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How To Fix The Chipped Teeth?

A chipped tooth is basically a fracture at the crown of a tooth. The usual culprits of a chipped tooth are injury, brittle teeth, cavities, tooth decay, weak tooth structure and bruxism. Oftentimes, we hear someone complaining of chipping a tooth while eating hard foods or candies. However, that is not true in all cases because a tooth that chipped while eating is originally weak in structure, hence it was already vulnerable to chipping even before eating hard foods.

When chipping a tooth, it is always best to immediately see a dentist regardless if there was pain or not. A dentist will help assess the damage that happened to a tooth and decide on how to proceed next. He or she will likely conduct dental x-rays  to check if there had been damage done to the root of the tooth. Furthermore, the dentist will thoroughly inspect the tooth and try to find out what caused it to chip. Dentists generally treat a chipped tooth by replacing the broken crown with a synthetically made veneer. In the case however of a severely injured tooth, the extent and method of the treatment may vary according to the damage.
Dental filling or bonding, veneers, enamel shaping and crowns are the measures that dentists recommend to fix a tooth that has been seriously chipped.
Dental Bonding: Dental bonding is a cosmetic dentistry technique which utilises a tooth-coloured plastic resin or bonding material to fill the chip. The tooth is buffed and coated with a conditioning liquid so that the resin can stick to it. The resin is applied and an ultraviolet light or laser beam is used to harden the coating. The tooth is then shaped, buffed and polished to revive its natural look; all of the work involved in dental bonding usually requires just one visit.
Veneers: A dental veneer is a wafer-thin porcelain shell that is slipped onto the damaged tooth. The cosmetic dentist first buffs the tooth to ensure that the veneer will fit. The veneer covers the whole tooth and offers a natural-looking ceramic mask. The patient may have to use a temporary veneer for a few weeks before the final one is sealed in place. A veneer is a great option when enamel shaping and dental bonding are ineffective to restore a chipped front tooth.
Enamel Shaping: Often used in conjunction with dental bonding, enamel shaping is a procedure that corrects the shape of a tooth by contouring or removing some of the enamel. It is very effective in correcting a chipped tooth when the imperfection is not too serious.
Crowns: An all-porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal or gold crown is a useful alternative when a veneer would be inadequate to fix a chipped tooth. The crown or cap covers the entire outer surface of the damaged tooth and strengthens it. The procedure involves using an impression of the tooth to craft a bespoke crown that fits it perfectly. Done under local anaesthesia, the fixing of a crown usually takes two sittings.
Extraction and replacement: If the tooth is chipped in a way that repair is not possible, it may have to be extracted and replaced with an artificial denture or dental implant.
Of all the cosmetic dentistry measures discussed above, bonding is the easiest and the least expensive. However, the material used in bonding is not durable, making it a somewhat temporary solution when compared to crowns, veneers or fillings. As a result, bonding is usually seen as best suited for minor tooth chips. Ultimately, it is the damage that determines the treatment for a chipped tooth and complicated cases are best handled by specialist cosmetic dentists.
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