Chipped Tooth North Liberty, IA

A chipped tooth is a common dental injury that causes aesthetic and oral health problems. It is one of the many dental concerns we treat in our North Liberty, IA, dental office. While it is not a dental emergency, chipped teeth can lead to pain and distress. However, this type of dental injury should never be ignored either. Any significant damage to a tooth can lead to further damage and infection down the road if left untreated. Dr. Jeremy Tu offers several treatments for a chipped tooth in North Liberty, IA.

chipped tooth in North Liberty, IA

What Causes a Chipped Tooth?

The outer layer of the tooth, called the enamel, is one of the strongest substances in the human body. It is a durable shield that is responsible for protecting the inside of the tooth. Even though it is every tough, there are some things or events that can cause it to break. The causes of a chipped tooth typically situations including:

  • Trauma or Accidents: A sudden blow to the face, such as a car wreck or a sports injury, can lead to chipped teeth. People who participate in contact sports without wearing mouthguards are at a higher risk of chipping a tooth.
  • Biting Hard Objects: Chewing on hard substances like ice, hard candy, or non-food items like pens or bottle caps can lead to chipped teeth. This is a bad habit and should be avoided.
  • Tooth Decay: Cavities weaken the tooth structure, making it more prone to chipping. Neglected dental hygiene and untreated tooth decay can increase the risk of chipped teeth.
  • Teeth Grinding: Chronic teeth grinding or jaw clenching, which often occurs during sleep, can slowly wear down the enamel, making the teeth susceptible to chipping.
  • Uneven Bite or Misaligned Teeth: Malocclusion, such as an uneven bite or crooked teeth, can create areas of excessive force and lead to chipping.

What Should I do If I get a Chipped Tooth?

If you chip a tooth, you should take action right away. Acting quickly will prevent further damage and manage any discomfort:

  1. Gently rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and remove any loose tooth fragments.
  2. If there is bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area with light pressure until the bleeding stops.
  3. Use an ice pack on the outside of the mouth to reduce swelling.
  4. Take over-the-counter pain relievers, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to reduce any pain or discomfort.
  5. Avoid chewing on the affected side to prevent additional damage.

Treatment Options for a Chipped Tooth in North Liberty, IA

The appropriate treatment for a chipped tooth depends on the severity and location of the chip. Dr. Tu will examine your tooth and recommend the best treatment for you. Common chipped tooth treatment options include:

  • Tooth Bonding: For minor chips, Dr. Tu may suggest tooth bonding. He will apply a tooth-colored resin material to the affected area, shape it, and then harden the material using a special light. This is the most affordable option available; however, it is also the least durable.
  • Porcelain Veneers: A dental veneer is a thin, custom-made shell that covers the front surface of the tooth. Dr. Tu will suggest a porcelain veneer if you have a larger chip or for improving the appearance of multiple teeth. A dental veneer is a durable and permanent solution for a chipped tooth.
  • Dental Crowns: If a significant portion of the tooth is damaged, you may need a dental crown. A Crown is a cap that will cover your entire tooth to the gum line to restore its strength and appearance.
  • Root Canal Treatment: If the chip extends into the tooth’s pulp, it can cause sensitivity and pain, damage the pulp, and compromise its vitality. The chip can also simply allow bacteria to enter the tooth and cause an infection. In such cases, a root canal procedure is necessary to remove the damaged pulp and save the tooth.

A chipped tooth is a dental concern that should be treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Call the office of Dr. Jeremy Tu to book an appointment to find the most suitable treatment for your chipped tooth in North Liberty, IA. Call (319) 284-4361 to book your appointment or request an appointment online by filling out the form.