As hard as your tooth enamel is, there are still times when something like a blow to the face or biting down on a hard piece of food, can chip a tooth. This is even more likely to happen if you have a bad habit or nibbling on foreign objects or using your teeth as tools.
Most chips are relatively shallow and don’t cause pain. This might tempt you to ignore the chip, especially if it isn’t in your smile. Dr. Peter T. Mathison does not advise this course of action as the chipped enamel will be highly prone to develop new tooth decay.
Sometimes a chip is small enough that he can repair it with a standard filling. However, if the chip is significant, or in a bad location on the tooth, then it might need to be restored by a crown.
A crown is essentially a perfect replica of the enamel layer of the tooth. They are often made from either porcelain, gold or base metal alloys. The crown itself is hollow, to allow it to be anchored on an abutment formed out of the dentin, pulp and root of the tooth.
Once the enamel layer of the tooth has been cleared away, Dr. Mathison will make a detailed impression of the abutment and the neighboring teeth. This also includes the teeth in your bite pattern that will match up with the final crown.
The impression is sent to a dental lab where your permanent crown is custom made. In the interim, a hard plastic temporary crown is cemented over the abutment to protect it.
You will be called back in for a follow up appointment when your permanent crown is ready. The temporary crown will be removed and your permanent crown is cemented securely into place.
If you have a chipped tooth, you should not delay in having it repaired. Please call Peter T. Mathison, DDS, Center for Dentistry in Fargo, North Dakota at (701) 478-4500 to schedule an appointment to have it repaired as soon as possible!