When Your Tooth Is Chipped

when your tooth is chippedA chipped tooth isn’t always a dental emergency. If the damage is superficial, then the only thing immediately affected might be your smile’s appearance. Sometimes, though, the harm done to your tooth can place it at risk, or the damage can grow worse over time and lead to more dental health issues. When your tooth is chipped, it should be fixed as soon as possible, and we offer a number of cosmetic and restorative treatments to meet every patient’s specific needs.

If It’s a Dental Emergency

If your tooth loses a big enough chip, its structural integrity can be compromised, and its main structure (called dentin) can be exposed to harmful oral bacteria. It can be considered a dental emergency if bleeding occurs, or if the tooth becomes fractured and requires immediate attention. If so, then you should call our office immediately to schedule an emergency visit.

Often, however, a chipped tooth does not pose an immediate threat, and patients may go several years before seeking treatment.

Fixing the Chipped Tooth

When fixing a chipped tooth, you may have several options depending on the severity of the tooth’s damage, such as a dental crown or porcelain veneer. A dental crown mimics the top portion of your tooth, and is placed over the chipped tooth to restore it to its original shape.

In some cases, a porcelain veneer can be placed over the front surface of the tooth if the chip is not too large. Unlike a dental crown, a veneer describes a wafer-thin shell of dental porcelain that is placed over the front surface of a tooth, so the whole tooth does not need to be prepared. After a careful examination, we can help you choose the right option based on your tooth’s needs and your preferences.