Chipped Tooth: All That You Need to Know
Chipped teeth are relatively common, for both adults and children alike. While chipped teeth do not necessarily indicate medical emergencies by themselves, they can turn into a serious concern. Therefore, it is recommended to get your chipped tooth monitored by a dental professional as soon as possible.
Here are some things you need to keep in mind when you chip one of your teeth.
What is Chipped Teeth?
Even though your teet enamel is one of the hardest and highly mineralized tissues in the body, it has its limits. External factors such as injury due to falling, taking a blow to the face, or biting down something hard, especially if a tooth has an existing decay, can make a tooth chip or break.
If a tooth is chipped badly, it could disturb the function of the underlying nerve of your tooth. It can induce extreme pain or even cause tooth discoloration because of the dying nerve within.
Risk Factors for Chipped Teeth
- Weak teeth are more likely to chip due to several reasons.
- Tooth enamel can wear down over time. As you age, you are at a higher risk of having chipped teeth.
- Sugar-based food promotes bacteria that can attack your teeth enamel.
- Acid reflux or heartburn can bring the acid from the stomach into the mouth, which is also not good for your tooth enamel.
Symptoms of a Chipped Tooth
Often, a minor chip will go unnoticed if it is not on the front teeth. Many people do not even realize they already have a chipped tooth.
The common symptoms of a chipped tooth are:
- You can feel the jagged surface by running your tongue over the chipped tooth.
- The gum around the chipped tooth feels irritated.
- Irritation when the tongue moves over the uneven and rough edge of the tooth.
- The intense pain from the pressure on the tooth when biting.
Self-Care for a Chipped Tooth
You can follow some self-care steps to reduce the pain or avoid further injury until you visit your dentist to get your chipped tooth repaired.
- You can use a tea bag, sugar-free gum, or dental wax to cover the jagged edge of the tooth to protect the tongue and gums.
- You can also take anti-inflammatory or painkiller medications.
- You should regularly floss to remove the food trapped between your tooth
- Ice can be applied around the gum of the chipped tooth to get relief from the pain.
- Avoid using the chipped tooth for chewing.
- Clove oil is known to reduce the pain; you can apply it around the gum area of the chipped tooth.
- Prefer using a protective mouthguard during sports or any outdoor activity.
Complications of Chipped Teeth
Chipped tooth is a very common dental injury. Generally, it does not produce significant pain and can be treated effectively with varying treatment options available. However, you should opt for the treatment sooner to avoid any further complications to your chipped tooth. Some of complications which you may face with a chipped tooth are:
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods or beverages
- Pain while eating and drinking
- Swollen glands near jaw or neck area
- Sour taste or bad breath
How Much Will Chipped Tooth Repair Cost?
The chipped tooth repair cost varies according to the severity of the affected teeth, the extent of the chip, and the type of treatment opted.
Expected estimate for different types of treatment to fix the chipped teeth are:
1. Bonding – It costs somewhere around $100 to $1,000, depending upon the complexity of the chipped tooth and work done to fix it.
2. Filling – It may cost from $90 to $500.
3. Crown – The crown may cost as low as $250 and can be as high as $3,200; it depends on the type of the crown and the location of the mouth where it must be placed.
4. Root Canal – The price varies from $500 to $1,000. It depends on the extent of damage and the location where it has to be placed.
5. Veneers – A dental veneer may cost anywhere between $500 to $1,500.
How Does a Dentist Fix a Chipped Tooth?
With the advancement in treatment procedures, dentists can fix your chipped tooth to the extent that it would be nearly impossible to identify it. Some of the standard methods used today to fix the chipped teeth are:
Teeth bonding is an easy process used for a minor chip. A composite resin is filled that matches your natural tooth color.
Veneers are thin composite or porcelain shells used to cover the chipped tooth. After treatment, the tooth looks natural as if it had never been chipped.
A root canal is used when the damage is severe and exposes the inner portion of your teeth called pulp. A root canal, together with a crown, is generally used for the treatment to control further damage.
In some cases, when other treatments are not possible, your dentist may ask for partial or full tooth extraction.
What to Do First
If you notice that you have a chipped tooth or a broken tooth, don't panic:
- Rinse with warm water
- Stop the bleeding
- Reduce swelling
- Relieve the pain
- Protect the tooth
- Safeguard your tongue and cheeks
- Preserve the chip if feasible
- Visit your dentist quickly
Chipped teeth can deteriorate over time. Prompt care from a trusted dentist can prevent that from occurring and save you a reasonable amount of pain in the process.
Related Article: Gum Disease: Understanding Its Causes, Symptoms, and Cure
Options for Fixing a Chipped Tooth Fast
There have been several advances in dental treatment over the years. Today a chipped tooth can be fixed to the extent that it is nearly impossible to identify if a chip ever existed. Here are the standard methods to treat chipped teeth:
- Teeth bonding
- Dental crown or cap
- Enamel Shaping
- Root canal
- Tooth Extraction
It is essential to get your teeth and gums assessed by a dentist any time you chip or damage a tooth in order to make sure there is no underlying damage and to protect your teeth from further risks.
Contact us to learn more about chipped tooth remedies or with one of our expert Ames dentists today!