Bedford dentist, Dr David Nolte looks at the options available when a tooth is chipped.
However well we look after our teeth, there is always a risk that they can suffer some damage, however minor. The better we look after our teeth though, the stronger they are likely to be.
However strong they are though, minor damage can still occur and one of the most common types of damage that we see is when a tooth becomes chipped.
If this happens to a patient and their next regular appointment at The Dental Centre Bedford is some time away, it can leave the patient with a bit of a dilemma; whether to simply leave the chip or make an additional appointment to have it looked at.
Always play it safe
The first piece of advice that I would give a patient who this has happened to is to be on the safe side and have it looked at by a professional. Although it may appear to you that just a tiny piece of tooth has been lost; with closer examination, it is possible that more of the enamel may have cracked with it. If left untreated, this could allow bacteria to enter the tooth through the cracked enamel and lead to infection and decay. Catching problems like this at an early stage will mean that you are less likely to need more extensive treatment later on.
Treating a chipped tooth
There are a number of options available to restore a chipped tooth. We take a look at some of these below, starting with the least invasive; no treatment at all.
Leave the chip
If the chip in the tooth is very tiny and has not compromised the enamel to any significant degree, it may be perfectly possible to leave the chip as it is. This will depend on a number of factors though, such as does it have a sharp edge that is causing discomfort and whether it weakens the structure of the tooth.
Smoothing the enamel