When you first notice a chipped tooth, it can be easy to dismiss it as not serious or something that won't happen again. However, many things can happen if this chip is left untreated and goes unnoticed. If left untreated, it may cause additional damage. What started out as a potentially minor issue can develop into something more serious. Let's discuss what can happen to an untreated tooth and how dentists typically treat them at their offices.
What causes a chipped tooth?
A chipped tooth can happen for many different reasons, but the most common cause is biting down on a hard object. This can be something as simple as a chip in your spoon when you are eating ice cream, or it could be something more severe like tripping and falling with an open mouth. In other instances, a chipped tooth may be caused by an injury. For instance, people may be at higher risk for a chipped tooth if they play contact sports. It doesn't matter how the tooth is damaged; it needs to be treated as soon as possible.
What can happen if a chipped tooth isn't treated?
For some people, it may be tempting to leave a chipped tooth as it is. This is not a good idea. The first thing that will likely happen without treatment is you may begin to feel pain in your mouth, but not always. This could become more painful over time, though, since there are many nerves inside the jawbone and the tooth itself. The pain you feel can also be affected by what you eat because it could irritate the exposed nerves in your teeth if they are sensitive to heat or cold, sugar, etc. This pain can lead to irritation would ultimately impact your mood. Over time, this could have a negative impact on your overall life.
What is a dental crown?
One option for treating a chipped tooth may be a dental crown. A dental crown involves taking an impression of your tooth and then custom designing a new tooth for you by a dentist. This is most appropriate when the tooth is large enough to be replaced because your teeth aren't meant to have gaps in between them, which can weaken them over time. When there are no more nerves left in an area of a tooth, then that tooth will eventually fall out, which makes dental crowns imperative to saving the rest of your teeth.
What is a dental filling?
Another possible solution for restoring your smile may be a dental filling. A dental filling can be used if you have minor damage done to one or two areas on one side of your tooth, and it isn't chipped all the way through. This involves removing any decay from inside that area, shaping up the tooth with no rough edges, and filling it with a composite material. Sometimes the dentist may need to use a different material if you have an allergy or sensitivity that prevents your tooth from being appropriately filled.
What is considered significant damage?
As we discuss significant damage to your teeth, you may be curious what exactly that means. If more than half of the tooth is missing, this would be considered significant damage because there isn't much left to save. If this is the case, your dentist will need to remove all the remaining tooth structures and place a dental implant or bridge in its place to have healthy teeth again. This can be done with different materials depending on what works for your mouth.
How long does it take?
It usually takes ten to twenty minutes to complete a dental crown, and if it is just a simple filling, this can be done in as little as five. A more complicated procedure may take longer depending on how long the dentist needs to complete everything correctly.
Ask your dentist for more information
If your tooth has been impacted, it's important to let your dentist know right away. there are many solutions available to you, but your dentist will need to examine your first to determine which option is right for you. Reach out to your dentist today to learn more about how to treat your tooth so that you can restore your smile once and for all. Don't ignore your damaged tooth as this could lead to even bigger problems later on.
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