Although your teeth are very strong and can withstand some harm or misuse, a cracked or chipped tooth can sometimes occur. You may have bitten down on something hard, such as hard candy or a popcorn kernel, or you may have fallen or received a blow to the face. If your tooth already has some decay, it may be more prone to breakage. Fortunately, most instances of a chipped or cracked tooth can usually be repaired in a single office visit.
At Peace Haven Family Dentistry in Winston-Salem, NC, we have repaired many chipped and cracked teeth in both children and adults. Depending on the location and severity of the cracked or chipped tooth, we may use one of several different procedures:
Here’s what you can expect…
Repairing a Chipped Tooth in Winston-Salem
If you have chipped only a small part of your tooth enamel, we can repair the damage with a simple filling. If a front tooth or another tooth that can be seen when you smile is chipped, we may use a procedure called bonding to create a tooth-colored composite resin. Since the resin is more natural in color, it can more closely match your natural tooth. So, the tooth repair will be nearly undetectable when you smile.
Repairing a Chipped Tooth with a Crown
If your chipped tooth is located toward the back of your mouth, your Peace Haven dentist may choose a crown to repair your tooth. The back teeth receive a lot of wear and tear from chewing both hard and soft foods, such as candies, popcorn, and meat. So, we’ll want to be sure that the newly repaired tooth can stand up to the same chewing, clenching, and grinding as the surrounding teeth.
Your tooth-colored crown, made from porcelain or zirconia, will cover a partial tooth or your entire tooth, depending on the severity and location of the tooth chip.
Repairing a Chipped Tooth with a Veneer
If your chipped tooth is toward the front of your mouth, your Peace Haven dentist may choose to use a porcelain veneer. A porcelain laminate veneer consists of several thin layers of ceramic material. The veneer is adhered to your chipped tooth, serving as a replacement to the original enamel. Similar to bonding, a porcelain veneer also offers a more natural colored repair that blends in with your chipped tooth and the surrounding teeth.
Repairing a Cracked Tooth in Winston-Salem
If you have a cracked tooth, you may be experiencing mild to severe pain when chewing, drinking hot or cold liquids or just breathing. Your pain may come and go, or it may be a continuous ache or throbbing pain.
A cracked tooth can sometimes be a bit more complicated to repair. If your tooth is cracked—even just a small crack that may be causing no pain or discomfort—it will worsen over time. So, it’s important to address your cracked tooth right away.
If you have a surface tooth crack, then your tooth is still in one piece. Fast treatment is still necessary to save your tooth because the crack can grow or spread over time, possibly leading to complete tooth loss.
If the crack has extended into the pulp, the tooth can be treated with both a root canal and a crown to prevent the crack from spreading. However, if the crack develops past the gum line, your tooth is no longer treatable. In this case, the tooth cannot be saved and will need to be extracted.
If your tooth has become split, then your tooth may not be saved intact. The position and severity of the crack will determine if any portion of your tooth can be saved or if the tooth will need to be extracted. In some cases, endodontic treatment may be performed to save a portion of your tooth.
It’s Crucial to Promptly Schedule Your Tooth Repair
The most important thing to remember is to have your chipped or cracked tooth treated as quickly as possible to minimize the damage and save as much of your tooth as possible. Your teeth are a living part of your body, and they can “die” because of severe trauma or neglect.
The good news is that once your cracked tooth is fully repaired, you can return to your normal eating habits immediately. And you can enjoy pain-free chewing and drinking once again.
To Repair Your Chipped or Cracked Tooth Request an Appointment with Peace Haven Family Dentistry Today