You don't have to live with chipped teeth. Cosmetic dentistry treatments are available to improve the appearance of chipped teeth. Orland Park, IL dentist Kenneth W. Coffey specializes in a variety of treatments to repair chipped teeth and restore your smile. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Coffey today to find out which treatment is right for you.
Treatments for Chipped Teeth
Chipped teeth are more than just a source of self-consciousness, they can also lead to further dental damage if left untreated. Dental chips leave the teeth vulnerable to tooth decay, which can lead to root canal infections or tooth loss. This is because dental chips break the protective layer of the tooth's enamel, exposing the inner dentin to bacteria and plaque. Treating dental chips as soon as possible is key to protecting oral health. Popular treatments for chipped teeth include:
- Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers are tooth-shaped restorations, which can be used to repair chips in the front facing teeth. Each porcelain veneer is custom-made to match the surrounding teeth and mask dental damage, like chips, as well as a variety of flaws.
- Dental bonding: Dental bonding treatment can also be used to mask dental flaws, including chips. Dental bonding offers customized treatment using a putty-like resin shaped directly on the tooth. Once the bonding material is formed to the desired shape and appearance, it's hardened for a durable, long lasting finish.
- Onlays: Onlays may be used when damage is too severe for dental bonding or porcelain veneers but not so severe as to require a full dental crown. Onlays are also custom-made for a seamless blend with the surrounding teeth.
- Dental crowns: Dental crowns are tooth-shaped restorations that fit completely over a damaged tooth to restore structure and appearance. Dental crowns are generally used when damage is too severe for the above treatments.
Preventing Chipped Teeth
Although there are treatments available to correct chipped teeth, prevention is always preferable. You can help prevent chipped teeth by knowing the causes, which include:
- Injury: Sports-related injuries are a common cause of chipped teeth, as are non-sports related injuries, like falling, or injuries sustained in a car accident. Dental chips caused by sports-related injuries can be prevented by wearing a mouth guard during play.
- Using your teeth as tools: Using your teeth to open plastic packages, cut tape, or remove glue caps, can lead to chipped teeth or dental fractures. Avoid using your teeth as tools to prevent dental damage.
- Fluctuations in food temperatures: Changes between hot and cold foods and drinks can lead to dental chips and fractures, especially in teeth with silver amalgam fillings. Silver amalgam fillings will expand and contract when in contact with temperature fluctuations, putting additional stress on the teeth.
- Chewing on or eating hard things: Chewing on hard items, like pen caps, fingernails, or ice cubes, as well as eating hard foods, like corn nuts or biting hard candies, can lead to chipped teeth.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Coffey
Enjoy a beautiful, chip free smile. To find out which treatments are right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Coffey.