Chipping a tooth can sometimes seem like it's no big deal. If you have chipped a tooth and you're trying to decide if you should really do anything about it or not, it's important to understand that this type of tooth damage should never be ignored. Here's a look at several of the reasons why you shouldn't ignore a chipped tooth and what can ultimately happen if you do.
Why Should You Not Ignore A Chipped Tooth?
If you believe that the chip in your tooth is minor, you might decide that you don't really need to worry about it right now. The truth is that you should have it looked at right away because the sooner you seek chipped tooth repair, the less risk you will have of further damage to that tooth.
When your tooth is chipped to any degree, it weakens the structural integrity of the tooth, making it more vulnerable to further damage. That means that what may seem like a small chip now is likely to become a far greater problem over time. Eventually, that chip could cause your tooth to crack further, potentially exposing the nerve and leading to the need for a root canal or a possible extraction.
How Will They Fix A Chipped Tooth?
There are a number of different options for chipped tooth treatments. The option your dentist will choose is going to vary depending on the severity and location of the chip. For example, a minor chip in an area that is not highly visible can easily be repaired with a resin material application. The resin is applied and formed to fill in the chipped area, then cured with a specialized light so that it hardens. Resin filling isn't ideal, however, for highly visible teeth, as it can be harder to match the color with resin, so it may stand out a bit against your teeth.
For cracks and chips in areas that are more visible, your dentist may recommend that you opt instead for a crown. The crown will seal off the tooth and protect it, offering structural integrity to keep it from deteriorating any further.
If the chip is large enough that it has exposed the nerve of the tooth, you are likely in quite a bit of pain. Your dentist will likely suggest a root canal on that tooth first and foremost to remove the exposed nerve and ease your pain. However, if the chip has resulted in the threat of your tooth breaking off at the gum line, your dentist may simply suggest that it be extracted instead. Then, you can choose from a partial denture or an implant to replace it.