By Susan Braden
Whether from a playground mishap or a rough game of hockey, chipped pearly whites can be more than a mere inconvenience. Damaged teeth can become worse over time, and even a microscopic crack could eventually reach the nerve. Be sure to look for discount dental work, because there are different procedures for varying levels of severity, which can be expensive without coverage.
This is the simplest and cheapest procedure used for minor chips and scratches. Your teeth do not need to be numbed in this process, and since bonding does not reach down to the nerve, it is generally not a painful procedure. The dentist will make the surface of your teeth rough with a special liquid, because the bond will not adhere to a smooth surface. Next, the dentist will use an adhesive to attach a composite resin over the damaged area that matches the color of your teeth. The dentist will shape the resin and, finally, harden the surface with ultra-violet light. Discount treatments are often widely available for this simple procedure.
The process of shaping enamel involves reshaping or removing small parts. This procedure is only effective in repairing minor imperfections. Enamel shaping is often used in combination with bonding.
A veneer is a thin, porcelain shell placed on the front of teeth that are too damaged for bonding or enamel shaping. Sometimes a dentist has to remove some enamel from the surface of the tooth to make room for it. The dentist will make the tooth rough with a special liquid before adhering the veneer. A veneer completely covers the front of the tooth. Insurance often will not cover this type of procedure, but several discount dental plans are available.
No one likes the words “root canal,” but if the tooth is so badly damaged that a nerve is exposed, a root canal might be necessary in order to save the tooth. After removing the affected tissue, a dentist will often cap the tooth with a crown.
Sometimes a tooth will be so cracked or chipped that a simple bond or veneer will not do the trick. In these cases, it will be covered with a crown. This usually only applies to the larger teeth.
If the tooth simply cannot be rescued, the last resort is to have it extracted. It can be replaced with an implant or bridge. Many discount plans often include a significant percentage off extractions.
Accidents happen to everyone, but you can do several things to help prevent chipping or scratching your teeth. If you play sports or grind your teeth, invest in a custom-fit mouth guard from your dentist. It will add an extra cushion to protect your pearly whites from impact.
Another leading cause of damaged teeth is mouth jewelry like tongue and lip piercings. The metal can scrape or bump against your enamel and chip it away. You can also take care of your mouth by watching what you eat. Food that is especially sticky or hard could potentially cause damage. In addition, avoid chewing on items like pens or jewelry.
If one of your teeth is chipped or cracked, there is a treatment procedure for every level of severity. Don’t wait until the problem gets more serious. Ask your dentist how your tooth chip should be fixed, and get discount dental care with the appropriate plan for your needs.