A year ago, I was eating beans - yes, soft refried beans - at my favorite Mexican food joint, when I bit down on something hard. I pulled the item out of my mouth, only to discover that I had chomped down on a stone. Did you know that stones are commonly found in dry beans? I had no idea, until my tooth met one.
At first, I didn't think that anything was wrong, but as I drove home that evening, I noticed that I did indeed chip a tooth. Oh no!I quickly started freaking out. Hey, that's what I do the best. It was a lower premolar, and the chip was hardly noticeable in the mirror. I wasn't experiencing any pain, but I still decided that a trip to the dentist was in order.
I made an appointment for the same week. During my visit, the dentist examined the tooth and took some X-rays. He said I was lucky. The chip appeared to be only in the enamel. My tooth would be fine. Many people, however, aren't as lucky as I was.
Here are some common remedies for chipped teeth:
Composite Build Up
This remedy was offered to me, but since you can't really see the chip, I declined. In order to qualify for a composite build up, the chip must be minor. The dentist uses composite, tooth-colored filling material to rebuild your tooth. They shape and mold the material until it looks just right. It's simple and relatively inexpensive.
For a deeper chip, a crown may be suggested. These chips usually cause fractures or splits in the tooth. If left alone, the tooth may shatter completely. If the nerve is involved, the dentist will order a root canal before making a permanent crown. This will prevent future problems with the tooth. The crown will be constructed out of porcelain or metal and glued on the tooth. This will usually fix the problem for good.
If the tooth is fractured badly, the dentist may suggest an extraction. This is always the last option, for obvious reasons. A dentist always wants to try and save a tooth first. Sometimes, however, pulling the tooth is the best thing to do. No, you won't be left with a hole in your mouth. Your dentist may choose to create a bridge to fill in the missing tooth. A dental implant might also be a good choice. If your dentist needs to pull the damaged tooth, don't fret. The gap will be fixed in no time.
If you ever chip a tooth, make sure you seek dental attention right away. Only your dentist can tell you which option is the best for your case.