Although the enamel that covers your teeth is the hardest and most mineralized tissue in the body, its strength is limited.

There are several things that can cause damage to your teeth. Hitting your mouth when falling or biting into hard things can obviously cause a tooth chip or break. But not only this can have an impact on your teeth. Teeth that are weak because of cavities, trauma from an accident, past sports injuries, poor nutrition or grinding and clenching your teeth can also cause the teeth to be chipped or broken.

 If you discover you have broken or chipped tooth, don’t panic! I know… broken front tooth is a good reason for panic, especially before the night out, but remember that there are many things your dentist can do to fix it.

At Sistova Road Dental Studio we are always able to see you the same day in a case of an emergency!

If your tooth is cracked, broken, chipped or fractured, book an appointment with the dentist as soon as possible. Chipped teeth aren’t necessarily medical emergencies by themselves but bear in mind that if left untreated for too long a chipped tooth can lead to:

  • Smile imperfections that might be expensive to correct
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Enamel damage
  • Tooth pain if your chip is large enough to expose a nerve
  • Infection because the nerve is less protected from bacteria in the mouth
  • Abscess
  • Tooth loss if not treated

Size matters

The size of the chip determinates the type of dental treatment you’ll need.

Small chips:

A small chip is usually the case with a minimal loss of the tooth surface not large enough to do damage to the enamel or the sensitive layers beneath your enamel.

Tiny chips usually don’t need a complicated treatment to be fixed. The dentist might be able to use a polishing instrument to remove all appearances of the chip and smooth out any rough edges that may remain.

However, just because you think the chip is small, it doesn’t mean there is no risk. See the dentist for a consultation anyway. There is always a reason why your tooth chipped and it’s better to be safe and make sure there is no any infections and other problems related to the chip.

Medium Chips:

If your chip is medium size or in other words is large enough to damage some of the layers beneath the enamel, there is a risk to health of your tooth and even to your health in general if you do not seek professional dental care quickly enough after the chip occurs.

There is nothing to worry about, the dentist can easily repair medium sized chips and treat the dental infection and pain, especially if you act quickly and see the dentist as soon as possible.

Dental Filling or Bonding?

If you have chipped off just a piece of tooth enamel, the dentist may repair the damage with a filling or bonding. If the repair is to a front tooth or can be seen when you smile, the dentist will likely use bonding, a procedure which uses a tooth-coloured composite resin. Requiring a single visit, bonding lasts several years. Bonding is more susceptible to staining or chipping than other forms of restoration, however, it is less destructive to the tooth structure than porcelain restorations. When teeth are only chipped bonded composite resins may be the material of choice. If the chip is at the back of your mouth or the tooth is decayed the dentist will use dental fillings to fix the chip because dental filling can be cosmetic material as well, but their main use is for health-related purpose.

Large Chips:

Large chips often cause more problems. Except the aesthetic problem because they are very visible they also present the high potential for an exposed nerve and potentially excruciating pain.

With the large chip, it is very important to see the dentist within 24 hours if possible. This will not only relief you from the pain but will also increase the likelihood that you won’t lose the tooth.

Depending on the severity of damage to your tooth, it can result in the need for crown or a root canal treatment to save it.

If a large piece of tooth breaks off or the tooth has a lot of decay, the dentist likely will file away part of the remaining tooth and cover it with a crown – tooth-shaped cap made of porcelain or metal or a combination of both that is placed over a tooth. The dentist will match it up to the shape and colour of your other teeth to make sure there will be no visible difference. Crowns are recommended to cover a tooth to restore its shape and size, strength and to improve its appearance. The root canal treatment will be needed if the entire top of the tooth is broken off, and the cavity in a tooth becomes very deep and reaches the nerve in the root of the tooth. After this procedure the dentist will build up enough of a structure onto which a crown can be fitted. In some cases this might be the only option to save the tooth.

Cosmetic treatment for chipped tooth – why not?

Veneers are – next to fillings, bonding and crowns – an option for fixing the chipped tooth. Veneers are definitely more cosmetic solution to the problem however, because they can be used to change the overall appearance of your smile, they are excellent for not only hiding a chips or cracks but also discolorations, gaps, and other imperfection like oddly shaped, unevenly spaced or crooked teeth. Talk to your dentist about that option if you feel that’s might be something for you.

And no matter what size of the chips happens to you – act quickly.