While the cost of dental crowns is usually covered by insurance, getting a crown can still be an expensive and time-consuming process. Once the crown is in place, it can be tempting to forget about it and continue your normal habits, but not being mindful of your tooth restoration could lead to you having to…
Can a Chipped Tooth Be Left Untreated?
A chipped tooth is not an uncommon problem that people face. Not only can this be an embarrassing condition, but it can pose oral health concerns. However, there are times when you might not need to repair this blemish. Your dentist has the knowledge and training to give you the right answer and provide the insights you need. You may want to treat a chip because of the way it affects your smile, but it will not necessarily pose other problems.
How people may have a chipped tooth
Teeth are made of the hardest substance in the body, even harder than bone. This does not mean that a tooth cannot suffer physical damage. Under the right conditions, teeth can chip, crack, or even break. Often, a chip is the result of a hard blow to the mouth, either from a fall or contact with another object. This can occur in an accident or by playing sports.
Biting into something such as hard food, utensil, pen, or fingernails can chip a tooth. Some people develop the poor habit of grinding their teeth. Over time, this can weaken the tooth, causing a chip. Not brushing properly can also lead to this type of damage.
Repairing the tooth: fillings and bonding
When a chipped tooth is small, the dentist may choose to fix it with a filling. This enables the dentist to build up the tooth and replace the lost area. To do this, the dentist may first numb the patient to make them feel comfortable. The filling or bonding material is usually made of ceramic or porcelain, so it will be the same color as the tooth. The dentist smooths the filling after placing it.
Placing a crown
If the chip is larger and more noticeable, the dentist can use a crown to repair it. A crown covers the entire tooth and restores its shape and size. It also protects it from suffering more damage. A crown can stabilize a chipped tooth and helps improve not only the aesthetics of the tooth but the bite force as well.
Placing a veneer
A veneer is a thin shell that attaches to the front of the chipped tooth. It is often the treatment of choice for a damaged front tooth. Usually made of porcelain, a veneer can last more than 10 years. It restores the tooth to its natural, preferred shape and size. Placing it requires the dentist to remove some enamel and etch the tooth so that it bonds effectively.
Deciding to leave it alone
Fixing a chipped tooth is sometimes for cosmetic reasons only. There may be situations where this condition poses no risks to a person’s health. If it is not bothering the patient, the dentist may choose not to treat it. Not treating it may make sense if there is no pain and if the tooth is not decayed or infected. Also, if the chip is small and not likely to break apart more, the dentist may not repair it.
Help is available to fix your smile
Your dentist can restore your smile if you are not happy with the way your teeth work. There are multiple treatments to consider. However, if a chipped tooth is not an issue for you aesthetically, you may be able to leave it alone without repairing it. Make an appointment with your dentist so you can have an examination.
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