A chipped tooth may refer to a piece of the tooth or an old filling that has become loose. Fillings may also become entirely loose. In most cases, the tooth is chipped as a result of an accident, such as falling. Teeth may become chipped when eating or grinding your teeth. In such cases, the common underlying factor is dental cavities.
What to do if a tooth is chipped?
The edge of a chipped tooth often feels sharp. If only a small section of the crown of the tooth has become chipped, it may not require immediate care. All chipped tooth should be examined by a dentist, however.
If a large part of the tooth is chipped, it may damage less superficial parts of the tooth. Chipped teeth can cause severe hypersensitivity, toothache or even loose teeth. In such cases, you should contact a dentist immediately.
Chipped teeth require treatment
A dentist can grind or file away the sharp edge of a tooth without the need for additional treatment in minor cases. If the tooth is more extensively chipped, the dentist can fill the cavity with filling material.
In some cases, the tooth can be so extensively chipped that it reaches the dental pulp. Root canal therapy must be performed before placing a filling in such cases. If the tooth is chipped all the way to the pulp, it should be treated immediately as the pulp cavity is susceptible to infections and an infection or the chip in itself may result in the loss of the tooth.
If the tooth is damaged extensively, a filling may not be enough. Instead, a crown must be placed on the tooth. This procedure is slightly more advanced than placing a filling, but a crown can be designed according to the size and shape of the original tooth.