Dealing With a Chipped Tooth

Although tooth enamel is the most resilient substance your body produces, it isn’t indestructible, and under the right circumstances (like too much pressure), your tooth’s structure can chip or break. Grinding your teeth, biting on ice, chewing on inedible objects, or receiving a traumatic blow to the face can lead to one or more broken or chipped teeth. Fortunately, not all chipped teeth are in serious danger. Depending on the extent of damage, Dr. Wright may be able to fix your tooth with simple dental bonding or another cosmetic procedure.

How Bad is the Damage?

Like all dental health issues, treatment for a chipped tooth typically depends on how serious the damage is. If only a minor piece of enamel and dentin (your tooth’s main structure) breaks off, then your tooth’s inner nerves and blood vessels, or pulp, should remain safe. If the dentin is chipped or cracked enough to expose the pulp, then Dr. Wright may have to clean the tooth’s interior to prevent infection before restoring its outer structure.

Treating a Chipped Tooth

Often, the most serious immediate issue with chipped teeth is their influence on your smile’s appearance, and cosmetic procedures usually suffice to treat them. A dental bonding consists of the same composite resin used for tooth-colored dental fillings, which Dr. Wright can apply to the affected tooth, then reshape and polish until it matches the tooth’s desired shape and color. Some patients may benefit more from porcelain veneers, which thin shells of porcelain that are custom-crafted and bonded to the front of your teeth’s surfaces. If the tooth’s structure is significantly weakened, then Dr. Wright may recommend capping it with a lifelike dental crown after cleaning the tooth’s interior.

Protect Your Teeth in the Future

Teeth sustain injuries more easily when they’re already weakened, such as with a cavity. Keeping your teeth clean and disease-free by brushing and flossing at least twice a day can reduce your risk for tooth infections, but won’t guarantee that your teeth remain undamaged. Avoid chewing on ice, hard candy, and inedible objects, and if you suffer from bruxism (habitual teeth-grinding), then visit Dr. Wright as soon as possible for an official diagnosis and recommendation for treatment.

About Your Southlake Dentists:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.