Once you’ve chipped a tooth, it's common to be self-conscious of that chipped tooth, even after it’s bonded. If your chipped tooth suffered an exposed nerve, you probably still remember the shooting pain in sharp detail. Above all else though, you fear it happening again and strive to take every precaution in protecting your chipped tooth and the rest of your teeth.
What Happens After You Chip Your Tooth
When you chip a tooth your dentist will repair the damage with a resin bonding material which will match the color of your existing tooth. Bonding tends to be the most common method of repairing a chipped tooth.
If a large piece of your tooth has broken off, or if your tooth has a lot of decay, your dentist may file down what remains of the tooth and cover it with a dental crown, which is a tooth-shaped cap made to protect you tooth and improve its appearance.
Protecting Your Previously Chipped Tooth
There are a number of things you can do to protect a previously chipped tooth, but overall you need to develop habits that protect the vulnerable tooth from future harm. Become aware of absent-minded habits you likely do without noticing. Here are a few tips for protecting chipped teeth:
- If it’s a front tooth, don’t bite into anything directly
- If you grind your teeth in your sleep, wear a night guard
- Wear mouth guards in any kind of contact sport
- Don’t bite your nails
- Pay attention to sensitivity to cold and/or whitening procedures
Small—barely noticeable—chips may develop over time, but they're nothing to worry about—just normal wear and tear. The thing to watch out for though is that almost anything can chip your tooth again. You could be biting your nail or into a solid food without much pressure, but at a certain angle, your tooth will still chip. That's why it's so important to strive to avoid habits that could put your repaired tooth in jeopardy.
If you have your chipped tooth bonded, it’s important to remember that the bonding will always remain the same color, so if the rest of your teeth yellow or if you whiten them, there will be discoloration. Some people choose veneers as a more permanent solution later on.
Contact our office if you are in need of an emergency tooth repair, or if you have any questions on how to manage a previously chipped tooth.