by Drs. Christine & Nathan Coughlin DDS
Having a chipped tooth can be a traumatic experience for anyone. Whether it’s just a small chip or half the tooth is gone, we are here to guide you through what you need to know. Hopefully, you are reading this before you ever get a chipped tooth, so if it happens to you or anyone you know, you’ll know what to do!
How to handle a small chipped tooth
Hopefully, just a tiny piece of the tooth came off, and you’ll be fine. But make sure to see your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
If the chip is small (a few millimeters), we may be able to restore it with a tooth-colored filling to make your tooth to make it look as good as new.
But this may not work in some cases, depending on the size and location of the fracture, and your bite.
For example, if you have a deep bite, an underbite, or crossbite, and the chip is located on the biting surface of your tooth, the filling will likely fall off.
But don’t worry, your dentist will evaluate you for the best long-lasting solution.
Medium size break in your tooth
If a quarter or less of your tooth is chipped, this can start to get a little more complicated. If the fracture is too large, you may need a dental crown or veneer.
The reason you cannot just add a filling to a medium-sized fracture is that if there is not enough tooth structure to hang on to, then the filling will break off. I’m sure you or one of your friends has experienced this before, and it’s not fun.
Larger tooth fractures
So if half your tooth or more broke, then Houston, we have a problem! Well, it’s not something we can’t resolve, but it’ll take a little more work. You should come in as soon as possible 🙂
Typically if the fracture is large, you may need a crown or a root canal treatment and crown. We do this because it’s likely your nerves and blood vessels in the inner portion of your tooth are damaged. If you do not perform a root canal at that time, you may come back in a couple of days with very intense pain.
If the damage is bad enough, you may need an extraction. We would typically restore the missing tooth with a bone graft and implant.
Having your teeth break is never a fun time. The size of the fracture makes a significant difference in what the dental treatment will entail.
If you chip or fracture your tooth, make sure to come in as soon as possible so we can restore it and prevent future issues.
If it’s just a small chip, it might be restorable with a filling. But if the fracture is larger, it may require a longer-lasting restoration like a veneer, a crown, or root canal and crown. But if the damage is extensive, we may have to pull the tooth and restore it with an implant.
Make sure to treat your teeth nicely and only use them for one thing – eating (and avoid foods that are too hard). And never use your teeth as tools! 🙂
If you want to see a funny video of us acting (or trying our best) a tooth fracture, check out the video below.
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