Chipped teeth don’t just affect the appearance of your smile; they can actually lead to severe dental damage if left untreated. Fortunately, there are a variety of cosmetic dentistry treatments available to restore the appearance of chipped teeth and create a gorgeous smile. To find out which treatment for chipped teeth is right for you, schedule a consultation with Pittsburgh, PA dentist Timothy Sluser.
Treatments for Chipped Teeth
A chipped tooth may occur as a result of a sports-related injury, a car accident, a fall, or any other facial injury. A chipped tooth may also occur as a result of bad habits, like chewing on metal pen caps or opening packages with your teeth. Whatever the cause, seeking treatment for chipped teeth as soon as possible is key to preventing further damage and restoring oral health. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available to restore the health and appearance of chipped teeth, including:
- Dental bonding: Using a tooth-colored, putty-like resin, dental bonding treatment can repair dental chips and minor fractures, as well as correct the appearance of other dental flaws. This resin is applied directly to the teeth. Once the desired shape and size are achieved, the resin is hardened and polished, completing the restorative treatment.
- Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers are another option for repairing chips and minor fractures. Porcelain veneers are custom-crafted shells designed to cover the outer surface of the front teeth. Like dental bonding, porcelain veneers may be crafted to any desired size and shape to treat a variety of cosmetic dental issues.
- Dental crowns: Teeth with large chips may be too damaged for treatment with dental bonding or porcelain veneers. In such circumstances, dental crowns may be the most suitable option. Dental crowns are tooth-shaped restorations designed to fit entirely over a damaged tooth, effectively repairing damage and restoring dental strength.
- Onlays: In some cases, chips may be too severe for dental bonding or veneers but not severe enough for a full dental crown. Onlays, sometimes called “partial crowns,” are often the best treatment option in this situation.
Tips for Preventing Chipped Teeth
Chipped teeth are commonly caused by accidents and occur without warning, but unforeseen accidents are not the only cause. So what can you do to prevent chipped teeth?
- Never use your teeth as tools: Using your teeth as tools, like using your teeth to open plastic packages, can lead to chips and fractures.
- Wear a mouth guard when playing sports: Those who play sports, like football and hockey, can help reduce the risk of a sports-related dental injury by wearing a mouth guard during play.
- Don't bite on hard objects: Biting on hard objects, like fingernails and plastic pen caps, should be avoided because it can lead to chipped teeth. It's also important to practice care when eating hard foods, like chewing on ice or popcorn kernels, as these can also chip the teeth.
- Replace metal fillings: Old silver amalgam fillings have a tendency to expand and contract over time, which can lead to dental damage and chips. Replacing old metal fillings with tooth-colored composite resin fillings can restore tooth strength and prevent fractures and chips.
Which Treatment Is Right for You?
For more information about treatment for chipped teeth, and to discover which treatment is right for you, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sluser.