A chipped tooth is a common occurrence that can result from an accident or from biting down on foods that have a hard surface. Depending on the location of the chip, eating can become difficult and the aesthetics of your smile may also suffer. Fortunately, there are several, local restorative options to choose from, including dental bonding in Los Angeles, porcelain veneers in Los Angeles, crowns Los Angeles and dental implants in Los Angeles.
The option that works best for you will depend on the extent of the chip and the overall health of your teeth.
The Damaging Effects of a Chipped Tooth
A chipped tooth can take many different forms. The conditions that caused the tooth crack may indicate other problems are present. Poor oral hygiene and cavities weaken tooth structure, making it more vulnerable to damage.
If tooth decay or other dental issues are present, a chipped tooth can cause cracks to form. The types of cracks that result from a chipped tooth may take the form of:
- Full crack – a crack that extends all the way to the root of the tooth
- Fractured cusp – a piece of the tooth surface breaks off
- Split tooth – a crack that branches off throughout the tooth
If it’s just a simple chip, a dentist can repair it and make it look good as new. If there are other issues present, a more comprehensive treatment approach may be needed.
Signs of a Chipped Tooth
While an obvious chip is hard to miss, a chipped tooth may be hidden and produce no symptoms at all. It’s not uncommon for a piece of a tooth to break off while eating, in which case it may be swallowed without knowing it. Other hidden chips or cracks are be so small that they can only be seen by an X-ray.
Signs of a chipped tooth to watch for include:
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
- Swelling gums
- Experiencing tooth pain when eating
A chipped tooth surface leaves the tooth and gums susceptible to bacteria and infection. Even in cases where a chip may not be obvious, it’s best to make a dentist appointment if you’re experiencing one or more of the above symptoms.
Dentist Office Options for Fixing a Chipped Tooth
Dental bonding Los Angeles is a simple procedure that’s best suited for small chips that pose no risk to your oral health. When properly cleaned and cared for, bonding can last for as long as 10 years.
A bonding procedure entails molding a composite material over-top the tooth. This material is then shaped to form a natural extension of the tooth that fills in the chipped area. Lastly, a blue laser-type light is used to harden the composite material.
Porcelain veneers in Los Angeles work well in cases where a chip has caused a crack in the tooth. Veneers can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years when properly maintained.
This replacement option uses a porcelain material that covers the front of your teeth. In effect, porcelain veneers can be used to restore one tooth or several teeth, producing a smooth and natural effect.
Like veneers, crowns use a porcelain material to cover the tooth. Crowns differ from veneers in that the porcelain covers the tooth in its entirety rather than just the front-side.