Chipped teeth can be an annoying and sometimes painful experience. While the initial chip can be alarming, there's really no need to panic. In most cases, a chipped tooth can be repaired with the help of a dental professional. However, some minor chips may heal on their own over time.
If it's a small splinter, it's unlikely to cause any long-term damage, but it can catch on the lip or tongue and cause discomfort. If this is the case, it can be softened a little, although you will find that it will soften naturally over time. So can a dentist file a slightly chipped tooth? The short answer is yes. If the damage is minor, the dentist may be able to file the tooth and smooth the chip.
If the damage is severe, the tooth will likely require more than remodeling the enamel. Too many patients avoid treatment for chipped teeth in the hope that it will heal on its own. This can cause serious symptoms and other oral health problems that require more extensive treatment. Although annoying symptoms can go away with a small splinter, chipped teeth don't heal on their own and require the attention of a dental professional. It is possible for a tooth to be repaired only if the damage is minimal.
For example, if a tooth has a crack at the outer level and a minimal fracture line that does not cause pain, it can repair itself over time. The healing process is known as remineralization and refers to the minerals in our mouth. Saliva goes a long way when it comes to keeping your mouth healthy and can help rebuild cracked tooth enamel to make it strong and protective once again. Even though tooth enamel is one of the most durable tissues in the human body, chipped teeth are common and can occur for a variety of reasons, such as trauma to the mouth or biting something particularly hard. Sometimes, these situations can be prevented by taking appropriate precautions, such as wearing a mouth guard during sports or using a device for bruxism (a.k.a nightguard) if you clench or grind your teeth while you sleep. Dentists can restore the tooth to its natural appearance, usually in one visit.
For a minor chip, the patient can care for the tooth at home while waiting for a convenient time to see the dentist, while severe splinters will likely require emergency dental (or medical) care. In the meantime, take an over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation, apply ice to the affected area on the outside of the cheek or face, and consider using temporary dental adhesive material or dental wax to cover the irregular edge of the tooth and prevent irritation of the tongue and gums until you can go to the dentist to have your tooth repaired. Determining whether or not you have a broken or chipped tooth is usually quite obvious: a part of your tooth is missing and the broken point will be irregular or sharp, and you will probably feel some pain. Symptoms of a chipped tooth usually include mild to moderate discomfort, swelling, and sensitivity, along with a noticeable change in the appearance and functionality of the tooth. There are a variety of ways to treat a broken tooth depending on the severity of the chipping or breakage, ranging from simple joints and veneers to caps or crowns and fillings. A cosmetic dentist can install a veneer over just the broken tooth or several at a time to create a cohesive appearance, making veneers an excellent choice if you want to repair a chipped tooth while improving the overall look of your smile. Crowns cover the entire tooth rather than just the front or visible part of it. Cavities and other dental cavities can also weaken tooth enamel, as can heartburn or acid reflux, along with consuming significant amounts of sugar or acidic foods such as coffee, fruit and fruit juices, and spicy foods. Veneers can also be a good option if an attached tooth has already been chipped or broken and can last ten to twenty years.
Dental fillings are also common for repairing broken teeth or decay, especially if it is a chipped molar or posterior tooth that is not very visible. While dentists offer their patients more natural alternatives when they need dental care, many patients also wonder if it's possible for a tooth to repair itself without visiting a dentist. While there are cases where minor chips may heal on their own over time with proper care at home, severe chips will likely require professional attention from your dentist.