There are many ways to chip or crack a tooth. You may bite down on a hard piece of candy or receive a blow to the mouth while playing sports. Some damages that teeth sustain may necessitate an extraction. In those cases, a dental implant or a dental bridge can be used to replace the lost tooth. However, if a chip or crack is not deep, it may may mar the appearance of the tooth without affecting its health. Here are two dental applications that may be used to correct a minor chip or crack:
Dental bonding can be used to seal and cover chips and cracks that may expose a small portion of the dentin of the tooth. The bonding material, which is usually a composite resin, can be applied to the damaged area and molded to the tooth for uniformity. In addition, the color of the composite resin can be matched to that of your natural tooth.
Dental bonding can usually be applied in a single dental visit.
Dental crowns are hollow dental appliances that cover the natural crown of the tooth. They can be made from multiple tooth-colored materials, such as porcelain, porcelain-over-metal and resin. In addition, metallic crowns made from metal alloy, gold or stainless steel are available, but they are still more noticeable in the mouth.
The prosthetic crown covers the tooth to protect it and to fortify its structure. A tooth that has been cracked or chipped may be more likely to sustain further damage. If a crack extends through the root of a tooth, the tooth becomes irreparable, so the protection of a dental crown can help avoid more extensive structural issues.
Crowns may require two dental appointments for permanent placement. During the first appointment, a mold is made of the patient's teeth and a temporary crown can be placed. However, during the second appointment, the permanent crown that has been fashioned in a dental laboratory can be applied.
Still, there are exceptions to the two-appointment rule. Stainless steel crowns, which are pre-constructed, can often be placed in a single appointment since it does not need to be sent to a dental lab for construction. In addition, same-day porcelain crowns, which are designed using digital imaging and constructed using a computerized milling machine, can be prepared and placed during one office visit.
If you have sustained a dental crack or chip, contact a dentist in your area to schedule an appointment.