Chipped Tooth Repair: What to Do If You Have a Chipped Tooth

Feb 21, 2024 | Dental bonding, Dental crowns, Dental implants, Dental tips

Teeth have a hard outer covering (known as enamel). However, like any other substance, it has a breaking point. Before we look at what you should do if you have a chipped tooth, it helps to briefly state what a chipped tooth is and the causes behind it. 

What Exactly is a Chipped Tooth?

In the simplest terms, a chipped tooth is one whose enamel has broken off. The chipping can be mild (which is hardly noticeable and painless), to severe, characterised by jagged tooth edges and tooth pulp exposure which causes sharp pain.

Main Causes of a Chipped Tooth: Chipped Wisdom Tooth, Chipped Molars, and More!

Any of your teeth can become chipped due to the following situations:

  • Facial injuries i.e., falls or other accidents that exert force on your teeth directly/indirectly
  • Biting on hard substances such as ice, hard candy, etc.
  • Eating tough foods
  • Weakened teeth, which are caused by factors like tooth decay, teeth grinding, consuming plenty of acid-producing foods, etc.
  • Age-related wear: The teeth wear down naturally as we age resulting in weakened enamel. This is a serious factor for people aged 50 or more.

Main Signs of Chipped Teeth

Before you seek chipped tooth repair, it helps to ascertain if you have the problem in the first place. These are the signs and symptoms you should look out for: 

  • Rough spots on the tooth surface, jagged edges, or sharp edges when you feel your tooth with your tongue
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Gum irritation around the chipped teeth/tooth
  • Visible signs like fractured teeth cusps, visible cracks on the enamel, and craze lines.
  • Pain when the tooth is exposed to hot or cold food and drinks.
  • Pain when biting

Which Teeth are Most Likely to Get Chipped?

All teeth are at risk of being chipped. However, some teeth are more susceptible than others. According to studies, second lower molars tend to get chipped the most since they suffer the most pressure from chewing1

Dental Chip Repair: What to do when chipped tooth

A chipped tooth can cause severe pain and sensitivity. The chances of other dental issues like tooth decay also increase since chipped enamel exposes the inner layers of your tooth to bacteria. Chipped teeth are also a cosmetic concern.

We suggest you seek professional treatment immediately if you suspect you have a chipped tooth. Most importantly, do so from experienced dentists. Annex Dentistry is one such dental clinic in Toronto with over 50 years of experience offering highly specialised dental treatments for this situation. 

How Chipped Teeth Are Fixed

These are the most common treatments for a chipped tooth:

1. Dental Bonding

This is one of the best ways of restoring chipped teeth today. The process involves the application of tooth-coloured composite resin (bonding material) that covers the chipped area and bonds on the tooth enamel like glue after hardening (done using ultraviolet light). Most importantly, the resin can be shaped perfectly to become indistinguishable from the adjacent natural teeth. 

Dental bonding can be completed in a single visit. Typical procedures take 30-60 minutes per tooth. This non-invasive procedure is perfect for minor chips. If your teeth have chipped significantly, other treatments can be explored. Book a dental bonding appointment now in Toronto.

2. Dental Crowns

If your chipped tooth is badly damaged or fractured with severe cracks and/or decay, dental crowns are highly recommended. Crowns are simply coverings for an entire tooth. They resemble hollow artificial teeth that fit over the affected area like tooth-shaped caps or crowns to prevent more damage. Dental crowns also help deal with other dental problems like discoloured or misshapen teeth.

If your teeth have undergone heavy restoration, crowns may also be an ideal solution. There are several types of crowns generally based on the type of material that makes them i.e. metal crowns, porcelain crowns, composite crowns, etc.

You need to see an experienced dentist to advise you if you need dental crowns and the type you should install, there are even temporary crowns or permanent crowns. Find out more about dental crowns in Toronto.

3. Porcelain Veneers

If you have chipped teeth that have other minor cosmetic issues i.e. discouloration, stains, gaps, rough edges, etc., porcelain veneers are a perfect option.

Unlike dental crowns, dental veneers are usually meant to cover the front part of the tooth. Porcelain veneers stand out from other types of veneers because they are more resistant to staining when compared to composite veneers. They are also more durable, lasting 10-15 years or more with proper care. Veneers can be made of ceramic, there are also composite resin veneers. 

In our professional opinion, porcelain veneers offer a great benefit to our patients given their strength and durability as well as comfort, which is why we recommend this type of veneer.  You can click here to find out more about our offerings.

4. Other Solutions: Dental Implants

In cases of extensive damage or a completely knocked-out tooth, dental surgery may be the best option instead of mere tooth repair. This surgical procedure may be recommendable when the cracked teeth or chipped teeth have severe decay that warrants a complete tooth extraction, but it’s not the most common scenario and this is why you should book a dental appointment to allow a professional to evaluate the gravity of the situation.

Dental implants permanently replace a tooth restoring its function and bringing back your beautiful smile. However, this can be an invasive and costly procedure. Find out more about dental implants for severely chipped teeth and other dental health solutions.

Final Thoughts

A chipped tooth can affect your ability to chew. It may also come with discomfort, pain, and other unfavourable symptoms. What’s more, chipped teeth can compromise your smile if the affected area is visible when you smile.

Luckily, there are many ways to repair a chipped tooth. The solutions range from dental bonding to crowns, porcelain veneers, and even dental implants. You need a qualified health practitioner to help you choose the best repair option.

Luckily, you can rely on our established dental clinic in Toronto, Annex Dentistry! Our dental office has modern equipment, the latest in dental technology, multiple dental services, and a highly experienced team led by Dr. Amy Antzoulatos.

Get in touch for more information or book a dental appointment. Email [email protected] or call 416-962-4022 for dental emergencies.