A chipped tooth is one of those unfortunate dental injuries that can affect anyone. It can happen while you chew on a really hard item or even through a small accident. Many assume that because the enamel, the layer that covers our teeth, is stronger than steel, injuries such as chipping your tooth are impossible. But in reality, these chipped tooth occurs far more commonly than we might think.
In case you broke or chipped a tooth, we will cover all the immediate steps that you need to take in the article. In addition, we’ll provide a few tips that can help you avoid chipping your teeth in the future.
What to do when a tooth chips?
Immediately after chipping your tooth, your first concern should be to visit a dentist. Professionally repairing a chipped tooth will ensure that you do not lose your whole tooth or add more damage. Most teeth chip due to cavities or dental inflammations, and if you do not address the issue right away, a chipped tooth may spread an infection to the surrounding tissue.
Another reason you should address your chipped tooth immediately is that the breaking may make your tooth susceptible to more breakage. Oftentimes, this would lead to losing the whole tooth, and the costs of treatment would be much higher then.
Likewise, depending on the angle of the chipping, your tooth might have sharp edges that can cut your tongue, cheeks, and other tissue in your mouth.
How to fix a chipped tooth at home?
As we have mentioned above, there are many dental complications that can arise from chipping your teeth. It is always best to see a professional who can address your complaints. It is not possible to repair chipped teeth at home. But if you cannot see a dentist immediately, here is what you should do after chipping a tooth at home:
- If your chipped tooth has sharp edges that can cause injuries, you can place specific items to protect your dental tissue. These include teabags, sugar-free gum, filling material if available, and dental wax.
- You can resort to over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen if you’re experiencing pain from a chipped tooth.
- If you’re experiencing irritation in the area around the chipped tooth, you can place ice to reduce the symptoms.
- Avoid chewing on the tooth that is broken to not cause more chipping or damage.
- If your gums are irritated, you can apply clove oil to the area and this should numb it down for a while.
- Consider wearing dental night guards before sleeping if you’re a tooth-grinder to avoid causing more damage to your chipped tooth or surrounding tissue.
- It is not necessary, but if you can carefully floss to remove particles of food stuck around the chipped tooth; it would help reduce pressure on your tooth when chewing.
How to fix a chipped tooth?
In the dental field, there are many treatments for broken teeth and your dentist will recommend the best one possible depending on a number of factors. For instance, the material and treatment plan can drastically change depending on the position of the chipped tooth. Other factors include your financial plan, allergies, and the size of the chipping.
1- Dental bonding/filling for a broken tooth
Dental bonding is a common practice in dentistry that can be an ideal quick fix to many cosmetic problems. This procedure uses composite resin which is a clay-like material to repair the breakage on your teeth. Although affordable and time-efficient, dental bonding provides aesthetically pleasing results and lasts for a long time.
To ensure that you get a natural-looking repair, your dentist will color-match the resin so it blends very well with your natural teeth. Following this, your dentist will prep the surface of your tooth for treatment by filing down the rough edges and smoothing it out.
Your dentist will then directly apply the material to your teeth, molding and smoothing it along the way to ensure a natural finish. And finally, to bond the material, your dentist will cure the tooth with blue light marking the end of the procedure.
Your dentist will recommend bonding to fix your broken teeth only if the damage is minor. More extreme cases call for other measures.
2- Dental crowns for a chipped tooth
Dental crowns are another popular option for treating chipped teeth. Typically, your dentist will recommend dental crowns to repair a broken tooth if the damage was on a molar tooth. For this procedure, your dentist will first smooth out the edges of your chipped tooth. Then they will take impressions of your mouth.
Typically, there are two methods to doing this; there’s the molding technique and the modern digital design technique. In the former. your dentist will have you bite in a mold to take the measurements of your teeth. They will then send this mold to an off-site laboratory that will design your crowns. This process usually takes weeks.
On the other hand, you have the CAD/CAM technique which digitalizes the whole process. Using AI and cutting-edge software, you can get a precise design that the machine 3D prints. This process takes around a day or 2 to complete. The only downside to this is that it limits your options for the crown material. CAD/CAM exclusively works with ceramic/porcelain crowns.
So if you’re interested in other materials for your crown, you can consider the traditional method. Generally, porcelain crowns look the most natural, whereas zirconia has the highest durability. For back teeth, it is almost always best to opt for zirconia. Other options for your crown material include metal-infused porcelain, which does not look natural but is resilient and cost-efficient.
3- Veneers for a chipped tooth
Veneers may be popular for the Hollywood Smile procedure, which is a smile-makeover technique. But they can also be a good option to repair a broken tooth. Unlike crowns, veneers mostly target front teeth and they’re always made of porcelain, making them ideal for the CAD/CAM technique.
Your dentist will start by filing down your teeth, to both make space for the veneer and smooth out the tooth. Next, they will either opt for the traditional design process or CAD/CAM. At Dentakay, we prefer working with the CAD/CAM technique owing to its pristine and precise design abilities. But traditional techniques are also available if patients choose to opt for those instead.
Once the design process is over, the machine will 3D print your veneers right away. Alternatively, your dentist will have you bite on a mold which they’ll send to an off-site laboratory. Your veneers should be ready in about a week.
How much to fix a chipped tooth in the UK
If you’re considering any of the above treatments we discussed for a chipped tooth, treatment costs will vary between them.
For instance, if you opt for porcelain veneers, the cost will be around $1,300 to $1,700 to repair one broken tooth. Zirconia crowns would cost anywhere between $670 to $900, whereas porcelain crowns would range from $700 to $800. Bonding would be a more affordable option ranging from $220 to $450.
These prices can be expensive for many people, which is why dental tourism is on the rise. For instance, you can repair a chipped tooth in Turkey for far less. Opting for high-quality porcelain veneers would cost you around $270 to $370 in Istanbul. This means that porcelain veneers in Turkey are more affordable than dental bonding in the UK.
Fixing a broken tooth does not usually require a lot of work. To avoid complications, make sure you visit your dentist right after the incident. Your dentist will inspect the cause of the chipping and if it is the result of cavities, they will have to treat that beforehand. Usually, treatment will involve a root canal and then your dentist will recommend the ideal treatment plan for your chipped tooth.
For more questions about dental chipping or dental tourism in Turkey, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our dental specialists will get in touch with you right away to address all your concerns in a free online consultation.