chipped tooth

Munch, Munch, Ouch!: The Dangers of a Chipped Tooth and What to Do About It

A chipped tooth accounts for 26% of the unplanned visits to the dentist. Unfortunately, not everyone with a chipped tooth goes to the dentist though. 

Most people wait until they are in pain to seek treatment. Of those people making an unplanned visit to the dentist, 33% did so because of pain. You too may be tempted to ignore your chipped or cracked tooth. After all, it isn’t causing you pain, so why mess with it? 

This is a big mistake! Keep reading for the dangers involved in neglecting a chipped tooth. 

The Danger of a Chipped Tooth

When a tooth chips the tooth becomes compromised. The enamel on your teeth is supposed to be a protective layer. 

So when your tooth chips, that outer protective layer now is not a solid defense. You risk losing the tooth due to infection or decay in the open chipped spot. 

Small Chips 

A small chip probably won’t cause you any pain. This is because it isn’t deep enough to reach the nerves in the interior. 

This doesn’t mean you can avoid getting it fixed. Smaller chips and cracks are prime spots for cracks to form and grow throughout the rest of the tooth. Now you have a much bigger problem than just a small chip. 

Large Chips 

Large chips will reach the interior pulp of your tooth. This is the living part of your tooth

You may notice that you have increased temperature and pressure sensitivity. This is because the outer layer of enamel is gone, leaving your nerves and the root of your tooth exposed. 

Once you compromise the living part of your tooth, you are at a high risk for infection or the tooth dying. If you have a large chip, you should seek dental care immediately

How to Fix It 

Small chips are a quick and easy fix to the surface of the tooth. This will help prevent further cracking and damage. 

You might hear your dentist refer to this as “bonding”. This is where a tooth-colored resin is used to bond to your tooth, reshape your tooth, and restore your smile. 

For serious chips though, you’ll most likely need a filling or cosmetic crown. Both of these methods will seal off your tooth to protect the living pulp.  

Sometimes the chip is so large that the tooth is too damaged for a simple patch up repair. If this is the case, the damaged tooth will be removed and an implant will be put in. 

Do You Have a Chipped Tooth?

Whether the chip is small, medium, or large, you should have it checked by a dental professional. They are qualified to asses the condition of your tooth and perform the repair. 

By getting your chipped tooth addressed right away, you can prevent further damage, infection, and loss of the tooth.  If the tooth is too far chipped for repair, your dentist can remove the tooth and replace it with an implant.  

Contact us today and we can help you take care of your chipped tooth. 


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