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Chipped Teeth: What Are My Treatment Options

drednarcisi Oct 31, 2015

A chipped toothWhen patients visit Dr. Edward Narcisi, they can rest assured that they are working with one of the best dentists in the Pittsburgh area. He offers great cosmetic dental care that improves smile aesthetics as well as restorative dentistry procedures that fight tooth decay and damage.

Many people experience chipped teeth as a result of accidents, injuries, or even just regular wear and tear. There are plenty of ways a dentist can fix a damaged tooth, which we'd like to cover right now.

Dental Bonding for Minor Chips

If you have just a small chip on your teeth, a major restorative procedure won't be necessary. A minor chip can be treated simply by using dental bonding. Also known as tooth bonding, this procedure involves the application of a tooth-colored resin onto the affected tooth. In essence, a dentist is painting layers of structure into and onto the chipped area to make the flawed tooth look great again.

Porcelain Veneers for More Serious Cosmetic Chips

Dental bonding may not be the ideal treatment for more serious chips that are still predominantly aesthetic in nature. For these situations, the best option tends to be a porcelain veneer. Porcelain veneers are thin shells of semi-translucent dental ceramic that are fixed to the fronts of the teeth. When in place the porcelain veneer blends in with your natural tooth structure and masks the chip from view.

Porcelain veneers are quite versatile and are also a great treatment option to consider for cracks, stains, gaps, and issues with crookedness or asymmetry.

Inlays and Onlays for Major Tooth Damage

If a chip is significant and takes a chunk out of a tooth, a restorative treatment is typically better rather than a cosmetic one. In such cases, a good option for care is the use of an inlay or an onlay. Inlays and onlays are like dental fillings, but they are designed to restore a larger portion of a damaged tooth. Inlays and onlays are strong enough to even replace the entire biting surface of a tooth (also known as the cusp).

Inlays and onlays come in metal and tooth-colored form.

Dental Crowns Can Save Severely Chipped Teeth from Extraction

Following a severe chip to a tooth that affects overall tooth structure, it's sometimes best to use a dental crown to address the damage. A dental crown is a cap that fits over an affected tooth. When in place, the crown will restore the strength of the tooth when it comes to biting and chewing while also protecting the tooth from pain, sensitivity, and further harm.

Like inlays and onlays, dental crowns come in metal and tooth-colored form.

Tips for Preventing Chipped Teeth

In order to prevent chipped teeth, consider the following tips:

  • Avoid biting your fingernails
  • Do not chew on hard/inedible objects (e.g., drinking straws, pen caps)
  • Do not use your teeth to open packaging
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Wear mouth protection during contact/combat sports
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups

Learn More About Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry Treatment

To learn more about your treatment options for chipped teeth, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Edward Narcisi and the entire team at the practice will work with you to help you have the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible.

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