Dental Health
September 20, 2016
The chipped tooth

Chipped tooth, as the name indicates, is when a part of the tooth is chipped and this happens mostly with the front teeth, though it can happen in the back teeth as well. The treatment of the chipped tooth varies with the amount of tooth chipped.{{more}}

The main cause is trauma to the teeth. When something hits the face, it can cause chipping of teeth; in case of children it can be due to outdoor sports like cycling, skating etc. Boys are more prone to chipping of teeth than girls. Sometimes, because of some habits like putting pencils in the mouth, or opening pins with your mouth, or holding needles in front teeth can cause chipping of the teeth. Sometimes teeth are chipped when they are already weakened by decay and because of the decay the tooth becomes thin and chips.

Treatment of chipped teeth varies according to the amount of the tooth chipped. If the chipped part is very small, then sometimes just by rounding the edges takes care of it. There is no need to build the chipped tooth structure. But if it is big and cannot be just rounded off, then the part of the tooth which is chipped is built with composite. If the dentine is involved when the tooth is chipped and the patient feels hot and cold sensations, the treatment plan changes. In such cases, the tooth is built with the composite or dental crowns can be planned, based on the extent of the damage. But if the chipped part of the tooth is very near to the pulp and it threatens to expose the pulp, then the root canal treatment is done prior to crown placement.

In some cases the tooth suffers such an extensive destruction that the crown part is almost gone. In such cases post and core is done prior to porcelain crown.

How to prevent chipped tooth

It is said that prevention is better than cure, so it is better to prevent having chipped tooth than to have it and then go for treatment afterwards. There are various ways to prevent chipped tooth.

1. Wearing mouth guard – Whenever you play contact sports or engage in dangerous activities that may cause trauma to the teeth, wearing a mouth guard is a wise choice.

2. Maintaining good oral hygiene – Maintain very good oral hygiene by flossing and brushing properly. Go for regular dental check-ups after six months. Maintaining good oral hygiene will prevent dental decay which, in turn, prevents chipping due to a weakened structure.

3. Foods – Try not to eat very hard and sticky food. Do not put pencils and pens in your mouth. Also do not try to open things with your teeth.

If you have a chipped tooth, then it is always better to visit your dentist ASAP and get the treatment done, as delay in treatment can complicate the treatment plan.