Tooth enamel is harder than bone. It works to protect the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that comprise the pulp in each tooth’s center. Below the enamel of each tooth are the dentin and cementum layers. Like enamel, these layers are hard and work to protect the soft, non-calcified tissue in the pulp chamber.
Chips and cracks in tooth enamel can allow bacteria, acids, and food particles to enter the inner chamber of the tooth. There, debris can quickly spark an infection, resulting in toothache, abscess, and similar oral health concerns. Worse still, when left untreated, infection in the teeth and gums can enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body, increasing risks for heart attack and stroke, certain types of cancer, and other potentially deadly illnesses.
How is a Chipped Tooth Treated?
Glendale dentist Dr. Nathan Tenney offers several options for chipped teeth, including:
- Porcelain veneers. Placed over the front surface of teeth, dental veneers cover chips with a porcelain shell to help prevent further damage.
- Dental Crowns. Placed over the entire tooth, a dental crown can protect all surface areas from damage. Crowns are typically placed following root canal treatment to remove infection and debris from the pulp chamber of a tooth.
- Dental Bonding. Applied in layers to teeth that have become damaged or compromised, bonding is strong, protective, and cost-effective.
- Tooth-Colored Fillings. Filling, inlays, and onlays can all be used to protect compromised teeth. Which of these options is best will depend on the location and extent of the damage.
Treating a chipped tooth is a general dental service, but at Desert Smiles, it is accomplished with an eye towards cosmetic perfection. All of our tooth repair treatments are designed to produce natural-looking results that complement your entire smile. If you have multiple issues detracting from the health and beauty of your teeth, we can discuss additional treatment options during your time in our care.
Will I Have to Have a Root Canal?
Having a chipped tooth does not mean you have to have a root canal. Having an infected tooth does. Addressing chips and cracks as soon as they appear will help prevent infection.
You can further reduce your chances for a root canal, fillings, and other chipped tooth treatment options by protecting your teeth:
- Avoid chewing on ice and hard candy
- Don’t bite or chew on non-food items (like plastic)
- Brush your teeth after every meal and snack
- Floss morning and night
- Visit our office for cleanings every six months
Maintaining routine visits every six months helps ensure that problems, including chipped teeth, gum disease, and tooth decay, can be identified and treated early on. When addressed in its earliest stage, damage to tooth enamel can often be treated before discomfort begins and long before more invasive treatment options become necessary.
We are Here to Help
If you have a chipped tooth, call Desert Smiles at 602-978-1790 to schedule a treatment consultation right away. Located in Glendale, Dr. Tenney and our staff welcome patients living throughout the region, including the communities of Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Chandler.