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Why Even Minor Chips on Teeth Should Be Fixed

Fix Minor Tooth Chips | Cosmetic Dentist San DiegoIf you chipped a tooth, you may be trying to decide whether it’s worth it to repair the chip. If the chip is small, you might think it’s best to save yourself the time and money and not get it restored. However, there are good reasons to get a chipped tooth repaired, even if seems like it’s minor to you.

It’s Probably More Visible Than You Think

You might think a small chip on your tooth isn’t noticeable, but it probably shows up more than you think. Our teeth evolved to be noticeable, with a bright white enamel that contrasts against the dark space in the back of the mouth.

So when you talk, laugh, and, of course, when you smile, people are more likely to notice the chip on your teeth than you think. Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry can treat a damaged tooth relatively quickly.

Minor Chips Are Vulnerable to Decay

Even if you aren’t concerned about the cosmetics of a chipped tooth, you should consider its impact on the health of your smile. The outside of your tooth enamel is smooth because this makes it harder for oral bacteria to cling to your teeth. This reduces the formation of plaque and makes plaque easier to clean off your teeth.

But the chipped surface of a tooth isn’t smooth. It’s jagged from the break. This makes it more likely that food and bacteria will accumulate there over the course of the day, and less likely that you’ll successfully clean it away at night. This makes a tooth chip a place where cavities are going to start, which means that you’re probably going to have to repair it anyway, possibly with a more serious restorative procedure.

Minor Chips Can Lead to Bigger Cracks

You had to suffer a significant trauma to chip your tooth. But who says that the chip is all the damage your tooth suffered? Sometimes, your tooth may have suffered minor stress cracks that progress through your tooth. Over time, those cracks can grow, causing serious damage to your teeth, even possibly tooth failure.

Other times, the tooth might not have sustained more damage during the chipping, but the tooth has been reshaped so that it now experiences uneven bite force. This bite force can be concentrated on just one side of the tooth, which makes it more likely to crack.

It Can Affect Your Other Teeth

Even though it’s a minor chip, your tooth injury could impact your other teeth, too. When oral bacteria are clinging to the chipped tooth, they can spread to neighboring teeth, increasing the risk of cavities there. In fact, having one cavity means you’re at greater risk for more cavities, and they usually occur in teeth adjacent or near to where the first cavity formed.

The imbalanced bite force from a chipped tooth can also impact the opposing tooth, making it more likely to crack.

It’s Best to Get It Checked Out

A chipped tooth might seem like a minor problem that doesn’t need to be treated, but why take the risk? If you’ve chipped a tooth in San Diego, please contact cosmetic dentist Dr. Rod Strober at Strober Dental. We can come up with a treatment plan that repairs this damage and protects the rest of  your oral and overall health.

If it is truly a minor chip, we might just buff it smooth to protect against decay. For more serious chips, we might recommend dental bonding, BioClear, or a veneer. If a tooth is at risk of more chipping or cracking, we might recommend a dental crown to keep it safe.

Please call (619) 299-5925 today for an appointment, and we’ll design a custom treatment plan for you.