much that simply chewing can cause damage. Decay can also come from within, damaging the integrity of the entire tooth. Consulting with your dentist on preventative and restorative procedures can help prevent tooth decay from starting in the first place. However, if the integrity of your teeth has been compromised, then implants, crowns, or fillings may be the best option for you.

How can you prevent a chipped tooth?

While you can’t always avoid an accident, there are a few steps you can take to prevent them from happening, protecting your smile and lessening your chances of chipping or otherwise damaging a tooth.

  • Wear mouthguards while playing contact sports.
  • Practice good regular dental hygiene such as daily brushing or flossing.
  • Listen to your body and ask your dentist about any new symptoms like temperature sensitivity or chewing pain, since these could be signs of a weakened tooth.
  • Get routine professional teeth cleanings help ensure that your teeth are well maintained.
  • Regular oral exams and X-rays also offer your dentist a chance to catch any potential issue before it becomes a larger problem, saving you time, money, and pain if the condition worsens and requires more extensive restorative procedures.

How is a chipped tooth repaired?

Repairing a chipped tooth can range from procedures that are fast and easy to some that are more extensive. How your chipped tooth is repaired depends primarily on the severity of the problem and how quickly you can get to your local dentist. Some common ways of repairing chipped teeth are:

Smooth It Out

For small surface cracks, your dentist may be able to polish the tooth and eliminate any grooves that could accumulate any bacteria. These are often found during routine exams, which is why scheduling them is so important. 

Use a Filling or Bonding

Whenever a chip, break or crack is found to be fairly small, your dentist may choose to fill it with a filling or bonding to restore the tooth. If there is any sign of tooth decay, your dentist may need to clean the decay and then replace the affected areas with a resin, also called bonding, that will be matched to the original tooth’s color. This is a seamless way to rebuild and restore the functionality of the tooth. If the area needs rebuilding, your dentist can do that as well! He or she will shape and mold the bonding material to fill in the missing portion of the tooth, set it with a UV light, and polish it to match the rest of your teeth.

Veneers

If a chip is purely cosmetic and doesn’t affect nerve endings, then another great option is cosmetic veneers. Veneers are thin sheets of porcelain or resin placed over the front of a tooth. Your veneers are designed in a lab based on a mold taken from your teeth. You will be fitted with temporary veneers before any final adjustments are made and your long-term veneers come in from the lab. Some offices offer same-day veneers, which use a different material and allow the patient to have a prefabricated veneer shaped to their smile that day. Typically though, it will take two visits before the procedure is complete. A major benefit to veneers is that they are fully customizable, down to the shape and color of each tooth. 

Dental Crown

A dental crown is mostly used for fixing chipped or broken teeth. However, it can be used to fix a variety of dental issues. A crown is best described as a cap placed over the tooth, holding it together, protecting it, and restoring its functionality. Crowns are a great option when there isn’t enough of the tooth left to fill in or recreate using bonding. Crowns are made from different materials, with resin and porcelain being the most common. If the damaged tooth is also severely decayed or infected, you may need a root canal before the crown can be placed. For a tooth that is still intact, your dentist will make a mold of your tooth and build a custom crown based on the impression. Like a veneer, you will at first be fitted with a temporary crown, which will then be replaced with a permanent crown at a later date. 

Dental Implant

When a tooth cannot be saved by any of the above procedures, it will need to be extracted and replaced with an artificial tooth. If a tooth has been knocked out down to the root, or if the tooth’s integrity cannot be restored, the dentist will often turn to an implant. The dental implant procedure involves extracting what is left of the compromised tooth and surgically inserting a metal screw into your jawbone to serve as a new tooth root. An artificial tooth will be permanently attached to the screw using an abutment. 

What will fixing my chipped tooth cost?

The cost of repairing a chipped tooth depends on the severity of the damage to the tooth. For minor breaks and cracks, patients can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150. However, this also depends on how many teeth are affected and the materials needed to restore their integrity. Veneers and implants typically cost more than the other options because they require more intensive procedures and practices, but they are customized, durable options that can help ensure a beautiful, healthy, and fully functioning smile for a lifetime. 

At Monarch Dental, we know that dental damage happens unexpectedly, and we believe in making the care you need to repair it affordable and accessible. Cost should never deter you from visiting your dentist and repairing a damaged smile. That’s why, in addition to accepting most major dental insurance plans–as well as CareCredit–Monarch Dental also offers an array of payment and financing options to help you afford the restorative care you need. 

For patients without dental insurance, Monarch Dental also provides our own OneSmile Dental Plan, which can help ease the strain on your pocketbook with free x-rays and exams and discounts on all dental services. 

Fix Your Chipped Tooth at Monarch Dental

If you’ve chipped a tooth, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible to prevent future problems. Find the Monarch Dental location nearest you to schedule an appointment or receive emergency care services.