There are many potential causes for a chipped or broken tooth, such as a fall, a fight, or even something unexpected in your food. Of course, a chipped tooth is a cosmetic problem. It will make you self-conscious about your smile. But a chipped or broken tooth can also cause practical problems as well. The sharp edge on a chipped tooth can cut your tongue, which is painful and annoying. The chipped area can also be a place where food and bacterial plaque accumulate, which makes it a starting point for decay. And if the chip is also a serious crack, the result can be pain, as well as a dental infection with serious consequences, such as the loss of the tooth and worse.
Fortunately, there are many potential treatments for a chipped tooth, and treatment is probably less expensive than you think. To have dentist Jeff Johnston evaluate your tooth and recommend the right treatment for you, please call (303) 975-6987 or email Ascent Dental in the Cherry Creek area of Denver for an appointment.
Minor Chipped Tooth Treatment: Polishing and Bonding
Sometimes a chipped tooth is so minor, you can’t even see it, but you can feel it. A sharp place on your tooth can be polished smooth for comfort.
If you have suffered a chipped tooth that is primarily cosmetic, there are a couple of good treatments to restore your smile to its former appearance.
Dental bonding uses the same material that we employ as white fillings to reshape your tooth. The material begins as putty, and is shaped into a natural, attractive form by Dr. Jeff. Then a curing light is used to make it hard enough to chew with. Finally, it’s polished to take on a luster like your natural tooth enamel.
Dental bonding has many advantages. It’s the least expensive option, can be completed in just one visit, and when it’s polished it looks very natural and attractive.
Dental bonding does have some limitations. First, the natural appearance depends on the artistry of the dentist performing your restoration. Evaluate a dentist’s before and after gallery before getting dental bonding.
Dental bonding is also less durable than other treatment options. It can lose its polish, making it stand out, and it can become stained. Dental bonding also tends to have a shorter life than ceramic restorations.
Minor Chipped Tooth Treatment: Porcelain Veneers
A porcelain veneer is a thin façade of ceramic that is cemented to your tooth. It can reshape your tooth, not only correcting the chip but helping to fill in gaps and lengthening your tooth as well.
To place a porcelain veneer, your tooth is prepared so that the veneer can fit on to create a smooth surface. In the past, all veneers had to be sent away to a lab for fabrication, but our CEREC system allows us to create a brand-new porcelain veneer in our office while you wait. Once it’s ready, the veneer is placed on your tooth to ensure proper fit. Then it is cemented in place and polished.
Porcelain veneers are made of ceramic, so they have a luster very similar to your natural tooth enamel. They retain their polish well if properly cared for. And don’t let the name fool you: porcelain veneers are actually made of advanced ceramic compounds and they’re highly resilient. They can last for ten years or more.
Cracked Tooth Treatment: Dental Crown
If you went beyond a simple chip, but actually cracked or broke your tooth open in a way that exposes the pulp, or nerve, you need a dental restoration that will protect and reinforce that tooth. A dental crown fits completely over the tooth, giving it essentially an entirely new surface that protects and supports the damaged tooth within.
Sometimes, we may determine that the pulp of your tooth has been compromised and that a cracked tooth may require an endodontic procedure (root canal) before the crown is placed.
Like porcelain veneers, dental crowns can be made in our office using our CEREC machine.
If you have damaged your tooth and want to learn which treatment is right for you, please contact Ascent Dental in the Cherry Creek area of Denver.