Tooth chipping can be a warning sign of an impending dental issue, and it helps to seek treatment quickly. Tooth decay is a common underlying cause of tooth chipping as it weakens the enamel. However, bruxism, poor oral hygiene, and trauma can still lead to tooth deformation and chipping.
If left untreated, tooth chipping can result in serious dental issues, including teeth loss, a condition prevalent in 2.2% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64.
This article lists and discusses the various ways of repairing a chipped tooth:
- Dental veneers
Dental veneers are custom-made shells fitting over your teeth’s front surfaces, concealing chips, cracks, and stains. They’re ideal for cosmetic imperfections and a typically used chip treatment worldwide.
Statistics indicate that its market will grow to an estimated USD$ 2.3 billion by 2028, making it the most popular treatment for chipped teeth. Below are the reasons for this method’s massive traction globally:
- Minimal invasiveness: This option requires less tooth preparation than dental crowns and implants. Its minimal invasiveness doesn’t make it a painful procedure with lengthy recovery spans.
- Durability: Veneers can withstand wear and tear due to their hardened material. They can patch your teeth for longer if you take good care of them.
- Ease of maintenance: Unlike other tooth-chipping treatments, dental veneers require little maintenance, and you may not need frequent dental retouches.
- Aesthetics: Besides repairing chips, veneers can help dramatically enhance your teeth’s appearance by covering up stains, cracks, and teeth deformations, making them more aesthetic.
The most common materials used to create veneers are porcelain and composite resin, which are long-lasting. The best porcelain veneers should provide a natural tooth appearance while correcting chips, cracks, and other dental deformities. Similarly, composite resin teeth should offer these benefits.
- Dental bonding
Teeth bonding uses a tooth-colored composite resin to repair chips and close gaps. Dental bonding, like dental veneers, is minimally invasive and incredibly effective as it adds volume to your chipped teeth.
This treatment yields natural-looking, uniformly textured teeth and a smile that appeals better with your red lipstick.
However, this method may not be as durable as veneers and other methods used to repair chipped teeth. You may require retouching and replacement every five to ten years.
Moreover, the bonding material may be prone to discoloration and staining over time, which makes it a less ideal option if you love consuming foods that stain the teeth, including coffee. The advantage, however, is that this procedure is less expensive and can address various dental issues apart from repairing a chip.
- Root canal therapy
This procedure treats the underlying issue that causes tooth chipping. However, dentists still use fillers and crowns, meaning this procedure can complement other ways of repairing chipped teeth.
The process involves removing infected tooth pulp, which dentists access through the top of the tooth using a special instrument. This pulp, when inflamed, usually makes your teeth brittle and prone to chipping.
Once your dentist removes the inflamed pulp, they’ll fill your chipped teeth’s root canal using a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Then they’ll seal it with dental cement before placing a temporary filling for extra protection.
This method has an overall success rate of 74%, eliminating the cause of brittle teeth that are more susceptible to chipping. Its repair results are usually appealing.
- Dental crowns
Dentists may prioritize using dental crowns on your chipped teeth over other options because they’re protective and prevent further damage. Besides, crowns are more durable due to the various stress-resistant materials they comprise, including ceramic, porcelain, and metals.
Installing dental crowns is entirely procedural and may sometimes require lengthy treatment periods with several follow-up appointments.
The procedure may first require you to undergo a series of X-ray tests to determine the extent of your tooth’s damage. Your dentist will then prepare the tooth by ejecting any damaged tissue before creating a custom-made crown that fits it.
However, it’s important to remember that your dentist may not place the crown on your initial assessment since they need to shape it in a laboratory. They may place a temporary crown made of acrylic to protect your teeth before finally repairing your chipped tooth.
- Enamel shaping
This dental procedure reshapes and polishes your tooth’s enamel, improving its appearance. It’s a quick and painless process that can happen in a single visit and may not require follow-up treatments.
The procedure involves using an enamel shaping tool, mostly a dental drill or laser, to remove tiny amounts of enamel from the chipped tooth’s surface.
The good thing with this treatment is that it repairs your chipped tooth without inflicting pain or further damaging the enamel. It’s non-invasive and ideal for more extensive repairs as it doesn’t involve injections or anesthesia.
Enamel shaping is relatively popular, but as the global dental services market grows to USD $ 696.8 billion by 2030, enamel shaping may take over the mantle.
- Dental sealants
Sealants cover tooth holes and protect your cracked tooth. They’re thin protective coatings that are more effective on your molar and premolars and add volume to broken teeth. This process involves using a plastic material painted onto your tooth’s surface before hardening it with a special light, restoring your chipped tooth’s shape.
The only downside of sealants is that they can make a chipped tooth more prone to damage than dental crowns and caps. However, the silver lining is that this procedure is usually quick and painless and can restore your chipped teeth’s shape in less time.
- Dental implants
Implants are a viable way of repairing chipped teeth and are among the most popular treatment options. Its market is quickly growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3%, which is significantly high.
Unlike other dental procedures that add material to chipped teeth, dental implants involve completely replacing the misshapen tooth. However, dentists may only recommend this option if your teeth are severely chipped. Instead, they’d suggest veneers and crowns as an alternative.
It’s always best to understand the various available options you can use to repair your chipped tooth. Most procedures are less invasive, but a few can still be. Nonetheless, they’re all practical and can help restore your smile. If your tooth chips, consult your healthcare provider for advice on how to fix it.