Chipped tooth? Cheer up, we’ll have it fixed in no time!
A chipped tooth can make you feel as if all the chips are down. Luckily, at each of our branches, it is one of the dental problems we encounter often. As a result, we’re well-versed in best practice methods to fix a chipped tooth.
Preventing chipped teeth
Our philosophy at Family Dental Care is that prevention is better than cure, always. So, first let’s look at ways to prevent tooth chipping:
1. Avoid eating tough, hard foods such as chewing excessively on ice blocks or peanut brittle.
2. Use a fluoride- and calcium-enhanced mouthwash to strengthen your teeth.
3. Do not use your mouth to open packages, untie knots or open cans or tins.
4. Brush your teeth twice a day, and floss once a day to keep your teeth and gums in optimum health.
5. Wear a mouthguard when playing sports, especially contact sports.
6. Avoid getting tongue piercings and if you do, opt for a softer metal. Your teeth will find hard metals abrasive and over time, they could damage your teeth.
Repairing a chipped tooth
You can have a chipped tooth repaired at any of our branches in KZN and Cape Town. There are a number of difference ways to address a chipped or damaged tooth:
Bonding or dental filling
If you’ve only chipped a small part of tooth, we’ll use a filling. If it’s a front tooth that’s been affected, though, we’ll bond a tooth-like and similar coloured strong substance to your tooth so it looks as if you have a complete tooth. The material used in the bonding is instantly set with light technology to harden it and with any luck, you’ll have a new tooth lasting you ten years.
How can we fix a chipped tooth when a big chunk of tooth is gone or if the tooth is badly decayed? A crown is a covering or ‘cap’ for the entire tooth. We use the materials that will best fit your mouth and smile, and will best cover your tooth injury. We could opt to use metal, porcelain, metal bonded to resin or a ceramic material. If your whole tooth is missing but the vital part is still there, namely the root, our dentists could place a holding pin in the root canal, and then build up enough materials to shape a tooth and crown it.
Usually, it takes two visits for crowns to be completed. During the first visit, an X-Ray scan is taken to assess the extent of the damage. Then, moulds of your teeth are made (the chipped tooth as well as the tooth it will touch), so that the crowns can be formed. Because we like to be on the forefront of technological advancements though, our 3D scans and imaging mean we can complete the entire process in a day, making the crowns while you wait!
Another way to fix a chipped tooth is using veneers. Modern veneers are of high quality, and last up to twenty years. This is an option for covering the front of a prominent tooth, such as an incisor. It is of particular consideration if you’ve already tried bonding, and need a longer-lasting solution. Think of a veneer as a thin shell for your tooth at the front. It won’t interfere with the functioning of your tooth.
If the roots or nerves of your tooth have been damaged, or if your teeth are too decayed, it may be best to remove the tooth completely and opt for an implant. The same is true if your tooth has cracked in an awkward place, such as just above the gum. After your cavity has healed, we will insert a metal ‘holder’ for a new ‘tooth’. This new, constructed tooth will look, feel and function as well – or, in some cases, better – than your old tooth. Your comfort levels are important to us at all times, we will ensure to numb and anaesthetise the affected area completely.
The cost of repairing a chipped tooth
Your chipped tooth repair cost will vary according to the procedure you choose or that’s required. Generally the cost to repair a chipped tooth is less when using bondingthan for more complicated procedures such as crowns, veneers or implants. Your chipped tooth repair cost will also depend on how much, if any of the cost, is borne by your medical aid.
The chipped tooth repair cost should you go the veneer route will also depend on which materials you use, with porcelain being the most costly.
Restorative dentistry for repairing your chipped or damaged tooth is a skilled science, and we apply it using only the latest technology. This minimises your need for endless appointments and time away from work. It also ensures a best fit with your facial structure.
When it comes to your chipped tooth repair cost, we won’t impose a solution on you simply so we can bill you for it. We are aware that these unforeseen emergencies are expensive. Chat to us about your concerns, and we’ll gladly run through all your options with you!