Chipped tooth means when a part of the tooth is chipped and this happens mostly with the front teeth though it can happen in the back teeth also. In case of chipped teeth the part which s chipped can be very small or it can involve the major part of the tooth. The treatment of the chipped tooth varies with the amount of tooth chipped.
When the tooth is chipped? What are the causes which causes the chipping of the teeth? The main cause is the trauma to the teeth. When something hits the face it can cause chipping of the teeth or in case of children it can be due to the outdoor sports like cycling, skating etc.. The boys are more prone to the chipping of teeth than the girls. Some times because of some habits like putting the pencils in the mouth or opening the pins from the mouth or holding the needles from the front teeth can cause the chipping of the teeth. Sometimes the teeth are chipped when they are already weakened by the decay and because of the decay the tooth becomes thin and chips.
Treatment of the chipped teeth varies according to the amount of the tooth chipped. If the chipped part is very small then sometimes just by rounding of the edges takes care of it. There is no need to build the chipped tooth structure. But if it is big and cannot be just rounded off then the part of the tooth which is chipped is built with the composite. If the chipped part is with the patient then that part can be reattached using the composite. It gives very good shade matching as the original tooth structure is being attached and the results are very esthetic. If the dentine is involved when the tooth is chipped and the patient feels hot and cold sensation the treatment plan changes. In such cases the tooth is built with the composite or the veneers can be planned. But if the chipped part of the tooth is very near to the pulp and dentist feels that it can expose the pulp then the root canal treatment is done.
After doing the root canal treatment one can either opt for porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns. In some cases the tooth is so much chipped that the crown part is almost gone. It is not possible to go for the porcelain crowns as the support is very less. In such cases post and core is planned. After putting the post and core the dentist gives the porcelain crown. For front teeth even in porcelain crown there is option of full ceramic crown or the porcelain fused to metal crown. In full ceramic crown though they are expensive but they are very esthetic as they are able to reproduce the exact translucency like the natural teeth but in case of fused to metal crowns as there is metal inside the translucency part is lacking and sometimes it gives artificial looks. Again the decision depends upon which tooth is affected and which type of crown the patient can afford.
It is said that prevention is better than cure, so it is better to prevent having chipped tooth than to have it and then go for treatment afterwards. There are various ways to prevent chipped tooth.
Wearing Mouth guard – Whenever playing some outdoor sports in which chances of trauma or hit are there, the mouth guard will prevent the front teeth and hence it’s chipping.
Maintaining good oral hygiene – Maintain very good oral hygiene by doing proper flossing and brushing. Go for regular dental checkups after six months. Maintaining good oral hygiene will prevent the dental decay and this will prevent the chipping of teeth because of dental decay.
Foods – Try not to eat very hard and sticky food. Do not put pencils and pens in mouth. Also do not try to open things from the front teeth.
If you have a chipped tooth then it is always better to visit your dentist ASAP and get the treatment done as delay in treatment can complicate the treatment plan.
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