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I Chipped a Tooth. Do I Need a Crown?

I Chipped a Tooth. Do I Need a Crown?

A chipped tooth may have you hiding your smile behind your hand, but it’s much more than a cosmetic problem. These tooth injuries can also leave the tooth vulnerable to pain and decay. That’s where dental restorations can help.

Daniel Park, DDS, offers numerous restorative solutions at Beaumont Cherry Valley Dental in Beaumont, California. These advanced treatments not only restore the appearance of your tooth, but they protect its health and function as well. 

If you chipped a tooth, you may not need a crown. Here are a few techniques Dr. Park uses to repair tooth damage.

Chips vs. cracks

Before recommending the best course of action, Dr. Park performs a comprehensive assessment to determine the extent of tooth damage. 

People often use the terms “chips” and “cracks” interchangeably when talking about their teeth. However, these terms describe two different — yet equally serious — tooth problems.  

When you crack a tooth, it typically remains intact. In some cases, the break is even invisible to the human eye. However, a chipped tooth means a portion of the tooth completely breaks off, whether small or large. It’s also the most common dental injury.

Both chips and cracks require expert attention to avoid permanent damage or tooth loss. If you think you’ve cracked or chipped a tooth, rinse your mouth to flush the area of debris, apply ice, and contact our office for emergency dental care immediately.

Treating chipped and cracked teeth

When it comes to treating chipped and cracked teeth, Dr. Park decides on the best approach by assessing the size and location of the chip or crack. The most common treatments include bonding, veneers, crowns, and implants.

Bonding

For a small chip, the most common solution is bonding, which is also called a composite filling. When performing this restoration, Dr. Park applies a tooth-colored resin in the area and shapes it into the missing portion of the tooth. This treatment is one of the most common dental services performed today.

Veneers

If you have a slightly larger chip, and the chip is located on one of your front teeth, Dr. Park could suggest a veneer. Unlike bonding, which can address small areas of damage, a veneer conceals all of the visible portion of a tooth with a thin, tooth-like shell. 

This option can improve the appearance of your tooth and provide protection at the same time.

Crowns

For more significant tooth damage — such as a crack or large chip — Dr. Park often recommends dental crowns. This restoration covers the entire tooth, which restores its appearance and protects it from damage.

Dental implants

Finally, if you have a severe chip or crack with little tooth remaining above the gumline, Dr. Park could turn to dental implants. With an implant, a titanium post is inserted into your jaw. This post acts like a tooth root. Then, a false tooth is attached to the post. An implant looks and functions just like a natural tooth.

When to call a dentist

It can be tempting to put off a call to the dentist, especially if you don’t see significant damage or experience pain in the area. However, prompt treatment can help prevent future complications, such as tooth loss.

If you think you’ve injured a tooth, contact our office for personalized guidance immediately. Dr. Park also recommends scheduling regular visits, so he can detect small cracks as early as possible and treat them before they progress.

Did you chip or crack a tooth? Get the help you need by calling 951-845-2661 to book an appointment with Beaumont Cherry Valley Dental today.

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