What is a chipped tooth?

A chipped tooth is normally nowhere near as bad as it looks but nonetheless, it is a condition that requires a dentist due to the fact that even a small chip can affect the structure of your teeth. Ultimately, bad chips can expose the dentine and as such, they provide a route for bacteria to reach the roots of the teeth eventually resulting in infections such as abscesses.

Unfortunately, chipped teeth can’t really be prevented when caused by injury. They can sometimes happen due to weakened teeth because of a poor diet, decayed teeth or old age. When a chip occurs, one of the first things to do is to try and locate the fragment of tooth. If at all possible, take the fragment and visit a dentist as quickly as you can.

Sometimes however, it can be hard to visit a dentist because they’re closed or too busy. In these circumstances, many pharmacists sell temporary dental cement which can be used to seal over a breakage or a chip, to ensure that for a short period at least, the tooth is sealed from bacteria. While it’s an effective short-term fix, it usually doesn’t last more than a week or so.

Many people think that a chipped tooth is a cosmetic disaster. The good news is that these days, even the worst chips and breakages can be fixed by your dentist. The important thing however is to see him quickly to ensure that the tooth is actually salvageable.

Dentists can treat chipped teeth in a number of ways. If the chip is only minor, he or she might just use a filling-like material to seal the gap and reform the tooth. This procedure is pretty minor and can usually be done in just one sitting. For more serious chips or if there is signs of infection present, the dentist may advise a root canal followed by a crown.

Essentially when this happens, the dentist will strip away (debride) all the infected material around the breakage site and sometimes the dentist will clean the interior of the tooth as well removing the nerve.  Following this, the dentist will then fill it with a dental compound and shape the tooth ready for the crown which then gets fitted over the top the tooth and cemented in place.

Chipped teeth don’t need to be catastrophic disasters. Visiting the dentist quickly ensures the survivability of your tooth and minimizes the chance that a root canal will be necessary. By taking care of your teeth, you also help to reduce the chances of chipped / broken teeth because good oral hygiene helps keep the enamel of your teeth strong.

With good hygiene, broken teeth are rare occurrences. By eating a healthy diet and using toothpaste that contains fluoride to clean your teeth at least two times a day, you don’t only minimize the chances of a chipped tooth, but you also actively strengthen your teeth. It’s one of the best ways to protect against disaster.

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