Chipping a tooth can be a serious concern, especially if it's a big chip. The enamel that coats the outside of your tooth protects the inner dentin from damage caused by bacteria exposure. Any kind of chip will expose that dentin to bacteria that may lead to tooth decay. If left untreated, this can cause you pain and may require a root canal. To avoid this, you need to be proactive about having a chipped tooth fixed by your dentist. Here are a couple ways your dentist may suggest that you have it repaired.
Fill It In With Dental Bonding
Your dentist may suggest that you consider bonding to restore the tooth. Bonding involves filling the chip with a composite resin material. That resin hardens and bonds to your tooth, restoring the missing piece of the tooth. Since the resin hardens like a traditional tooth, you can treat that tooth like it were entirely natural. In most cases, your dentist can even color-match the resin to your teeth so that nobody will ever be able to tell that you had it repaired. In addition, it's a quick procedure, so, if you're looking for a single-visit fix, this may be the way to go.
Cover It Up With A Crown Or Veneer
If your chipped tooth is significantly damaged, you may not be able to fix it with bonding. In those cases, your dentist may recommend a veneer or crown for the tooth. Veneers are ideal if the damage is on the front surface of the tooth and in an area that would be difficult to patch. The veneer can be applied quickly and produces a smooth finish.
For a tooth that is cracked or more extensively damaged, your dentist may advise that you have a crown put over it. The crown will cover the entire tooth all the way to your gum line. Crowns are a popular choice for holding cracked teeth together, and they're also commonly used on teeth that require a root canal. Once the tooth is covered with a crown, it's protected from contaminants and bacteria that could cause decay. You'll likely need multiple appointments for a crown, though, because it needs to be crafted to fit.
Don't dismiss a cracked, chipped or otherwise damaged tooth as nothing to worry about. Talk with your dentist about these options today so you can choose the one that's the best fit for you.