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Your Best Option When Fixing A Chipped Tooth

April 8, 2024
Your Best Option When Fixing A Chipped Tooth

Have you recently chipped a tooth? Whether it just happened, or your tooth has been chipped for some time, it may need more than just cosmetic treatment. What is the best option for fixing a chipped tooth? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Chipped Tooth? 

A chipped tooth occurs when a small piece of a tooth breaks off. The most common type of chipped tooth is when a corner or a cusp breaks off. A large chip may be considered a fractured tooth rather than a chip. The size and depth of the chip is what determines the most effective treatment. 

Treatment Options for a Chipped Tooth 

The following treatments may be used for a chipped tooth depending on the situation: 

  • Cosmetic bonding. A small chip on a single tooth may be repaired with cosmetic bonding. Tooth-colored composite material is used to reshape the tooth so that it looks even and natural. 
  • Veneers. If you have multiple chipped teeth, veneers can be placed over them to provide an even appearance across the front row of teeth. A single tooth can also be fitted with a veneer if it is the only one in need of repair. 
  • Root canal and crown. A chipped tooth may be at risk of infection if the chip is close to the nerve. In this case the best treatment for the tooth is a root canal and a crown. 

What is a Root Canal? 

A root canal is a procedure that cleans the center of the root and removes any remaining dental pulp, the soft tissue at the center of a tooth. The dental pulp is made up of blood vessels and nerves and is susceptible to infection. The chamber that contains the dental pulp is called the root canal, which is where the procedure gets its name. 

A small hole is made in the tooth in order to access the root canal space. The root canal is cleaned thoroughly, removing bacteria and infected pulp tissue. The root canal is then filled with a material to help prevent bacteria from re-entering the canal space. A crown is placed over the tooth to protect the remaining tooth structure and the root. 

What Can Happen if a Chipped Tooth Goes Untreated? 

A tooth with a small chip may be nothing more than a cosmetic imperfection. It may be able to exist for years without affecting your dental health in any way. However, a larger chip may allow bacteria to reach the root canal and infect the dental pulp. Bacteria can then spread to the bone around the tooth and create swelling in the face and neck. A tooth that is infected or at risk of infection will need treatment for the best chance of saving the tooth. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Chipped Teeth

Does a chipped tooth always need treatment? 

A minor chip may not need endodontic treatment. Cosmetic treatment is often enough for a small chip. However, it is still important to have it examined by a dentist or endodontist to make sure that the tooth is not at risk of infection. 

Is chipped tooth treatment covered by insurance? 

If a chipped tooth needs treatment because the health of the tooth is at risk, the procedure should be covered by most dental insurance plans. If the chip is merely cosmetic, the treatment may not be covered, such as cosmetic bonding or veneers. 

Who Treats Chipped Teeth? 

A chipped tooth that needs a root canal can be treated by an endodontist. Advanced Endodontics specializes in root canals and other procedures that restore the health of the teeth from the inside. If you have a chipped tooth, it is best to have it examined by an endodontist to determine what the best treatment would be for the health of the tooth. 

Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment. 

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